The education task force in Pakistan has launched a push to create awareness on the education crisis in Pakistan, a mere look at the highlights of their detailed report would scare the beejeepers out of everyone. A few salient points have been extracted below to better understand the issue, while some graphics were also extracted from the report as well
If you read the report / the salient points one gets a strong feeling that this mystery can be sovled provided there is a serious commitment from the leadership in Pakistan to lead forward towards cementing a the way for a literate Pakistan in the decades to come
Education Emergency in Pakistan
- Clause 25a in the 18th Amendment states that ‘the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5 to 16 years’ so education is no longer a privilege but a fundamental right.
- Article 25a sets up a possible scenario where a citizen can take the government to court for not providing them access to education, or even be the grounds for a suo moto action
- 7 million children are not in primary schools today. Pakistan ranks second in the world in the number of out of school children
- 26 countries poorer and less populated than Pakistan send more children to primary schools than Pakistan.
- Only 35% of school children, aged 6-16, can read a story, while 50% cannot read a sentence. Their performance is only slightly better than that of out-of-school children, of whom 24% can read a story. This alarmingly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of schooling.
- 74% of children go to public schools 30% to private schools and only 6% to Madrassas
- The Impact of lack of education on Pakistan’s economy is like ‘one 2010 kind of devastating flood’ every year.
- One in ten of the world’s out of school children is a Pakistani. That is the equivalent of the entire population of Lahore.
- There is a 0% chance that the Pakistani government will reach The Global Millennium Development Goals by 2015 on education which was ‘all children to complete primary education by 2015’
- At the present rate shamefully Balochistan will meet this target Millennium Goals in 2100, KPK in 2064, Sindh in 2049 and Punjab in 2041.
- Just one year of education for women in Pakistan can help reduce fertility by 10%, controlling the other resource emergency this country faces.
- 60% of education budget is not spent.
- Pakistan spent 2.5% of its budget on schooling in 2005/2006. It now spends just 1.5% in the areas that need it most. That is less than the subsidies given to PIA, PEPCO and Pakistan Steel. Provinces are allocated funds for education but fail to spend the money.
- 30,000 school buildings are in dangerous condition, posting a threat to the well being of children. Whereas 21,000 schools have no building whatsoever
- A primary school teacher earns more than four times the earning of the average parent. Government teacher is better paid than a private school teacher but on any single day 20% are absent from their jobs
- Despite this gloomy situation, determined efforts can show results in only two years. What is required is an additional spend of Rs. 100 billion, a fifty percent increase over current spend
- The singular most important factor for educational emergency (more than money) is ‘Leadership’ and that with a determined effort change can take place in 2 years.