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The Formal Education System Of Pakistan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 4512 words Published: 4th May 2017

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Education is the run way of learner on where he can face the challenges of the world as well as the society. It plays a vital role to set moral, social and economic standards of any nation and has a very strong effect on thoughts, believes and planning of future polices of a country. Education is a nation building and globally inter-related activity that unlocks the door to modernization.

Education is the right of every child and it is the responsibility of the State to provide educational facilities to each and every child. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (as cited in National Education Policy, 1998-2010) states, “Everyone has the right to education”.

The quality education is a necessary and inevitable agent for change as education is a process of civilization and development. Recent evidence of a substantial link between quality of schooling and individual productivity suggests that, from an economic efficiency perspective, quality aspects of education deserve attention. According to the Imran (2011), the concept of quality in every field is complex in nature, elements, components, and in every respect. Quality is the most respectable but the slipperiest term in the field of education. Sometimes it is used in evaluative sense, for example as a scale of goodness. Sometimes it is implied to seek some unique characteristics. The quality in education refers to the standard of management, educational facilities, curriculum, methods of teaching, students, exanimation system, teaching staff etc. Secondary education holds central position in an educational system of every country, as it is a terminal stage for most of students and it also serves as a linkage between elementary stage and higher education. As it provides input for higher education and therefore quality of higher education is dependent upon secondary education (AIOU, 1997).

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Secondary education (IXXII) is an important sub-sector of the entire educational system. It provides the middle level work force for the economy on one hand and on the other it acts as a feeder for the higher level of education. Higher education, which produces quality professionals in different fields, is based on the quality of secondary education. Therefore, this level of education needs to be revamped in such a way that it may prepare young men and women for the pursuit of higher education as well as may also prepare them to adjust in their practical lives meaningfully and productively (GOP, 1998)

Developed nations have economic and political constancy due to their organized structure for education. On the other hand, quality of education is poor at all levels in developing and under developed countries. Underdeveloped countries like Pakistan need proper changes in their educational systems according to the requirements of their society and to achieve their national objectives. The standard of education or quality of education is very low in Pakistan. Without improving quality of education, we cannot keep pace with the modern era. Keeping this issue in view it was the need of the day to compare the quality of secondary school education in public and privately managed schools to the factual position. Iqbal (1987) reported that students in developing countries have a low mean level of achievement compared to industrial countries and their performance shows a much greater variation around the mean. According to a report of the World Bank (1999), the main things which governments can do to improve the quality of education are setting standards, supporting inputs to improve, achievements, adopting flexible strategies for the acquisition and use of inputs, and monitoring performance. Generally the steps are not taken because of the weight of the existing education speeding and management practices. Learning process requires five inputs: the student with learning capability, subject or information to be transferred, teacher having command on the subject, time for learning, and tools for teaching and learning.

Secondary education holds a key position as it is the terminal stage for the majority of students. The largest number of educated manpower in Pakistan is available at this stage. The economists believe the secondary education to be a backbone of the economy while the sociologists consider it is an effective weapon of social reforms. It can be said that the secondary education is strongly related with the economic progress and social welfare of the country (Ali, 1970).

Two main sectors working side by side in the field of secondary education are private and government sector in Pakistan. National Education Policy (1979) identified that private sector plays an important role in the development of education in a country. It helps both in the qualitative improvement and expansion. Private sector bears a good deal of expenditures burden on this important social cause even in the most advanced countries. In a country like Pakistan where the population growth rate is about 3 percent, annually and only about 20 percent of the existing children are in the secondary schools, the support of the private sector is badly needed to share this huge burden. Government alone cannot build and run all the schools required for this purpose

Objectives of the study

This study seeks to compare the quality of education of public and private schools of Gujranwala and the objectives of study were as:

To compare the results of their students who appeared in boards’ examination.

To compare the quality of education in terms of physical facilities and infrastructure qualities.

To compare the ability of teachers.

To compare their fee and salary structure.

To compare their educational processes.

Significance of the study

Quality education includes € Learners, Environments, Content, Processes and Outcomes (UNICEF, 2000). Government sector is unable to accommodate the needs of rapidly growing population. No one can deny the importance of private sector. Different studies have highlighted the deficient quality of private sector. This study endeavors to identify the quality of learning environment and infrastructure in public and private schools. The results of this study will be immense help to the parents, students and general public in the identification of the quality of public and private schools.

This study will also be imperative for planners and policy makers to enhance the quality of education and provide basis for reforms in education to overcome all weaknesses of public and private schools by incorporating all the superior aspects of both sectors.

Problem statement

The researcher aims to draw the comparison the standards of public and private secondary schools of Gujranwala in terms of quality of education.

Research Questions or Hypothesis

Q1: How can we compare quality of education in terms of quality of physical facilities and infrastructure?

Q2: What is the difference of fee structure of public and private schools?

Q3: What is the difference of salary package of the teachers of public and private schools?

Q4: What is the difference of qualification of teachers of public and private schools?

Q 5: What is the difference of difference of job tenure of public and private schools?

Q6: What is the difference of qualification of principals of public and private schools?

Q7: What is the difference of professional qualification of teachers and principals of public and private schools?



In this chapter, a detailed review of accessible literature on the quality of secondary education in Pakistan has been presented along with a critical review of the related research has also been presented at the end.

Role of Education

Education is a powerful driving force which drives mental, physical, ideological and moral preparation of an individual, so at the same time it facilitate them to have full consciousness of an instrument for their spiritual development along with the material fulfillment of human beings. With- in the context of Islamic – perception, education is an instrument for developing the attitude of individuals in accordance with the value of righteousness which helps to build a sound Islamic society (Govt. of Pakistan, 1998).

Education plays an important role in human resource development as it increases the output, competence of individuals and produces expert manpower that is capable of leading the economic development. Importance of Education for human resource development does not need any justification. The developed countries give highest priority to education; same is the case with the developing countries. The constitution of Pakistan defines education as one of the fundamental rights of a citizen as well as constitutional commitment of the government accepts to provide access to education to every citizen (Govt. of Pakistan, 2000).

Formal Education System of Pakistan

“The Government of Pakistan shall provide free and compulsory education to maximum children of the state. It might be determined by law.” (Govt. of Pakistan, 1972).

The purpose of education is to eliminate the poverty and to improve the social behavior. Education enhances the social and ethical development. In formal education system, there are number of stages.


The age-group for the pre-schooling is 3 to 5 years (before one class, in Public schools Kachi class and in private schools. Play group /nursery/ prep).

Primary Schooling

The age-group for primary is 5 to 9 years (Class 1 to 5).

Middle Schooling

The age-group is 10 to 12years (Class 6 to 8).

Secondary Education

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education [BISE] conducts the examination (Class 9 & 10).

Higher Secondary/Intermediate Education

BISE awards the certificate of Higher Secondary School Education (HSSC) (Class 11 & 12).

Higher Education

Four years education after Higher Secondary Education is considered as higher education. Two years for Bachelor’s degree and further 2 years for Master’s degree. BS honors is also equal to this degree. M. Phil and PhD programs are also further advancement after the completion of master degree.

Academy of Educational Planning and Management (2010-11) reported the detailed analysis of education system in Pakistan.

Source: Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Govt. of Pakistan (2010)

Figure 2.1: Structure of education Sector in Pakistan

Education system of Pakistan is comprised of 270,825 institutions and is facilitating 40,926,661 students with the help of 1,507,100 teachers. The system is composed of 194,151 public institutions and 76,674 private institutions. The public sector is serving 26.63 million students to complete their education while the remaining 13.96 million students are in private sector of education (AEPM, 2010-11).

Importance of Secondary Education

It is a true fact that destiny of a nation is shaped in the classrooms which implies that education is the main source of progress and development. It can be said without any hesitation that education can be mostly responsible for the future of Pakistan. Through education, nation building process for the future citizens of the country can take place. As soon the education molds students, country will be molded. From this point of view, a lot of responsibilities lie with the educationist for quality education. Therefore, the education must be qualitative so that the students may develop necessary knowledge, attitude and skills to perform their duties effectively. It is in this context that quality education becomes the most important element to enhance the quality of life in any country. It is so worthwhile to raise some issues in this regard and think of their solution (AEPM, 2010-11).

In the earlier period of Pakistan, the highest priorities were literacy and numeracy in the schools. But later, personal growth with the communication skill, skill for social living, problem-solving skill and co-ordination of physical and mental skills got attention and importance by the society. Schools contribute its role in a vibrant way through the curriculum. Secondary schools develop the ability of reasoning, proper use of language, social and emotional constancy in the students. Secondary education plays a major role to produce realistic and skillful students.

Secondary education in all over the world recognized as an important level. The quality of higher education is depended upon the quality of this stage. This is the crucial age of adolescence for youth (AEPM, 2010-11).

In Italy higher secondary schools ware called “court schools”. In England these types of schools were named “Grammar Schools”in1510.In USA first junior “Inter collage” came into being in California in 1907. In Pakistan, secondary education consists of four classes IX to XII. These are called secondary and higher secondary. In Pakistan higher secondary schools were established in 1954-55 (Shahzad, 2007).

According to the National Education Policy (1979), the education system consists of three levels as:

Elementary Education: I to VIII

Secondary Education: IX to XII

Higher Education: XIII and so on (Govt. of Pakistan, 1979).

Five Year Plans and Secondary Education

Eight Five Years plans were presented by Government of Pakistan for the betterment of education in Pakistan.

The First Five-Year Plan (1955-60)

According to the First Five-Year Plan (1955-60), the main objectives of secondary education were to introduce diversified courses in commerce, agriculture and technical subjects, to improve the quality and to increase the number of secondary schools. With the help of repetition of history and ideology of Pakistan, character building can be possible at secondary level. Mathematics and science are compulsory subjects for individual’s career. 15 schools will be upgraded to high level. 75 new public schools will be opened. Grants-in-aid will be given to 100 privateschools.500 middle and 100 high schools will be improved by adding science courses. Enrollment in high schools increased from 0.109 million in 1955 to 0.149 million in 1960 (Memon, 1986).In this plan the more emphasis on the quantity rather than quality. The Second Five Year Plan (1960-65)

The main objectives of the second five year plan are integration of middle classes in higher secondary schools, diversification of courses, guidance programmers, opening of residential schools, and increment of enrollment of secondary education (Iqbal, 1993). During the Plan 160 high schools were opened with all physical facilities. 103 middle schools were up-graded to high schools.

According to Hussain (2003), “the program for secondary education proposed in the plan will increase the enrollment by 430.000 students at this level.” The plan makers emphasized on quantity only and nobody was concerned about the quality of education provided to the students.

The Third Five-Year Plan (1965-70)

Iqbal (1993) defines the objectives of the third five year plan. The main objectives of secondary education are middle stage would be compulsory, development of educational facilities, upgrading of middle schools to high schools, emphasis on science and mathematics, to produce skillful nation, and change the curriculum from general education to development of agricultural, commercial and administrative skills. Policy maker did not focus the quality of education. Student’s enrollment was the centre of attention.

Non- Plan Period (1970-78)

According to the Iqbal (1993) that during non-plan period, the main objectives of secondary education were to narrow down the difference between schools with the help of comprehensive curriculum, to achieve an enrollment ratio of 40:60 between science and arts programmes and consolidation of exiting secondary schools.

According to Govt. of Pakistan (1970), “At the high stage (Class IX and X) enrollment is proposed to be increased by: 35 million against an enrollment of 77 million at the end of third Plan.”

Fifth Five-Year Plan (1978-83)

The fifth plan is very important in the regard of secondary education. There was a prominent change in education of quantity to quality. Curricula reform aimed at addition of job orient training in secondary education. 195 Science laboratories were constructed. The plan provides the agro- technical courses in 874 schools (Memon, 1986). Maintenance and improvement of facilities in all secondary schools would be compulsory. Although the necessity and importance of secondary education was accepted in all stakeholders, but later administrators neglected the said measures.

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The Sixth Five-Year Plan (1983-88)

Education is very necessary for the development of a society. Without education, no one has ever been uplift himself and never help provide economically benefits to his nation. In according to sixth plan Mathematics, Urdu, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies and Science subjects were the compulsory subjects. Special focus on mathematics and science was indispensable for all students at secondary education (Govt. of Pakistan, 1983). Quantity of high schools would be increased to 5530 and 1073 middle schools to be up-graded (Memon, 1986).

The Seventh Five-Year Plan (1988-93)

The education system suffers from critical condition. Forty percent of the children do not have access to education. According to Govt. of Pakistan (1988), “The seventh plan strategy was to increase the literacy rate through improvement and expansion of primary education as well as to motivate the private sector to play an active role. While it was estimated that the literacy rate will rise to about 40 percent by 1992-93, the infrastructure created during the seventh plan was expected to yield a literacy rate of 80 percent by end of the century.”

The seventh plan will be expand the secondary education facilities. The curriculum at secondary level will be changed. For the improvement of quality of education in secondary schools, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree holder teachers will be appointed. A small hostel for students will be provided to secondary schools. One model school for boys and one for girls will be launched in each district for the improvement of quality (Hussain, 2003).

Eighth Five Year Plan (1993-98)

Education is fundamental right of every child. To fulfill the need of quantity, schools ignored the quality and a large number of educational institutions were opened without proper infrastructure. According to Govt. of Pakistan (1993), “Facilities for secondary education will be extended to absorb the increased output from primary schools. For this purpose, about 2.4 million additional seats in classes VI to X will be created by upgrading primary and middle schools, establishing new high schools and adding classrooms in the existing schools. Construction of additional classrooms and improvement of the existing buildings of schools will also be carried out. In urban areas, second shift will be introduced in secondary schools wherever feasible.”

Private sector will be appreciated for the partnership to raise the enrollment at the secondary level. Curriculum will be revised for better quality. Science laboratories will be provided with better-trained teachers (Govt. of Pakistan, 1993).

Hussain (2003) evaluated that “The eighth national five year plan will encourage in spread of quality educational institutions to the remote areas of the country. Till the end of the Eighth plan, each district will have a model school for boys and each division will have such an institution for girls in the public or private sector. Private sector will be encouraged to establish the quality education institutions. Government will establish model schools only in districts where such institutions do not exist under public or private sector”

National Education Policies in Pakistan

Secondary education was discussed in all National Policies of Pakistan.

Report of Commission on National Education (1959)

On 30th December, 1958 the Government of Pakistan appointed a commission. The function of this commission is to analyze all the previous reports and all ongoing educational movements of the country. The commission recognized secondary education as a separate academic unit. The commission also suggested that the secondary education should be divided into three stages (6 to 12). Urdu, science and mathematics should be taught as compulsory subjects. Results should be complied on the performance of the students. Science labs and libraries should be provided in all secondary schools (Govt. of Pakistan, 1959).

The Education Policy (1972-1980)

On 15th March, 1972 the president of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto presented the Educational policy 1972-1980. He expressed that the education system was rendered by the cream of the crop in Pakistan. The government allocated very low budget for the education. The purpose of education should produce the nation with religious views, traditions and culture. Education system divided into four stages of primary secondary, college and university. According to Memon (1986),

“Secondary Education should not be abstract endeavor but must relate to the employment opportunities. The secondary education may provide for progressive integration of general and technical education. The enrollment in arts subjects may be restricted to the existing level and significant increase should be made in science and agro technical education”

National Education Policy, 1979

Secondary education was recognized as a terminal stage of students in the National Education Policy, 1979. The quality of higher education is based on the quality of secondary education. Elementary, secondary and university education are three levels of Pakistan’s education system s. Physical facilities such as science labs, and libraries would be provided to the secondary schools. Curriculum should be upgraded. Mathematics would be compulsory subject. One thousand middle schools will be upgraded to high schools and 200 new schools would be opened. New teachers would be appointed (Ghaffar, 2003).

Board of Intermediate and Secondary would be held the examination system at secondary level. Estimated required budget was Rs. 8,073 million for secondary education (Govt. of Pakistan, 1979).

National Education Policy 1998-2010

In the view of National Education Policy 1998-2010, secondary education has played significant role in the whole education system. It enhances the work force for the economy and produce feeder the higher levels of education. The quality of higher education is based upon the quality of secondary education (Govt. of Pakistan, 1998).

The policy makers had pointed out some weakness in the secondary education such as:

No attraction for the investor.

Unplanned expansion and irrational distribution of schools.

Existence of science and mathematics teachers had not been valued.

Technical and vocational education at secondary level remained a controversial issue.

Physical facilities and textbooks were insufficient.

The following steps were identified in the policy for the achievement of the objectives of secondary education in the country:

New model secondary school would be opened.

Definite vocation at secondary level would be introduced.

Revision of curriculum would be compulsory.

Multiple text books would be introduced at secondary level.

In-service and pre-service teachers training programmes would be arranged.

Project method of teaching would be initiated at secondary level.

Education service commission would be established

Salary structures of teachers would be based on qualification.

Education card would be provided to needy students (Ghaffar, 2003).

The secondary level input rate is 32 percent which will be raised to 48 percent. According to Govt. of Pakistan (1998), “Curriculum at secondary stage will be based on two principles. First, at it will provide a compulsory core of subjects give every pupil the knowledge useful for a developing society. Second, it will include additional subjects and training to prepare the students of a definite career. Curricula for secondary stage (IX- XII) shall be revised with a view to stimulate problem solving, independent thinking and in the light of other objectives outlined above.

National Plan of Action 2001-2005

Technical education was offered in Matriculation as subject. Its main purpose was to prepare students for the practical life. After completing their secondary education, they could choose the work. National Plan of Action [NPA] had target to established 1,100 technical high schools in the country. The main objectives of NPA were to emphasis on education of women, to enhance participation of society and to promote the quality education. Quality improvement and school effectiveness had been given fundamental importance. The main quality inputs were also pointed out in the National Plan of Action 2001-2005. National Education Assessment System (NEAS) was introduced (Govt. of Pakistan, 2003).

National Education Policy 2009

The reviewed process for the National Education Policy 1998-2010 was shaped in 2005 named “White Paper”. This White Paper became the basis of New Policy and finalized in March 2007.The secondary school system prepares young people for life. Providing skills to the labor market and providing input to the higher education are two important roles of secondary education. Access at secondary schools in Pakistan is low in comparison to other countries.

Average ratio of secondary to primary school is 1: 6 in Pakistan, but in different parts of the country, it is 1:13(Govt. of Pakistan, 2009).

Following steps will be taken for the improvement of secondary education in Pakistan:

Provision shall be expanded specially in those locations where the ratio of Secondary schools is low.

Student financial support shall be increased.

Students shall introduce more student-centre pedagogies.

Availability of counseling facilities for the students.

Life Skills-Based Education (LSBE) shall be promoted.


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