Education Sector In Pakistan

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The following section provides an overview of the education sector in Pakistan and the development of this sector in context to the growth of the national economy. Furthermore, this section also discusses the key issues and problems facing the education sector with potential growth opportunities and main objectives of the paper that we seek to achieve in this paper following the dissertation.

1.1 An Overview of Educational Profile, Educational inputs and Educational achievements in Pakistan.

According to Tariq Rehman form the National Institute of Pakistan Studies of the Quaid-e-Azam University, a thorough review of the system of formal education by the experts from the World Bank and other research institutes rendered the colleges here in Pakistan "substandard, bureaucratic, poor and inefficient". A criticism as harsh as this may raise too much curiosity as to how so many graduates of Pakistan, including Engineers, Doctors etc, with just a little additional training, were able to go abroad and contend in the field with those who have had received education from comparatively advanced institutes. Nevertheless, it holds quite a load of truth in it (Net Industries, 2011).

Until the 1990s, a very limited amount of resources were allocated towards the education sector in relative terms. only 1.1% of the Gross National Product was constituted the public education expenditure which increased to 3.4% by 1990. This increase in the funds allocation appeared quite unfavorable as compared to the defense budget in 1993, which was 33.9% of the GNP.

Throughout the history of Pakistan, at least until the 1990s, relatively limited resources were allocated to education. In 1960, the public expenditure on education was only 1.1 percent of GNP; by 1990, the figure had risen to 3.4 percent, though it compared quite unfavorably with expenditures on defense, which stood at 33.9 percent of GNP in 1993(Net Industries, 2011).

The education system in Pakistan is included among the most backward systems in Asia, empowered by the customary feudal and madarassa system. In 2004 the literacy rate was 52% with male literacy much higher than that of female (64% Vs 39%). With the prevailing inequities in education with regionally and with respect to gender, the core issue appears to be the comparatively high budgets for higher education level than for primary and secondary levels.

The government has however, become aware of this situation in the recent years and has put in an effort to take on this problem that is facing the education system with regards to the shortcomings in the budget allocation towards the basic levels of education (EIU, 2005).

There are, in Pakistan, almost 40 million children that in the age bracket of 5 to 15 years, which is the conventional school going age. At Primary level the gross enrollment rate is 89% and the dropout rate is 50%. This implies that that the 18 million children dropped out of primary level , of the 36 million children that are actually enrolled. the additional 4 million children that are deprived of access to schools make up about 22 million children of the total 40 million who should be attending the school. however, the education system in Pakistan is, unfortunately, too deficient to cater to the needs of these disadvantages groups (CEF, 2005).

1.2 Structure, Performance and Growth of the Primary Education Sector in Pakistan.

The responsibility of education sector lies with the provincial governments. Nevertheless, this role has been fulfilled throughout the years since the inception of Pakistan by the federal government, leading through reforms and policies for education on national level and conducting the necessary research for improvement in this field. Higher education levels like universities, centers for research and excellence have been mainly pulling resource funds from the federal government through a commission known as University Grant Commission. Moreover all the educational institutions located in the federal territory are run by federal administration.

The Ministry of education is the head, under which the federal ministry of education operates, and is assisted by the education secretary, a senior bureaucracy member. Education secretary appoints education ministers that administer the provincial education departments in charge of the separate divisions of education catering to the needs of different levels of education. The provinces are further divided into districts and regions with separate authorities divided between primary and secondary level, with primary level being administered by the district head while the secondary level being administered by the region head. The Colleges are on the other hand governed by educational directorate at provincial level (Net Industries, 2011).

According to a report on the National education Policy published in 2009, the contribution of the private sector towards education makes up about a 0.5% of the GDP, which round up to be almost 1/6th of the financial resources (OECD, 2007).

The structure of Primary, secondary, Higher-Secondary schools, Inter Colleges and universities is dominated by the public sector accounting for almost 64% of the enrolment rates while the private sector only contributed a share of 36% overall. However, the role of private sector has expanded over the years despite the deficiency reflected in the poor relative growth of this sector (MOE, 2009).The education system in Pakistan has been adulterated by series of issues that can be attributed to the educational dualism, implying the English-Urdu, public-private and urban-rural differentials.

This leads to educational inequity that provides just a faction of students with quality education while majority suffers from substandard education. These issues are faced at local, district and national level and are subject to political and federal concerns. Furthermore improvement in this regard is further hindered by the corruption and nepotism, including teachers with dubious credentials filling in at responsible posts through illegal means while contaminating the whole system. The lack of basic facilities at schools at local and district level adds to the already deteriorating standards of the education system in Pakistan whereas problems relating to resource allocation and dissemination of funds have plagues the system at national level (CEF, 2005).

1.3 Millennium Development Goals: Targets and Achievements in Pakistan.

For Sustainable Development of Human Resource, the UN member states came up with a design of global partnership that was adopted in 2000 comprising 8 development goals (Millennium Development Goals). The main goals of this partnership were to eradicate poverty and hunger, Attain Universal Primary level Education, Encourage Gender equity and empowering women, improve health condition and ensure a sustainable environment. the consequence of excessive debates brought about a framework of 18 targets and 48 indicators to be incorporated in the scrutiny of each goal's progress (Government of Pakistan, 2005).

Pakistan adopted 16 targets and 37 indicators to observe the development of the Millennium Development Goals keeping under consideration the company specific limitations and resource availability. Among these goals, one seeks to attain universal primary education ensuring improvement in the net enrollment rate, primary completion rate and literacy rate all over Pakistan without gender discrimination by the year 2015. The MDGs also reach out to empower women and eliminating gender disparity to all level of education by 2015, which is measurable by the Gender Parity Index (Government of Pakistan, 2005)

The Net Enrollment Rate in 2002 was 42% as opposed to 46% in 1991, indicating a decline by 4% in that decade. This decline was mostly contributed by the growing trend in population and poverty while the investment in reduction sector by the government remained low. According to PSLM survey (Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement Survey) in 2004-05, the net enrollment rate indicated an improvement showing a figure of 52% for the survey year. A significant improvement in this regard was recorded during the past four years. The contributing factors in this regard included the demand and supply of educational reforms and other targeted programs, which induced an increase in the government budget for the education sector while enhancing the participation rate by the private sector simultaneously (Government of Pakistan, 2005).

1.4 Educational Dualism in Pakistan: A Rural-Urban Divide and Differentials in Investment in Education.

For the lack of inequitable distribution of resources between rural and urban areas, the performance and output generated from both the areas seem to portray the fact evidently through respectively induced impacts and the gap. The drawbacks of rural areas start striking out more from secondary level and worsen with progressive levels.

Surprisingly enough, for 2005-06 the Gross Enrollment Ratio level at early childhood education level for rural areas was in fact higher than level that persisted in urban areas i.e. 93% in rural areas as compared to 88% in urban areas. At the primary level GER in rural areas still exceed the GER level in Urban areas but the gap was much narrower i.e. 85% in rural areas as compared to 84% in Urban areas. From secondary level and onwards, for 2005-06, the statistics seem to show the disadvantage being inclined towards the rural side with urban areas having a GER at 48% while it GER for rural areas dropped to 22% and this percentage gap between the two areas has apparently widened from 20 points in 2001-02 to 26 point 2005-06 (MOE, 2009).

Even more surprisingly, an anomaly also exists in the results of some measures of efficiency provided by the rural statistics, for example, repetition rates for Grade 1 in rural areas (3.1%) as compared to that in urban area (2.25%). And this comparison holds its stance throughout the other grades at primary level. For grade 5, the repetition rate for rural areas was 2.9% against 2.0% in urban areas. However, the reign of outperforming the urban area is very limited in the favor of rural areas. The survival rate in urban areas is 94% while it is only at a 67% in the rural settings (MOE, 2009).

Similarly in terms of investment in education or input the statistics show the same favorable outcome till primary level for rural areas but more incline of output as we proceed on to upper levels of education. The Pupil Teacher Ratio for rural areas is favorable having 39 pupils per teacher as compared to the urban areas where ratio persists to 49 pupils per teacher. However, from secondary level and onwards, the fates of the rural-urban performance reverse as the outcome shows a preferable incline towards urban areas having 12 pupils per teacher as compared to 18 pupils per teacher in rural areas (MOE, 2009).

Furthermore, the facilities provided in the rural areas are scarce and insufficient while at the expense of rural schools, 90% of urban schools tend to benefit from water facilities while only 63% or rural schools enjoy the facility and most of them suffer from poor facilities. sanitation facility provides the rural schools with a similar disadvantage. Where 88% of urban schools are provided with proper sanitation facility, only 56% of the rural schools have this facility at their disposal (MOE, 2009).

1.5 A Review of Educational Policies and Educational Reforms in Pakistan; Issues, Concerns and Areas of Potential Improvement.

Since the inception of the country in 1947, the education policies have been coming in series and have been incorporated as that in the National Education Policy 2009. The review process initiated in 2005 for the National Education Policies ranging from 1998 to 2010 and the first draft or document, which is known as the 'White Paper' was finalized in March of 2007.

The process of reviewing the policies in 2005 before the currently existing framework (1998-2010) was started as a result of an induced inspiration to the Ministry of Education from two reasonable factors.

The first main reason was that the guide to policy framework was quite unsatisfactory, owing to the failure in achievement of the desired educational results that were the intended goals of the policy. Performance of education sector lacked in the various key factors, especially the access rates, educational opportunity equities and in overall quality measures.

The second reason that stood out was that new challenges on global level like the Millennium Development Goals and Dakar Education for All (EFA) have gathered immense mass in the past years and such aggressive demands need to be met with considerable measure that need to be taken. Furthermore, globalization and the effort of nations to achieve a level of an educated society or as they call it the "Knowledge Society" has stimulated the thirst for achieving better education standards. Besides the global pressure that is inevitably faced, the desirable goals of achieving economic development and demographic transitions on a domestic scale have rendered it compulsory to review the policies for the sake of growth in educational quality (MOE, 2009).

The basic purpose of these policies is to map out a strategy at national level for educational development guidance in Pakistan and many of the policy actions that have been sketched out in the have already been put into play in earlier reforms. These include development prospectus, policy for textbook material, missing facilities' provision and other policies implemented on provincial and regional basis. The policy takes these initiations into considerations and structures them in its recommendations (MOE, 2009).

The effectiveness of education system is greatly affected by the political social and government infrastructure. To the extent that these factors impact the education sector, educational policies cannot be formed without taking these factors into consideration. The education system is quite reflective of the social norms and beliefs and reserves upon itself quite an impact of these determinants (MOE, 2009).

All the contents of dissertation until now may imply that Pakistan has shown progress on many indicators measuring the educational efficiency or outcome, however, the education system in Pakistan also suffers from two major shortcomings indicating an insufficient access to educational openings and low quality of education that is provided. This depresses the standards of education not only on a local scale of comparison between the output and the national goals but also on an international level to a greater extent too. The two main causes responsible for such a slack performance of the education sector are: (i) Commitment gap and (ii) Implementation gap. the former implies lack of commitment towards the educational goals leading to the latter that has frustrated the implementation and practicality of policies (MOE, 2009).

Coping with the underlying problems faced by the educational sector, a need for an elementary change in the thought process is in line that may affect the educational policies in a desired way. This need of change in the though process is reflected in the Planning Commission's report 'Vision 2030' which talks about some major innovations and changes in the current system of education. This practical swing, however, calls for the requirement, which takes into consideration, the welfare of the students and the learners instead of those who plan and implement the policies.

Conveniently enough, the policy addresses this issue in the form of need for suggestions and action plans the will deal with issues regarding the vision, priorities and governance of the sector while also dealing with the problems faced by individual subsectors in an assortment with early childhood education at one end and adult learning at the other (MOE, 2009).

1.6 Keywords and Definitions.

Completion/Survival Rate to Grade 5

Dakar Education for All

Dropout Rate

Educational Dualism

Empowering Women

Gender Disparity

Gender Equality

Gender Parity Index

Gross Enrollment Ratio

Gross National Product

Human Development

Literacy Rate

Millennium Development Goals

Ministry of Education

National Education Policy

Net primary enrolment ratio

Public Education Expenditure

Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement Survey

Primary Education

Secondary Education

Universal Primary Education

Vision 2030

1.7 Study Objectives.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 An Overview of Educational Profile in Developed and Developing Countries.

Education is the driving force of change in the world. Education (which is not always the same as schooling) brings empowerment. Without education, people can be subject to abuses by the most powerful. For example, illiterate peasants can be driven off their land by those who have access to legal instruments which they cannot influence. A woman, who does not have access to other points of view, may never come to question the arbitrary authority her husband has over her. Without education, people may be constrained to find menial jobs that do not fulfill them and others will look down on those who perform these jobs. Without education, those who are marginalized or oppressed may not have the resources to denounce the injustices they suffer from and to claim their rights. (IDRC, 2009)

There is an extensive empirical literature on returns to education that focuses both on developed and developing countries (Jaffry, Ghulam, & Shah, 2007). Available literatures in developing countries compare the returns to academic education and vocational education (Nasir & Nazil, 2000), or seek to identify the impact of completing a given schooling cycle on earnings (Appleton, 2001).

2.1.1 Educational Spending and Educational Infra-Structure.

2.1.2 Educational Inputs and Dualistic Education.

The rural-urban divide has been a major area of study in development economics,

focusing on rural-urban divisions within countries, particularly with respect to

industrialization (Kuznets, 1955). In more recent times, studies on rural-urban

issues have focused on economic geography, and its links to migration, urbanization, trade

and economic growth. While numerous studies have considered the rural-urban educational divide within a single country, there has been limited research on this issue across countries (Ulubasoglua & Cardak, 2006)

We find that countries with greater resources and those with more effective channels to allocate these resources have lower RUEI. Such distributional channels seem to be influenced by institutional framework such as the legal system within a country, colonial history, and political stability as well as geographical characteristics such as being landlocked and/or a larger country. Specifically, countries with legal systems of French origin (French legal system), on average, have higher RUEI, while the reverse is true for countries with legal systems of British origin (British legal system). Also, countries with colonial pasts in general, and the countries with post-war independence in particular have higher RUEI. This may be related to the extractive rather than settlement nature of colonies gaining independence in the post-war period. In addition, countries with less stable political environments, that are landlocked and those with larger surface areas have higher RUEI, suggesting that such factors negatively influence effective allocation of resources between R&U areas, other things being equal. We also find that RUEI is lower in economies with larger formal labor markets and better infrastructure, while riskier human capital investment and more limited credit availability are associated with greater RUEI.

The key point is that education levels are determined by the trade-off between resource use in the household and formal markets. This is affected not only by economic development within a country but by differences in development and opportunities between R&U areas and the way that nation-wide factors influence both R&U households.9 The following theoretical arguments underpin our empirical analysis of cross-country differences in the ratio and the levels of R&U schooling years (Ulubasoglua & Cardak, 2006).

2.1.3 Educational Outcomes and Achievements.

2.2 Indicators of Assessing Educational Quality and Outcomes.

Educational Outcome indicators increasingly are being used to assess the efficacy of American education. The growth of indicators of this type has been motivated in large part by a growing demand to hold schools accountable for their performance, defined in terms of outcomes, such as standardized test scores, rather than inputs, such as teacher qualifications, class size, and the number of books in school libraries. Unfortunately, most schools and districts have not developed and implemented performance indicators that are entirely suitable for this purpose. As a result, many educators and scholars fear that these indicator/accountability systems could severely distort the behavior of educators and students and thus be worse than having no indicators at all. It is therefore very important to consider the criteria that define an acceptable, valid performance indicator system (Meyer, 1997).

Strengthening the quality of education has become a global agenda at all educational levels and more so at the primary level. The quality of basic education is important not only for preparing individuals for the subsequent educational levels but to equip them with the requisite basic life skills. Quality education also ensures increased access and equality and it is mainly due to these reasons that various international Forums and Declarations have pledged improvements in quality of education. National commitment towards quality education has become significantly visible since the late eighties. From then onwards, the government has experimented a number of initiatives and interventions for improving quality with national and foreign funding (Mirza, 2003).

Despite the growing concern about the quality of education, its crystallized definition is somewhat difficult (Aspin & Chapman, 1994), largely due to a wide array of stakeholders and consumers along with the complexities of teaching-learning process which need to be unfolded continuously. Terms like effectiveness, efficiency, equity, equality and quality are often used interchangeably (Adams, 1993). Most of the people view quality of education as the learning outcomes of students which is the primary concern of all stakeholders. But to achieve the desired quality the antecedents, that is the input and process should also have quality in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, excellence, and social justice. The quality education output can be achieved only if quality is ensured at each level of the educational process from standard setting, learning environment, teacher training, teacher-learning process, assessment and monitoring (Meyer, 1997).

The Dakar Framework of Action 2000 defined quality of education in terms of recognized and measurable learning outcomes especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills. Article 42 of the Expanded Commentary on the Dakar Framework of Action further elaborates that 'a quality education is one that satisfies basic learning needs, and enriches the lives of learners and their overall experience of living (UNESCO, 2000).

The measures to attain the required quality were suggested as under:

1. Healthy, well nourished and motivated students.

2. Adequate facilities and learning materials.

3. A relevant curriculum.

4. Environment that encourages learning.

5. Clear definition of learning outcomes.

6. Accurate assessment of learning outcomes.

7. Participatory governance and management.

8. Engaging local communities.

The Recife Declaration of the E-9 project reaffirmed almost all the above

declared goals of education. It has also mentioned the use of modern technology in

all aspects of education (Meyer, 1997).

2.3 Educational Policies, Centralization and Decentralization.

Several factors that spur education reform derive from the region-wide shift to open economies and global competition. Two of these factors are especially important. The first is the growing centrality of knowledge as a production factor. The second is the increasing global character of information, communication, and economic activity. Both these factors are sharply increasing the demand for education. They are establishing a new and compelling economic argument for educational reform. They are also causing powerful actors outside educational systems - politicians, business leaders, development-assistance institutions (DAIs), and civil society more generally - to press for better schools and a better quality of education (Puryear, 1999).

Pakistan took a wholesale approach to decentralization. It introduced an ambitious plan to devolve political and fiscal central powers to new local governments. A devolution plan was launched by the National Reconstruction Bureau, and during the short period of time (18-month from March 2000 to August 2002), the country created three levels of new local governments -districts, Tehsils (urban and rural municipal administrations including city towns), and Union Councils. Provincial finance commissions have been established in all four provinces to design their own transfer system. While there has been progress in devolving political powers, fiscal and administrative decentralization are still lagging behind.

- The fiscal transfer system from central government to local governments needs to be improved;

- Funding for the local governments needs to be strengthened;

- The designs of the provincial transfer system need further improvements particularly to ensure equalization; and

- Decision-making powers need to be transferred to local governments.

- In December 2008, the Prime Minister constituted a committee to revisit the Local Government Ordinance, 2001, in order to remove weaknesses and improve the Local Government System.

(World Bank, 2011)

2.4 Human Resource Development Policies and Changing Educational Policies.

2.5 Regulatory Framework an Educational Reforms in Developing Countries.

2.6 Millennium Development Goals on Education: Target Setting, Compliance and Performance Gaps.

2.7 Opportunity Wage, Child Labor and Educational Outcomes.

Early childcare and pre-school policies have become an important focus of the government's strategy for improving the well-being of children, either through the enabling effect that childcare has by allowing parents to work or through other more direct effects of early education on children. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the question of how effective early pre-school and schooling are at improving the well-being of children, and whether any impacts are likely to be long-lasting. In achieving this aim, we add to a well established literature both from the UK and from around the world (Goodman & Sianesi, 2005).

An estimated 158 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour - one in six children in the world. Millions of children are engaged in hazardous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or working with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations.

In Sub-Saharan Africa around one in three children are engaged in child labour, representing 69 million children.

In South Asia, another 44 million are engaged in child labour.

The latest national estimates for this indicator are reported in Table 9 (Child Protection) of UNICEF's annual publication The State of the World's Children.

Children living in the poorest households and in rural areas are most likely to be engaged in child labour. Those burdened with household chores are overwhelmingly girls. Millions of girls who work as domestic servants are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Labour often interferes with children's education. Ensuring that all children go to school and that their education is of good quality are keys topreventing child labour (UNICEF, 2011).

In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million.During the last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics released the results of its survey funded by ILO's IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour). The findings were that 3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40 million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active children are in age group of 5 to 9 years. Even out of these 3.8 million economically active children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys.

During the year 2001 and 2002 the government of Pakistan carried out a series of consultation of tripartite partners and stakeholders (Labour Department, trade unions, employers and NGOs) in all the provinces. The objective was to identify the occupations and the categories of work, which may be considered as hazardous under the provisions of ILO Convention 182 (Arshad, 2007).


Policy Actions:

1. Courses at the secondary and higher secondary level shall be reviewed with a

view to making them more relevant to the needs of the labour market in order to

better prepare those students not going on to further studies.

2. A study shall be conducted to evaluate the impact of technical matriculation and

explore ways of introducing an improved system of technical and vocational

education at high school level .The stream shall offer two-way link with the

academic stream and also provide links to a revamped vocational and technical

sector at higher levels.

3. Approaches shall be found to provide students with a window to the world of

work. This could involve short assignments with the local enterprises and

institutions or "job shadowing' approaches to familiarise students with the work


4. A career guidance and service shall be introduced at secondary and upper

secondary levels, if not in each school, at least for school clusters. This shall

involve local employers in providing information about job openings and the

nature of work requirements. (MOE, 2009)

Chapter 3: Methodological and Analytical Choices

Chapter 4 : Estimation and Analysis