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Education is important for Pakistan's progress. Despite recent achievements, the country still faces numerous challenges to raise the education of its population to the standard of its South Asian neighbors, and to meet its own social and economic development needs.
Pakistan: An overview
Pakistan is located in the South and West Asia region neighboring borders India, Iran, Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea. Total population of Pakistan in 2010 is 173 million. About 64% people live in rural areas whereas 36% people live in urban areas.
This paper is designed to give a report on education in Pakistan. In this paper, the different roles, facts, and policies are reviewed which were designed for providing education in the country. Different education system, development challenges and causes are discussed.
The education is now become one of the most defining enterprises of the 21st century with the emergence of globalization and increasing competition. In this fast world, education and technology are the basic keys for survival and progress of Pakistan respectively. Pakistan is determined to respond positively to emerging needs, opportunities and challenges of globalization. Education is one of the golden key that is considered as a big change and progress. Progress and prosperity of the country depends on the kind of education that is provided to the people.
WOMEN IN EDUCATION
In Pakistan, the rate of women's literacy remains low as compared to men's. Women have a low percentage of participation in society. The status of women in Pakistan especially in rural areas is low which is due to social and cultural obstacles. One of the strangest aspects in Pakistan is that some place especially in northern tribal areas the family is against of educating girls. The situation in NWFP and Baluchistan is most critical. The rate of women literacy is 3-8%. Many organizations have opened such schools in these areas that provide education. Unfortunately, the government has not taken any steps or measurements to promote literacy to girls' education in these areas. “In 1981 only 7% of women in rural areas were literate, compared with 35% in urban areas. Among men, these rates were 27 and 57 percent, respectively”.
This backwardness of the women is due to the non-equal treatment with them.In developed countries male female are considered equally. This unequal treatment with women takes the country to backward. In Pakistan a system of education with equal opportunities of education to male and female must be provided.
BACKGROUNG OF EDUCATION POLICY
In 2005, the Government of Pakistan has decided to review the National Education Policy to achievable in the field of education to overcome the problem regarding conflicts and achieve a knowledge that permits every person to realize his duty.
This policy review will result in a policy which is applicable to all providers of education in Pakistan in which formal and non-formal states are included.
In Pakistan context the essential part is ideological bases and historically provided by Islam as an ideology derived from Islamic religion. Islam is the fundamental source of providing values for our daily life. It also provides an ethical conduct which is an essential precondition for social development.
/////Policy & Planning
Pakistani education sector is the most neglected sector. The literacy rate in Pakistan is 49.9% as of 2008. Education Policy has to be nationally developed and owned. It is simplistic and unprofitable to prepare it at the federal level and thrust upon the provinces. In Pakistan till now at least nine documents have issued that have the status of a policy. Each policy was prepared with varying degree and involvement of the federating units.
Main development Challenges
Following are the main issues and challenges in adult literacy and non-formal education:
- There is no separate budget allocation for adult literacy from total expenditures on education; the 10% is spent on other, which includes adult literacy, NFBE, teachers training, madrassahs reform, etc.
- There is a lack of a coordination b/w organizational structure and institutional mechanism for literacy.
- Due to lack of training of teachers and of formalized curriculum and non-existence of effective research in the field of literacy and continuing education the professional base of adult literacy initiatives remained under developed.
- ..Local language is being ignored or not even taught to learn basic literacy.
- ..The link between basic and post literacy is missing in existing literacy programs', which resulted in bad situation on the part of learners and teachers.
- The basic literacy need to be properly equipped with skill based post literacy programs, that support learners/teachers to go beyond reading, writing and numerous generating skills and sustainable improvement in their lives.
- In the past years due to political instability and insecurity in the country creates a big challenge for all nation.
- Public private partnership is also a not properly linked in literacy programs; it needs to be streamlined through proper facilitation and coordination.
Private sector in Education
Pakistan has highlighted some facts recently in new publications regarding primary level education sector.
- In Pakistan children rate going to private schools has rapidly growths to about 1/3rd of total
- Private schools are largely present in both urban and in rural areas.
These publications have also argued that
- In private schools the Quality of education is better than public (gauged through testing) even when one controls for income and such factors, and
- Cost of provision of this education, per child, is lower than in the public sector.
In education private investment is encouraging. At national and provincial levels there shall be regulatory bodies to regulate activities and smooth functioning of privately-managed schools and institutions of higher education through proper rules and regulations.
For setting-up of educational facilities by the private sector a reasonable tax rebate shall be granted on the expenditure. Through Education Foundations matching grants shall be provided for establishing educational institutions by the private sector in the rural areas or poor urban areas. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education existing institutions of higher learning shall be allowed to negotiate for financial assistance with donor agencies. Schools which are running on non-profit basis shall be exempted from all taxes. According to the principles laid down in the Federal Supervision of curricula, Textbooks and Maintenance of Standards of Education Act, 1976 the Curricula of private institutions must conform. In consultation with the government the fee structure of the privately managed educational institutions shall be developed.
Causes of Downfall:
There are numerous causes for the downfall of education in Pakistan which are below.
Pakistan has remained a weak economy of the world as it got nothing in its just assets that were snatched by India. The conflict between these two countries on Kashmir issue has hardly allowed the government to allocate funds in budget for other sectors while the education is not an exception in this regard. Till now just 2% of GDP is allocated for the betterment of education which is quite inappropriate to meet education demand. All the funds are not given through a proper channel and a fake audit report is generated that the funds utilization has been spent on education purposes.
Rapid growth in poverty:
According to 2002 Economic Survey Report, “Most of the inhabitants of Pakistan are poor and 40% of them live under poverty line, about 70% of its population dwells in villages. About 300,000, young ones are jobless. They have no access to good education”.
This report shows that how much difficulties and troubles have been faced by this poor and suppressed class of the country. The main occupation of people is agriculture which is yearly generated which cannot fulfill their daily and basic needs of life. It is also noted that only 1% landlords hold almost 95% of lands in Pakistan which is totally unfair. This unjust division of land creates a huge economical problem which not only for the poor but also the government.
“If you want to destroy the future of any nation, no need to wage war with them; defunct their education, they will remain no more live on the map of the world.”
still now no politician has paid attention in improving the standard of education so far, as far as the question of history of development of education in Pakistan is concerned. In case of Sindh, in early 1970s, lingual riots took place and a new cancer of copy culture was introduced and boosted up by politicians to prevail among the people. No official steps were taken in curbing this fatal disease. Now, the result is that throughout the country Sindhi students are understood the out come of copy culture and basic rights in every walk of life are denied to them, because however, they may be genius and creators but the fact remained that they lack in management and unable move the economy of the country just because they bear a title of COPY CULTURE. It was a political conspiracy based on totally bias. Being a Sindhi, I do not favour Sindhis that they are not given a proper share in different walks of life, whatever is happening to them is the only out come of wrong and misled policies which have been blindly followed up by them. Patriotism is the very hinge for all virtues, living in the same country everyone at first is Pakistani then Sindhi, Punjabee, Balochee and or Pathan, respectively. So, now it is our turn to turn a new leaf and pace with our other provincial brothers to improve the management of our beloved country Pakistan, believing in “united we stand, divided we fall”. Education has become a question of survival for us; less developed man cannot bring the change in improving the skills that are vital for the uplift of the education.
2011 is Pakistan's Year of Education.
It's time to think again about Pakistan's most pressing long-term challenge.
The economic cost of not educating Pakistan is the equivalent of one flood every year. The only difference is that this is a self-inflicted disaster.
The announcement made by the prime minister that 2011 will be the ‘Pakistan Year of Education' high lightens the future goals. The Pakistan Education Task Force has argued ever that Pakistan needs to give the highest possible to priority to education for good reasons.
Due to unavailability of education there is a no single chance that the government will reach the development goals by 2015 on education. While on the other hand, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are all on their way to achieving the same goals. As compared with India it improving education rate is ten times that of Pakistan, whereas Bangladesh's is twice that of Pakistan.
Pakistanis have a constitutional right to universal education. In the 18th Amendment it has discussed that education has become now a right and no longer a privilege as it was in past times. Article 25A give a scenario where a citizen can take the government to court for not providing them access, or even be the grounds for a suo moto action.
At current rates of progress, no person alive today will see a Pakistan with universal education as defined in our constitution. Balochistan would see it in 2100 or later.
Just one year of education for women in Pakistan can help reduce fertility by 10 per cent, controlling the other resource emergency this country faces.
There are 26 countries poorer than Pakistan but send more of their children to school, demonstrating the issue is not about finances, but will and articulating demand effectively. It is too easy, and incorrect, to believe that Pakistan is too poor to provide this basic right.
Pakistan spent 2.5 per cent of its budget on schooling in 2005/2006. It now spends just 1.5 per cent 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.
We presume the public school system is doing poorly because teachers are poorly paid, this is untrue. Public school teachers get paid 2/3rds more than their equivalent private low cost school counterparts; they earn four times that of the average parent of a child in their school. Despite this, on any given day 10-15 per cent of teachers will be absent from their duties teaching.
There is demand for education that is partly being addressed by low cost private schools, even one third of all rural children go to these schools (public schools can cost Rs.150 per month, low cost private schools the same or up to Rs.250). Despite the large presumption of the media, both domestic and international, this gap is not actually being addressed by Madrassahs. Only six per cent of students go to Madrassahs.
Education is Important in an ideological state, without which nobody can progress towards development both in personal terms as well as a nation state. Education provides the base for both social and economic development. The poor quality of educational system may be one of the most important reasons of downfall.
In Pakistan, the quality of education is on the decline because the government not uplifting the quality and quantity of education. Without teachers' transformation a nation cannot transform the education system for improving the quality of education. In this regard, a series of education reforms in the area of teacher education were introduced in the public sector but their vision seemed to be narrow, hence, they failed to make any substantial impact on the quality of teachers and teaching process.
Eventually, it further affected the quality of education being offered in schools. Education system of Pakistan is facing new challenges. It has yet to be developed at par with other developing countries in the region.