The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation propose an underdeveloped nation to allocate at least 4 of its total GDP for education. Pakistani government allocates less than 3% of the total annual budget for education.
The condition of government schools all over the country and the quality of education being imparted there are going from bad to worse, day by day. Government schools are "Ghost Schools" existing on paper only. The buildings, mostly in rural areas, that were meant to house these schools are either dilapidated due to negligence or have been converted into Otaqs (drawing rooms) for the local waderas (land owners)
Thousands of "Ghost Teachers" have been drawing salaries from the education departments of the four provinces. They do not do any actual teaching since there are no functioning schools. They simply show up to collect their salaries on the appointed day.
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Private schools have become a necessity for contemporary Pakistani society since the government has failed to provide quality education for its population. A majority of parents, even those from lower income brackets, prefer sending their children to private schools so they can receive an education that will enable them to be competitive.
Also, most Pakistani's want their children to learn English. Private schools offer all instructions in English while government schools offer instructions in either Urdu or the local provincial language.
WHY NGOs ARE NEEDED IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR
Education is one of the basic factors which play a vital role in the development of a country. It also combats unemployment, confirms sound foundation of social equity, awareness, tolerance, self esteem and spread of political socialisation and cultural vitality. Like many other developing countries, the situation of Pakistan's education sector has not been very encouraging due to poverty, unemployment, over-population and slow pace of economic development in the country.
According to the report, launched at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Thursday, about a quarter of the 19.75 million children in Pakistan aged five to nine are out of school. If the age bracket is increased to include adolescents, then about 25 million are not enrolled in school, out of a total school-going population of about 45 million.
Secondly, the lack of funds is a major issue inhibiting the educational development of Pakistan. Owing to the low funds allotted, it becomes impossible to construct new schools in areas where education is otherwise inaccessible.
Also, the lack of funds disables existing schools from improving the quality of education through teacher's training, hiring better and more qualified faculty etc.
In addition to this, the negative impact of corruption on education can't be denied either. From inhibiting funds being allotted towards education to the operation of ghost schools and everything in between, be it hiring unqualified faculty, zero maintenance of school buildings etc, corruption is taking a heavy toll on education in Pakistan.
In terms of priorities, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and healing the sick will always seem to take priority over teaching the basics of literacy. But illiteracy as a hindrance to development needs to be acknowledged if long-term economic and social changes are to be affected.
TCF has a transparent system of management and despite their vast network of schools they are able to maintain full transparency. If this system is adopted on a national level then the impact of corruption can be curtailed and funds could be managed in a more effective way through prioritizing based on need.
Other factors that contribute towards the need for NGOs in the education sector are:
Pakistan ranks amongst the lowest countries according to the human development index of UNDP.
With an estimated 173 million people, it is the 6th most populous country in the world.
Annual population growth rate is 1.8% and with this growth rate Pakistan's population is expected to cross the 290 million mark by the year 2050.
Of the millions added to the population each year, only half will have access to any formal education - the remaining will never see the inside of a school.
Out of 173 million Pakistanis, 92 million adults of age 15 years and above (58%) are illiterate.
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47% of all male adults of age 15 years and above are illiterate whereas for females the percentage is as high as 72%.
3 out of every 10 children aged 5-9 years in Pakistan do not go to school.
2 out of every 8 children aged 10-19 years never see the inside of a classroom.
Once in school, the dropout rate is very high (only 2 out of 10 reach class 5).
The state of government schools is very poor; 10.9% of them are without a proper building, 37.7% without a boundary wall, 33.9% without water, 59.6% without electricity and there is frequent absenteeism of teachers.
Government expenditure on education is only 2.1% of GDP.
The Benefits Of Literacy
Literacy saves lives
The education of parents has greater total effect on child mortality than any other factor. One year of a mother's education has been associated with a 9% decrease in under 5 child mortality. Teaching mothers to read can lead to a decrease in infant mortality of up to 50%.
Literates place higher value on the education of children. Adult education encourages children's education. Children who live in an illiterate environment tend to forget what they have learned. Literacy means easier access to political and social arenas.
People who can read are better able to get involved in the society of which they are a part of.
Literacy enables better money management.
People who cannot read are more likely to be fooled or taken advantage of.
Literacy enhances self-esteem and confidence.
Literacy increases access to better paid jobs.
Literacy means greater productivity on a national scale.
In a recent study, a 20-30% increase in literacy produces a 8 -16% gain in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Literacy encourages later marriage and smaller families.
List of NGOs in Pakistan working for promotion of literacy
The Citizens Foundation (TCF)
Literate Pakistan Foundation
Taleem For All Trust
Teacher's Resource Center
Baba Farid Educational and Welfare Trust
Bright Educational Society Trust (BEST)
Pakistan Coalition for Education
Balochistan Education Foundation (BEF)
Society for Community Support for Primary Education in Balochistan (SCSPEB)
Citizens Education Development (CEDF)
United nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)
Sindh Education Foundation
The Garage School (TGS)
BACKGROUND OF TCF
The Citizens Foundation (TCF)Â is one of the largestÂ non-profit organizationsÂ inÂ PakistanÂ in the field ofÂ education. It provides quality education to children who dwell in rural and urban slums of Pakistan. It was established in 1995, by a group of like-minded citizens in Karachi. The vision of this non-profit organization is to bring a positive change in Pakistan by providing quality education to the less-privileged youth.
TCF is a professionally managed, non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in Pakistan. It is now one of Pakistan's leading organizations in the field of formal education. In the first phase of its educational program, the TCF made its five school units functional simultaneously at Karachi on May 4, 1996. The goths (villages) and slums where the school were established included Sumar Goth, Hasan Goth, Umer Mengal Goth, Goth Dhani Bux and Machar Colony.
The first TCF School was set up at Machar Colony. "Just six years ago the possibility of a child from Machar Colony, which is believed to be one of the largest and most notorious slum, sitting in the board's examinations would never had been considered," said an executive.
In the following years, TCF added ten schools each in 1997 and 1998 and as much in the years to come. It got 30 more schools functional in April 2001, while 21 schools units were started during the year 2002.
Each primary school has an administrative block, six classrooms, art room and a library, with essential facilities like water, electricity, play area and aesthetically appealing furniture. Secondary schools are based on two sections of each class, where mostly the students, having completed their education up to class V in the TCF schools, are preferred for further enrolment and education.
As of 2012, TCF has presence in 83 towns and cities and 51 districts. It has established 830 purpose-built school units nationwide with an enrollment of 115,000 students. TCF encourages female enrollment and strives to maintain a 50% female ratio in most of its campuses. TCF has a full female faculty of 5,800 members. TCF also has a dedicated Teacher Training Center in Karachi and Mansehra for the ongoing training of its faculty and provides logistical support to all its teachers. About 8,800 jobs have been created in communities in which TCF operates.
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TCF wants to remove barriers of class and privilege and make the citizens of Pakistan Agents of Positive Change. They believe that access to basic education is the right of each individual and not a privilege. Apart from following the regular curriculum, they focus on the character building of students to equip them with high moral values and confidence.
TCF believes that illiteracy is the root cause of poverty. There is a direct correlation between the average life expectancy at birth and the adult literacy rate. People who have learned to read and write are more attentive to hygiene and health, less fatalistic and are more likely to turn to a doctor in time of need. Part of the solution to problems in the developing world lies in education. Hungry people need to be fed, but also need to be able to earn their own living. The sick need a cure, but must also be taught to avoid the unhygienic practices that make them ill. The old adage, prevention is better than the cure, needs to be re-taught and adhered to again.
To achieve these goals, TCF is constantly surveying education-deprived locations in Pakistan to extend its network. Each new location is appraised through an extensive land survey, assessment of population, income level, number and standard of existing schools in the area, demand for new school units, availability of an accessible site to build a school, qualified teachers in the area and a number of other criteria.
The dropout rate at TCF is less than 1%. Only those children whose parents move to another town or locality withdraw their children from TCF schools.
TCF is registered in Pakistan as a company limited by guarantee under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 and its accounts are audited by KPMG Taseer Hadi and Co. TCF is ranked amongst the top scoring organizations certified by the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) and has received high non-profit organization (NPO) governance rating of GR8+ by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co Ltd.
To remove the barriers of class and privilege in order to make the citizens of Pakistan agents of positive change.
They believe that every happy and confident student is an achievement of the teacher
Through the power of quality education they enable moral, spiritual, and intellectual enlightenment, creating opportunities to improve quality of life.
Example of TCF students who are good achievers
TCF has successfully managed to have 4000 students who passed out with flying colours.
Their students have managed to get into really good and reputable universities and are also working at reputable organizations. For example, two of their students got into IBA and SZABIST, business institutes that students wish to get into. One of their students is working at a call centre TRG and is earning a considerable income to support her family.
Also, recently one of their students got admitted in Dow Medical University.