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1. Pakistan is one of the few, fortunate countries in the world, rich in natural resources, with plenty of human talent and creativity complementing this wealth, waiting to be discovered. Once the available human potential is put into practice, the country will be well on its way to success and prosperity. The only and perhaps the toughest adversary blocking a bright future for the country, is the immensely low rate of literacy. With regard to its literacy rate, Pakistan (according to UNESCO figures) is in 142nd place among 167 states. Since the inception of Pakistan, education has always been given a backseat by successive governments.
2. The current sad state of Pakistan's economy is the result of a number of complex and interrelated factors, including the continued neglect of the education sector since our independence in 1947. Although awareness about the problem exists, as is evident from voices raised at forums both in the public and private sectors and through the mass media, however a concerted effort has been lacking all along. From time to time, several attempts have been made to make a breakthrough in this important social sector for revolutionary reforms and consequent contribution to the economic development of the country. But there have been no significant results so far.
3. In the first educational conference held in 1947, it was expressly announced that the system of education in Pakistan will be developed and organized on religious grounds but, unfortunately, this aim could not be achieved. Instead we continued to follow the old system of British era whose objectives were:
a. To draw work force for running the lower level administration.
b. To preach Christianity
c. Erase the effects of Islamic rule and culture
4. To carry out a study of education system in Pakistan, highlighting the weak areas and strength of education policy 2002 and suggest measures to improve the literacy rate.
EXISTING CHALLENGES TO EDUCATION
6. According to official government surveys such as the Economic Survey and the National Education Policy, some progress has been made in the education sector over the last decade. Data from the latest Economic Survey of Pakistan points to indicators such as an increase in the number of educational institutions and the raising of the national literacy rate from 26% (35% male / 16% female) in 1981 to 49% (61.3% male / 36.8% female) in 2000 as evidence of progress made. However in the face of such factors as rapidly increasing population, existing low levels of literacy, participation rates, standards of education, gender disparities, it is evident that the existing facilities and efforts remain inadequate.
7. A large part of the problem with the education system lies in the fact that the existing education system has not evolved to meet the changing needs of the population and economy. Learning across the board is still largely done by the lecture and rote learning method in which the teacher lectures and students memorize large tracts of information for an examination on which their entire grade and often promotion to the next level of education depends. The system has not been responsive to changes in the skills that are required to function in the world today. Participation and discussion is not at the center of the methodology. Students are not taught to think analytically, to question and challenge their teachers and materials. This starts in primary school and by the time they graduate from higher education, many students may have degrees but no basic problem solving and analytical thinking skills. The problems within the education sector are both qualitative and quantitative.
8. Low literacy rate.
Pakistan has a literacy rate of 49%. Literacy rate in urban areas is 68% and in rural areas it is 37%. Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the region. The condition of female education is even more deplorable. It is only 32.6% due to various factors.
9. Gender Bias. Although women's education witnessed a major improvement in the 1990s, Pakistan still has a large gender gap in literacy ratio. The gap has gone up from 16 per cent in 1980 to 21 per cent in 1990 and then to 33 per cent in 1997. Despite these alarming statistics, women in Pakistan have remained far away from formal education and professional independence. It is a typical third world problem, related to social pressure and customs.Â
10. High Population Growth Rate. Population growth rate of Pakistan is 3.22% as compared to economic growth rate of 4.2% in 2003. It must be brought down to a level where facilities provided do not lag behind the requirement, by great extent. Due to a lack of resources, state education policy cannot keep pace with the demographic development.
11. Teaching as a Profession and Teacher's Training. Teaching in Pakistan has lost its prestige. As a profession it does not garner the status and respect which the other professions enjoy. In fact, the status of teachers, particularly male teachers, has suffered so severely that men, who possess high qualifications but are unemployed, become teachers, only as a last resort. Even in this case though, teaching is seen as a temporary job that will be left once a better opportunity comes along. Other major problems are:
a. A primary school teacher earns roughly between Rs 1,400 and Rs 2,860. This is less than what a cook, gardener or chauffeur
often earns. Therefore many primary school teachers in Pakistan are forced to take on extra jobs to supplement their incomes. Thus they are often absent from the classroom.
b. Teacher's training is poor and based on old methods of teachings. Their aptitude and attitude is not checked when employing them in teaching profession.
c. There is little opportunity for career advancement in the teaching profession in Pakistan, especially for primary school teachers. The only one available to most teachers is to move into secondary school teaching. This however, has negative effects on the primary school system, since it is often the good teachers who leave teaching primary school for secondary school.
d. Finally, there is virtually no system of accountability for teachers. This means they can get away with absenteeism. There is no local authority to ensure that teachers attend classes and teach their students. Head teachers have little authority to censure teachers who do not turn up for work.
12. Poor Management and Supervision Structure. A key provision of the policy should be the creation of an effective monitoring system designed to oversee the proper implementation of reforms to the system. This is where government tends to run into trouble since they do not plan and carry out implementation of their programs. The government has virtually no mechanisms in place to monitor and assess the success of those programs that it does undertake. In addition to weak and defective implementation mechanisms, inadequate personnel, poor training, low political commitment and absence of incentives have also caused the failure of most reform efforts.
The outcome in financial terms has been cost over runs, delays in meeting targets and poor return to the country.
13. Low Operating Budget. With regard to financial expenditure on education, Pakistan has the lowest expenditure on education amongst Asian developing countries, coming in at 2.2% of GNP in 1998-99. This percentage of GNP is low considering the size of the school aged population and the development needs of the country.
14. High Dropout Rate. A great majority of the children are compelled to leave the schools due to multiple reasons. 45% of children are dropped out at primary level.
15. Poverty. Poverty is also responsible to a great extent towards the very low literacy rate, low participation ratio and high drop out ratio.
16. Outdated and Irrelevant Curricula. The education curriculum is static and far behind the educational and scientific requirements of present time. There is no policy regarding updating of material given to the students. There is no concept of research even at higher secondary school level. No evaluation of the implemented curriculum is carried out. Therefore no feedback is received to revise the curriculum. Furthermore it caters least for the interests of the students.
17. Political Interference. Student unrest, political or otherwise has caused disruptions in the academic calendar and interjected a level of tension between faculty and students that is not conducive to learning. Campus unrest has been blamed for the deterioration in the quality of education. However, one could look at it as students resorting to unrest because they are deeply frustrated with the unsatisfactory educational experience they are getting and with the dubious prospects of suitable employment afterwards.
There is no system of guidance or counseling available to students. Students are left on their own to solve academic, personal and career issues. This must change if the student is to benefit completely from the educational experience. Therefore campus unrest can be seen as a symptom of the underlying poor quality of education and not a cause. The infiltration of partisan politics into campus has further deteriorated the situation. Indiscipline will only disappear once long term and far reaching reforms are made.
18. Scientific Education and Research Potential. The quality of education available in most public institutions has significantly deteriorated over the last 20 years. Research, a critical indicator of a vibrant tertiary level education sector, has slowed to a trickle except for some innovative work coming out of a handful of Centers of Advanced Studies and Area Study Centers. In fact the National Education Policy identifies most universities as teaching only facilities. Lack of funding for research coupled with poor research facilities has led to little publication of internationally recognized quality coming out of Pakistani institutions. This in turn has an effect on the quality of faculty that is teaching at public institutions.
19. Lack of Physical Facilities. There are still not enough facilities to accommodate all the students of school going age. In many cases, time and again, in newspapers and donor documents, government schools are often criticized for being ill equipped, ill staffed and in many rural settings for lacking basic amenities such as electricity, furniture or water. The phenomenon of "ghost schools" which are empty structures eating up huge amount of funds, is prevalent in the rural areas, yet these schools are counted as part of the statistics.
20. Private Sector Involvement in Education
a. Private primary schools are concentrated in urban areas and participation rates in these areas are already high. More schools are needed in rural areas. Therefore these schools are not expanding the reach of education to include those who have no access to schools. Their role in universalization efforts is therefore marginal.
b. Because of their use of English as a medium of instruction and their high fee structure, these schools cater to the elite, which runs counter to the concept of developing an egalitarian society, a premise which is central to the importance and aim of universal education.
The 'madarsa phenomenon' is not new to Pakistan. Since the 14th century madaris have been the seats of learning, of interpretation of religious texts and values of Islam. At their height they produced great scientists, mathematicians and scholars. Resistance to British rule, and subsequent anti-west attitudes, date from the division of religious and secular education in undivided India. At that time madaris took on the role of defending the Islamic educational tradition against the British formal education system of schools and colleges. They became the seat of Muslim resistance to British rule. There are currently more than 80,000 madaris in Pakistan. To date about 4,500 have been registered and these are mainly the larger institutions, providing education up to PhD level in Islamic studies to thousands of male and female students.
b. Most of the madaris are, however, small schools providing a Quranic education, food and accommodation to the poorest of the poor. They provide some form of education to children, including girls, who would otherwise have none. The poorest members of the community cannot afford the uniform, books and fees. Additionally there are religious beliefs that support sending at least one child to a madarsa to learn the recitation or memorizing the Quran.
c. These schools tend to have untrained teachers, restricted curriculum, harsh discipline and provide few employment opportunities to their students. Therefore these madaris have become birth places of sectarianism and extremist approach. They project a very myopic vision of Islam in which a person of other sect or beliefs is liable to be killed.
22. Non Implementation of policies. Implementation requires political will, adequate financial allocations, institutional infrastructure, professional backup and competent management. In case of Pakistan all these ingredients are missing resulting in the poor state of education in the country.
EDUCATION SECTOR REFORMS 2002
23. Education Sector Reforms (ESR) programme is cast in the long term perspective of National Education Policy (1998-2010). It is an Action Plan for 2001-2004. The prime concern in the short run is stemming the rot that has set in the education system. The current structural and sector reforms in Pakistan seek to reverse the failure of the system to improve educational provision.
ESR-Maj Areas of Operation
24. ESR Targets for 2001-2004
a. Literacy - from 49 % to 60 %
b. Primary Enrolment - from 89 % to 100 %
c. Middle School Enrolment - from 47.5 % to 55 %
d. Secondary School Enrolment - from 29.5 % to 40 %
e. Higher Education Enrolment - from 2.6 % to 05 %
25. National Literacy Campaign. Its objective is improvement in literacy rate and universalization of primary education in order to increase literacy rate from 47% to 62% during 2001-2004. Its target is to make literate 13.5 million males & females (10+ age group).
26. Madaris. Its objective is to reform madaris. These reforms include the proscription of foreign students, plans to reform the madaris curriculum and textbooks and the development of 'model' madaris.
27. Universal Primary/Elementary Education. Its targets are
a. Increasing gross participation rate from 89 percent to 100 percent (4% per annum)
b. Reducing gender disparity by 10% annually
c. Enhancing primary completion rate from 50 percent to 70 percent (6% per annum)
28. Tawana Pakistan: School Nutrition Package (SNP). The objective of this project is Improvement of nutritional and health status of the girl child (5-9 years old). This project is sponsored by the Ministry of Women Development and Social Welfare and it would be executed by Pakistan Bait-ul Maal (PBM) with assistance from Agha Khan University, Provincial Education & Health Departments and District Governments. Its target is to access the poor segment of society, i.e. 500,000 girls (both enrolled and non-enrolled) from 5000 primary girls schools and communities of their location in 20 selected high poverty districts in Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan over a three year period (2002-2005).
29. Early Childhood Education. The goal of this programme is To initiate Early Childhood Education (ECE) as an incentive programme for improving primary access and retention, addressing well being of the very young at the school levels .Studies in 1995 and 1997/98 revealed that one third of primary school children in government schools are sitting in a pre-primary class called 'Kachi' which needs to be recognized as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) learning group.
30. Good Governance and Decentralization in Education. Its objective is to build capacity of districts to undertake governance in education
through effective decentralization in planning, management and implementation. A key strategy for meeting the goals of EFA and ESR is decentralized approaches to decision making, closest to where the problems may emerge Education has been devolved to the districts up to higher secondary level with Executive District Officers (EDOs) Education and Literacy to manage comprehensive education planning and implementation at the district level.
31. Curriculum Reforms, Teacher Education & Training. Its objective is quality Assurance at all levels of education. Its targets are:
a. Revision of Curricula
b. Teacher Education training and professional development
c. Academic Audit - linkage of grants/incentives with quality
32. National Education Assessment System (NEAS). In order to evaluate/assess learning achievements of students at primary (Class-V) and elementary (Class-VIII) levels, National Education Assessment System is being introduced in collaboration with provinces. The objectives of NEAS are:
To assess, monitor and supplement real learning environment in schools.
To define and develop assessment/achievement goals at elementary level.
To set up minimum standards/norms for performance at relevant level.
To identify strengths and weaknesses of curricula, text books, teachers' delivery, school management and the education system as a whole.
e. To enhance quality of education through improvement/revision in curricula, textbooks, teacher education & training and examinations.
33. Reforms in Examination System. Structural changes in the conduct and quality of examinations are being done to achieve the following objectives: -
Improving intellectual abilities of students, such as knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis
Ascertaining and enhancing validity, public acceptance, transparency and fairness of examinations
Having a feedback for ensuring continuous assessment of the whole education process by improving teaching strategies, school effectiveness, curriculum design, appropriateness of textbooks and the whole delivery system.
Quality audit for recognized standards and value of certification to be regularized for global equivalence.
34. Technical and Vocational Stream at Secondary Level. This sub sector links education with employment providing opportunities for skill based education. Its objective is integration of schooling with labour market skills for youth. Its targets are:
Integration of skill development with the general stream of education in secondary schools, an option for those who consider secondary level education as a terminal stage
Expanding options for employment for 120,000 young men and women
Introduction of a technical and vocational stream at secondary school level (Classes IX-X) parallel to science and arts group
Upgrading existing Polytechnics and linkages with industry for professional skills and employment.
35. Video Textbook-Libraries. In order to improve the standard of secondary education in the field of science, the video textbooks-libraries are being formed which will enable the students to improve upon the quality of science education at the secondary level. These efforts will supplement the teaching learning process. Nearly 70% of households in Pakistan have access to TV sets, so these video textbooks-libraries can be available to the majority of people and to all the students at the secondary level through provision of TV and a video player to all the schools.
36. Higher Education Sector. Under the provisions of ESR Higher Education Commission has been formed. Its targets are:
a. Increasing access to higher education opportunities by 10% annually
b. Increasing enrolment in the universities from 100,000 to 200,000 students by 2004
c. Private sector to raise its share of enrolment to 40% of the total by 2010
d. Increasing allocations to higher education from 0.39% to 1% of GDP by 2004 and increasing the budget of universities for research.
37. Public Private Partnership. The role of public sector in education is being enhanced. Public sector will be given various incentives to promote quality education. Its main objectives are:
Increasing access to quality education in Pakistan at all levels.
Meeting the demand for education through public private partnership
38. ESR Financial Requirements for 2001-2004. Given the budgetary constraints for social sectors including education, ESR package has been prepared at a cost of Rs. 55.5 billion for year 2001-2004. ESR funds are being distributed among Provinces in accordance with NEC formula after setting aside 10% for Federal Areas including FATA/FANA/ICT and AJK. Four categories of financial support to ESR Action Plan 2001-2004 are as follows:
Government / national resources
Grants from Development Partners
Loans from Development Partners
Support to and from Private Sector, Education Foundations, Private Sector NGOs, and Communities
Strengths and Major Achievements
a. Policy on Improvement in Literacy. National literacy Campaign supported by various organizations sets its goal of increasing literacy rate by organizing literacy cycles and by mass media mobilization campaign.
b. Madaris Reforms. For the first time streamlining of madaris has been done. An Ordinance called, the Pakistan Madrassa Education (Establishment and Affiliation of Model Dini Madaris) Board Ordinance 2001 has been promulgated on 18 August 2001. Pakistan Madrassa Education Board (P.M.E.B) has been established. The President/Cabinet approved the release of Rs. 30 .00 million for the Pakistan Madarassa Education Board Fund. The students of Model Dini Madaris will have all the privileges and facilities as are available to the students of any other education institution in Pakistan. The vocational and professional education in the Model Dini Madaris will also provide greater job opportunities to their students besides assisting them in becoming more useful and productive members of the society.
c. Improvement in Health Status of Girl Child. This is a concept which is present in all the developed nations. In Pakistan it is being started from girls because of high prevalence of malnutrition in women particularly among girls. Initially it is being launched in 20 selected high poverty districts in all the four provinces of Pakistan. This measure is also important with regards to enrollment ratio which will definitely improve. Similarly it will reduce the dropout ratio.
d. Better Foundation for a Child. Childhood education is the basis of future behavior and usefulness of a person. Keeping in view this, the upgradation of concept of Kachi class will surely provide a good foundation to the young. These schools, being specially equipped, will raise the IQ level of a child. It also addresses the well being of very young
e. Assessment and Monitoring. For better assessment and evaluation of primary and elementary levels, National Education Assessment system (NEAS) has been evolved. This will eradicate, though partly, poor management and supervision of educational standards. This will also solve the problem of teaching of outdated curriculum as it is its mandate to identify strengths and weaknesses of curriculum.
f. Improvement in Examination System. Examination System reforms are still in the process of implementation. Examination reforms if implemented throughout the country will bring the education standard at the same level. Then the poor standard of education in a particular area will draw full attention of authorities. Accordingly remedial measures will be taken.
However its implementation will require following administrative reforms:
(1) The Boards shall bring organizational improvements by:
(a) Establishing Research Cells so as to provide feedback for improvement of the system as a whole to conduct research oriented professional activities and to train teachers, paper setters, examiners and invigilation staff
(b) Paper Setting Cells, to develop variety of questions, question papers in different subjects
(c) Computerization of process and appointment of well qualified honest, dedicated and experienced staff, preferably on contract basis to ensure fairness, transparency and validity in the examination results
(2) Remuneration for paper setting and marking must be reviewed and enhanced to ensure quality and transparent assessment.
g. Linking Education with Employment. It is a major step towards the eradication of unemployment. This will help in training of skilled labour as most of our labour is untrained and unskilled.
h. Use of Media. Up till now, media of Pakistan is least used for educational purposes. Leaving this important area is adding
to our low standards of education. The ESR reforms take into account this important subject.
j. Higher Education System. The most important aspect covered in ESR is the higher education reforms. Establishment of Higher Education Commission under the chairmanship of Dr Ata ur Rehman has started showing its productivity. It will surely increase the research potential. Already higher education commission is offering Ph D from abroad on Government expenses in any discipline.
40. Major Achievements of ESRs Program. Major achievements of ESR program as on 30th June 2002 are following:
10,000 schools rehabilitated
2000 Non Formal Basic Education schools opened and 6000 Adult Literacy Centers established
Technical Stream introduced in 50 secondary schools during 2001-02.
385 science labs constructed and 150 under construction.
First women's polytechnic institute established at Quetta.
Ordinance on Higher Education Commission (HEC) promulgated and HEC established
Rs.1 billion Fund for promotion of research, for Engineering Universities
Developed National Curricula on Early Childhood Education
Launched Diploma in Education to upgrade teachers' qualification
National Educational Assessment System (NEAS) launched
Agha Khan University given permission to set up private Exam Board.
Rs.800 million allocated in FY 2002-03 for mainstreaming Madaris
Pakistan Madrassa Education Board established
6240 schools have been upgraded through Public Private Partnerships.
41. Following weak areas have been identified:
a. Objective of Education. ESR does not refer to any objective of education rather it focuses on the ways to attain them. The basis of ESR would have been solid if clear objectives of education in Pakistan were defined.
b. Teaching Quran and Sunnah. As Pakistan was founded in the name of Islam its education system must provide measures to produce good Muslims. However ESR does not even touch the issue of teaching Islamic education. It has emphasized more on the issue of madaris.
c. Future of Reforms. ESR reforms are based on very genuine concerns about the education in Pakistan however it has no value till the time these measures are institutionalized. Our failure in policy implementation stems from personality oriented approach. These reforms do not provide any measure to protect and upgrade these reforms. So the future of these reforms is a question mark.
d. Curriculum Review. These reforms cover curriculum review but one can easily identify its weakness. Since government is under the severe criticism on the change of curriculum. It is evident from it that no consultations were carried specially with scholars and educationists to reach on a mutually approved curriculum. More over government failed to clear its position regarding this issue despite having unhindered access to media.
e. Decentralization. Although it is a very viable and productive approach but it is facing problems due to following:
(1) Ambiguity about the role and responsibilities among DCO/ EDO and other officers
(2) Mismatch between officers and nature of jobs
(3) Allocation of about 80-90% for recurring expenditure, meager amount is left for developmental activities
(4) The non-availability of adequate infrastructure at district level
f. Medium of Instructions. These reforms do not provide any hint to the medium of instructions. Where as it has become an issue in Pakistan. A decision must be taken to impart education either in Urdu or in English. Then it should be implemented accordingly. Similarly the syllabus should be some for all types of schools, whether government or private.
g. Private Sector Involvement. ESR reforms talk at great length about the public private sector relationship but it does not refer to present state of private institutions, costly education and business oriented approach of private school owners. This must have been dealt with stating viable measures to correct the system.
h. Teachers Training. Teacher,s training is not dealt in detail. It has been only given a cursory touch. There is no mention of measures to raise their image, prestige and social status.
j. Ignorance about Reforms. There are very useful measures for improvement of education inviting active participation of parents but due to ignorance and non understanding, these measures are not paying dividends.
k. Ambitious Planning. The planning has been done ambitiously but the practical steps to achieve these aims are missing. It is evident that it was planned to achieve literacy rate of 60% by 2004, which has not been achieved.
42. Education is the key to development in any society. It is also true to say that the condition of the education and the educational institutions in any given society reflect the standard of living and the attitudes towards life of that society. The citizens reflect the quality of education they have received. Being a Muslim society the importance of education is much more. The Holy Quran and Sunnah gave utmost importance to education. Above in view following measures are recommended to correct the education system of Pakistan.
a. Education- A Consultative and Evolutionary Process. The development of a productive education system is not a months time job but it is a long process stretched over years. It involves leaders, think tanks, educationists, scholars and parents. The objectives are always come in forefront while making any improvement or changing the system or curriculum. It is recommended that this system be continued for at least 10 years. Structural, procedural and curricular changes be made after deliberate and comprehensive consultations and debates.
b. Move Towards Islamic Education. Good muslims cannot be produced by mere offering of prayers and fasting. This can only be done by having clear understanding of Islam. This under standing will come up if Quran and Sunnah is taught in schools by scholars and not in mosques by an illiterate preacher. For this purpose, the most important thing is introduction of Arabic as a second language at the appropriate stage. This may not be as difficult as it seems. It is again, not an overnight process but it is an evolutionary process.
c. Elimination of Multiplicity in Education. For spreading Islamic ideology, creating sectarian cohesion and teaching regional and social parity, a uniform syllabus, system of examination and medium of instructions should be enforced in all educational institutions. A uniform system of education should be introduced gradually to eradicate the problems multiplicity of systems creates.
d. Urdu-The National Language. In accordance with the Constitution, Urdu should be made the state language. Status and role of regional languages should be maintained. However medium of instruction up till higher secondary school level, should be in Urdu in all the provinces. Regional languages may be the topics for graduate or post graduate studies. This should be done with the view to promote national identity and to better develop regional languages. Concrete steps should be taken to lessen role of English as an official language. English should not be the medium of instruction yet course may be adopted for its teaching as a foreign language.
e. Declare Educational Emergency. The present government should declare a national educational emergency and involve the whole nation in waging a war against illiteracy. Some steps that the government might consider taking in this regard are:
(1) Declare education as the highest priority of the government.
(2) Make it a mandatory requirement for various degree programmers that the candidates, after taking their
exams, shall spend a specified period of time in teaching at assigned institutions.
(3) Offer tax benefits/exemptions and other such incentives to private sector groups to invest in education in rural and less developed areas.
(4) Make it mandatory for each industrial unit/agricultural estate of an area above a specified limit to provide for a school within the premises/area. Alternatively, the owner can be asked to share costs with the government for setting up such school. Another option is giving various financial/tax incentives.
(5) Introduce licensing and certification of teachers to improve standards (as is done in the USA). Introduce high quality selection procedure for higher level teachers and offer the candidates better incentives.
(6) Use electronic media more extensively for educational purposes. A channel could be devoted to just education. the lectures can be delivered by telecasting them or by playing recorded cassettes even in schools in far flung areas where quality education is usually not available
f. Minimizing Educational Abuse. Exploitation by private educational institutions in the name of education should be regulated justly through legislation. These institutions should be made to boost standardized education on the one hand and on the other, to embrace all classes of society on basis of merit.
g. Use of Media. Government should use media to propagate its policies. For example curriculum and madarsa controversy. Government should come up with true facts and figures in both the cases so that people are taken into confidence.
h. Promotion of Female Education. Women education be propagated through mass mobilization of resources in the light of islamic teachings. Every province should have a women university of its own and arrangements be made at every level to meet the educational, economic and social needs of women.
j. Discipline in Educational Institutions. The issue of discipline and campus life should be dealt in a more comprehensive way. Such measures as the creation of a Dean of Student Affairs position in each campus, the provision of extensive guidance and counseling services by teachers and the establishment of career planning and placement services on campus will hopefully alleviate some of the frustration felt by students in the system. Grievance Committees should be created to deal with the needs and concerns of teachers, employees and students. Another significant measure will be the elimination of the quota/reserve seats system, which earmarked places for students from "backward" areas regardless of their preparedness. This provision is often abused by political parties, which place large numbers of their people into the system in order to cause unrest. Students from these areas must compete for entry. In addition all political activities should remain banned.
k. Poverty Alleviation. As highlighted earlier poverty is a major cause of poor state of education. Poverty alleviation should take priority on the cards of government. The first thing is realization by leaders and policy makers. Austerity is the first step towards a flourishing Pakistan
43. Education, as a state policy, has largely been dealt in a piecemeal manner in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the vacuum left by a lack of government sponsored education was abused by private educational institutions including Madaris. Education in Pakistan is undergoing a transition. Education reforms will need to start with a clear understanding of the roots of the present crisis and a detailed planning. To succeed, these reforms will require clear milestones to measure progress and independent oversight to keep the process on track. Only then, it will be able to produce an enlightened generation.