EDUCATION A MUST FOR HUMAN CAPITAL GROWTH
Jan 23 - 29, 2012
Human capital is one of the most important factors of production. It functions as an important tool of economic growth through innovation, creation, and value addition. Its importance in this competitive world has increased manifold.
Pakistan is a country with 60 per cent of young people under the age of 25 while less than 20 per cent of them with secondary education.
The UNDP Pakistan National Human Development report ranked Dera Bugti in Balochistan as the least developed district in Pakistan with a human development index (HDI) of 0.285.
The past sixty years of negligence caused in a large gap in human development between Balochistan and the rest of Pakistan.
A report by the planning and development department of the government of Balochistan set the literacy rate in the province at a depressed 26.6 percent compared to 47 percent in the rest of the country. Likewise, only 25 percent villages in Balochistan are electrified compared to 75 percent nationwide.
Given the deplorable state of Baluchistan's human capital it may not be possible for the province, at least in the short-run, to provide a highly skilled work force to run its hospitals, universities, colleges, and other institutions.
Identically, the demand for highly qualified professionals in the private sector to manage the mineral wealth of the province will largely remain as it is unless trained professionals from other parts of Pakistan are assigned in Balochistan to accelerate the development of human capital.
Balochistan needs to improve its human capital. It needs domestic expertise in engineering, industry, mining, economics, international and business law, and social sciences, to develop the full potential of its natural resources.
There is an urgent need for improving human capital in the public sector in Balochistan. The mineral wealth of the province can only be exploited if its human resources are developed.
SOFTWARE INDUSTRY IS STILL AT INFANCY STAGE.
Education is globally recognized a principal tool to bolster economic development. It plays a pivotal role in developing human capital and strengthening economic growth by improving skills, increasing competence, and productivity.
For developing country like Pakistan, education plays a major role in removing poverty, hunger, and socioeconomic inequalities and increasing employment and standard of living.
Different political parties that came into power have taken numerous steps to improve the quality of education.
According to the education statistics of 2008-9, literacy rate was high in urban areas (74 percent) as compared in the rural areas (48 percent).
Province wise literacy rate indicated literacy rate in Punjab is (59 percent), Sindh, (59 percent), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (50 percent) and Balochistan (45 percent). Total adult literacy rate shows the figure of 57 percent.
Pre-Primary education is an important element of early childhood education. Statistics indicate that 24,322 secondary schools with 439,316 teaching staff are functioning.
The enrolment rate of (948,364) was marked in 2009-10 in higher education. Four new universities were established to advance and promote the higher education. Currently, a total number of 132 universities with 50,825 teachers in both private and public sectors are operating in the country.
Pakistan is gifted with talented individuals, but due to worsening law and order situation, very low employment opportunities, and inadequate research facilities, a lot of professionals are leaving the country for good.
To tackle this problem of brain drain, during last few years governments have taken innumerable steps to encourage research activities and improve the quality of facilities in education institutions.
Many different scholarship programs have been offered throughout the year for higher education, including general scholarship, special scholarship program for the students of Fata and Balochistan.
At present about 3,237 students are studying in HEC recognized universities. HEC has sent about 2,600 students for studies abroad under different foreign scholarship programs.
In order to ameliorate and promote research activities, 20 research laboratories have been established in major universities.
Education has a long run relationship with economic growth. Better standards of education improve the efficiency and productivity of labor force and effect the economic development in the long-run. However, in the short-run education does not have any significant relationship with economic growth.
Education quality is essential to increase the economic growth and human capital abilities. The government with efficient administration at the lower level should increase the expenditures on education sector to promote research and development activities and improve the standard of education in order to improve the economy's growth performance.
The success of a country lies in its educated human capital, which plays a significant role in the country's economic, social, and political developments. In an effort to promote quality higher education in the country, the government considers it necessary to call for the private sector in promoting and strengthening the area.
According to the World Bank, growth achieved in Japan and other East Asian industrialized countries was due to better utilization of human capital rather than financial means or natural resources.
Studies also reveal that farmers and laborers with better education conform more rapidly to technological advances and are ultimately more likely to increase their productivity at the individual and national levels.
The UN's Human Development Report 2010 ranks Pakistan at 125 of 169 nations in its index. This country's experience has also shown that districts with higher literacy levels have a higher level of development. In this context, the report says that progress in health and education can drive success in human development.
Government policy acknowledges contributions of the private sector in education and attempts to reach out to the private sector to form responsible public-private partnerships with the goal of increasing service provision.
We must take the example of India, which has overtaken China in IT competitiveness index. According to the IT industry competitiveness index compiled jointly by Business Software Alliance and the Economist Intelligence Unit, increased focus on human capital and R&D has improved its ranking in the global competitiveness to 34th in two years.
At 34th position, India is four slots above China. In 2011 index, India ranked ninth within Asia, with Singapore emerging as most competitive country in the region, followed by Australia.