Pakistan Education Statistics handbook
Education fairy tales for adults
July 2009: It seems that depending on emotions and being irrational, even in serious debate, is
not just the domain of mullahs and movie stars, but rather the
overwhelming national impulse. And when it comes to education,
well-educated Pakistanis with good intentions tend to be as emotional
and unreasonable as they come -- underscoring how deep this national
that non-state actors can address the challenges of educating the
Pakistani youth is like arguing that sticks and stones are effective
weapons in the face of nuclear war. The idea of non-state actors as the
saviours of education in Pakistan is a fairy tale, and reasonable
adults need to snap out of it.
According to the Pakistan
Education Statistics handbook, most recently available for 2006-2007,
the total number of students enrolled in all types of educational
institutions -- beginning from age three, and including students at the
university (all the way to the PhD) level is less than 37 million.
Between ages five and 19, only 27.9 million are enrolled in schools.
there are nearly 70 million kids in that age group out there, Pakistan
has 42 million kids between the ages of five and 19 that are not in any
kind of school, representing 60 per cent of all kids in that age group.
That is the total burden on the system -- private, philanthropic, NGO,
madressah, government. All the efforts combined therefore currently
address only 40 per cent of Pakistan's needs.
activities, or philanthropic, NGO and for-profit activities that seek
to educate little children are wonderful, especially when they work
well. These non-state actors can do a lot of good. At the micro-level
they really do change people's lives and at the macro-level they can
demonstrate how to do things right.
However, non-state actors
simply cannot do what is required to educate Pakistan. The scale and
scope of the education challenge can only be addressed by the state. It
doesn't matter how good reading Three Cups of Tea makes us feel, or how
good donating money to our favourite philanthropic school makes us
feel, or how good sending our children to private schools makes us
feel. The education debate cannot be about how good we feel. If we are
to spare only one area in Pakistan of our overwhelming capacity to be
emotional and irrational, it has to be education.
and most effective non-state actors do not even begin to scratch the
surface of what is needed to accommodate the 42 million Pakistani kids
that are out of school. And by adopting the unproven and ineffective
mantra of non-state solutions, we're not only getting it wrong, we're
allowing the guilty party -- the state -- to get away scot-free.
the overriding principle is that every child between five and 19 should
be in school, then the problem can be defined rather simply: the demand
for education in terms of number of kids that need to be in school far
outstrips the supply, no matter who is actually delivering it --
government school, madressah, NGO or business.
Of the almost 28
million kids that are in school, nearly 19 million, or two-thirds,
attend government schools. That means that all the non-state providers
put together (anything other than the public sector, including
madressahs, by the way) cater to only 9.1 million kids. That is 33 per
cent of all kids that are already in school. Of course, we're more
interested in the total population, i.e. every kid between five and 19
being in school. Of the total burden of 70 million kids, non-state
educational institutions are serving only 13 per cent of all kids.
Thirteen per cent is not a passing grade, not even in fairy tales.
course, establishing the need to retain public services in the
education sector -- without which 87 per cent of all kids would be left
out of school -- is not the end of the discussion; it is just the
beginning. The real challenge is to make sure that public service in
education is indeed a service, rather than a disservice. That's where
the education debate gets interesting, and where it encounters
resistance from the government and the feudal and military
The total public sector expenditure for
education across all tiers of government for the 2006-2007 budget year
was just under Rs132 billion. Forgetting for a moment that this is a
miniscule 2.2 per cent of GDP, the real untold and unspoken horror of
education in Pakistan is exactly how the Rs132 billion is spent.
the recurring expenditures in education, more than 95 per cent goes
toward teachers' salaries. While the mythology of hot and emotional
public discourse (rather than cold and rational) often laments how
poorly government teachers are treated, the facts tell an entirely
Government teachers are far better compensated
than non-state teachers. There are some egregious examples of poor pay
for private school teachers all over the country, but to demonstrate
the point, we must take the best examples within the non-state space.
Among the best examples of how to do things right is The Citizens
Foundation (TCF). As I reported last week, TCF has done an exemplary
job in establishing over 600 schools with over 80,000 students. It has
more than 4,100 wonderful and committed female teachers. The average
compensation for a TCF teacher is about Rs10,000.
government teacher salaries are dramatically higher. Researchers at the
Institute for Social and Policy Sciences in Islamabad have calculated
average primary school teachers' salaries at Rs12,000, average middle
school teachers' salaries at Rs15,000 and average high school teachers'
salaries at Rs19,000.
Many government teachers aren't just
laughing all the way to the bank, they are laughing all month long at
taxpayer expense, from the comfort of their homes. Too many of them
don't even have to show up at work to collect their salaries. And
because there is no accountability in government schools -- for showing
up, for teaching, for performance of any kind -- a government education
is not just ineffective, it is really, really expensive.
Learning Achievements in Education in the Punjab (LEAPS) study (led by
brilliant Harvard economist Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Tahir Andrabi of
Pomona College) clearly identifies the problem of teacher incentives as
a key to unlocking the public-private education disconnect. With a
lower per capita expenditure, private sector education consistently
produces better results. In fact, the LEAPS study finds that "every
additional percent correct on exams costs three times more to achieve
in government schools than in private schools".
mean the answer is to privatise education. We've already established
that the quantum of demand is so heavy that non-state actors cannot
possibly address it. The solution to the education challenge,
therefore, lies in fixing government schools and the place to start is
teachers' incentives. That task begins with the delinking public school
teachers from the Basic Pay Scale framework -- a cancerous construct
that has destroyed institutional and personal accountability in the
Those who believe that non-state solutions
can address the problems of more than 60 per cent of Pakistani children
are welcome to continue to believe in their fairy tales but the price
tag for such fairy tales is the more than Rs132 billion that the
government spends annually on a public sector system that is broken.
And beyond the money, the real price tag is the question mark over the
future of the 42 million Pakistani children that aren't even enrolled
in school. Like all good fairy tales, belief in NGO and private schools
as the solution in the education sector must be about making believers
feel good. Does it feel good?.
By Mosharraf Zaidi - The writer advises governments, donors and NGOs on public policy. He can be reached through his website www.mosharrafzaidi.com (The News)
"I read with keen interest Mosharraf Zaidi's above-titled article of
July 28. His argument, however, suffers from inconsistency and faulty
logic. First, I agree with Mr Zaidi that the challenge of educating our
children is gigantic and it certainly requires a collaborative effort
on the part of non-state actors as well as the public sector. No single
actor/sector can do it alone. Having said that, we must appreciate the
efforts being made both by the private sector and NGOs which provide
quality education — albeit at a premium. No one thinks or claims that
these two sectors can fill the existing gap in the provision of
education. I had not heard any one involved in offering education
either in the private sector or the NGO sector to make such a claim.
Actually both the sectors have a deep realisation of their own
limitations. Therefore, there is no reason for Mr Zaidi to lament it.
to the inconsistencies in Mr Zaidi's argument: first he makes the claim
that average salaries of government teachers are now dramatically
higher and to substantiate his claim he quotes certain figures. Having
taken this position late (in the second last para of his article) he
says that "the solution to education challenge is teachers'
incentives". What kind of incentives he is talking about is beyond
one's comprehension. And then he makes a rather sweeping statement by
talking about de-linking public school teachers from the basic
pay-scale framework. One fails to understand how this last point is
linked with his earlier claim of dramatically higher salaries of public
No one would deny the importance of proper
incentives for the teachers in public sector education. To me, however,
the most urgent and pronounced challenge is quality. To realise this
goal, rigorous teachers' training on ongoing basis has to be the top
priority of the government. Teachers' associations have an important
responsibility to shoulder in improving the quality of education and
encouraging continuously retooling of teachers both in their subject
matter as well as pedagogical methods. The teachers have to mould the
personality of their students by instilling in them a set of values
which will turn students into well-rounded individuals. Unfortunately,
instead of becoming a symbol of unity the teachers' associations are
divided on 'biradari' lines. I only pray that our school teachers in
the public sector where most of our children go for elementary and
secondary education will rise above ethnic considerations and instil in
their students the value of unity so essential for our future progress."
Name: Dr Zafar Qureshi
City, Country: FCC University, Lahore, Pakistan
"Reading the news about children being used as suicide bombers and with
reference to the article "Education fairy tales for adults" by
Mosharraf Zaidi (July 28), I was forced to re-visit an extremely sad
fact: for two years the media regularly reported about the systematic
destruction of schools in Swat and the public, lawyers, civil society,
NGOs, religious parties and politicians (from all sides) never
considered it a matter of concern. It is inconceivable that a society
would abandon its 'schools' for want of something else and we almost
did that as far as Swat was concerned. Just as fruits of the lawyers'
movement are something to cherish for all times to come, the fact that
we all were silent spectators as all of Swat's schools were destroyed
should haunt our nation for a long time. If 'justice' is the number one
issue of Pakistan then education should be 'zero'.
must go to school irrespective of the economic health of a country. The
state of Pakistan has a duty to provide good basic education to all its
children and all non-state factors should do the utmost to influence
the state and make it happen. Period."
Name: Dr Humayun Bashir
City, Country: Riyadh
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NWFP Technical Board announces DBA, D.Com results
Peshawar: Board of Technical Education NWFP has announced results of
part-1 and II of DBA and D. Com here on Monday.
According to the details, Osyed Khan obtained 1st position in DBA
part-1 by securing 607 marks in DBA, Anam Islam remained second by
securing 570 marks and Abdul Mohsin grabbed third position and secured
Similarly, Bilal Ahmad of Syed Ahmed Shaheed College remained 1st in
DBA partII by securing 1166 marks out of 1400, Sana Jabeen of Khyber
College of Commerce and Management grabbed second position by securing
1140 marks while Shahzad Durrani clinched third position and secured
In D. Com Part-I Muhammad Shoaib and Ansar Ahmad of the Muslim College
of Commerce and Management Peshawar remained first and second by
securing 528 and 526 marks while Farhatullah Afridi of the same college
got third position by obtaining 520 marks.
Likewise, Muhammad Taimur, Farhad Abne Shahyar and Wahab Ali Siddiqu of
the Muslim College of Commerce and Management Peshawar remained 1st,
second and third respectively in D.com Part II by grabbing 1053,1035
and 1034 marks respectively.
Announcing the results at a press conferencehere, Chairman Technical
Board Abdul Ghaffar said in all 12771 appeared in D.Com exam of whom
8431 showing 55 pass percentages. In all students of 103 colleges
participated in the examination for whom 90 examination centers were
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Teachers' training workshop commences at AAUR
Rawalpindi: To enrich teachers in understanding the
psychology of adult learning (Andragogy), diversified modes of teaching
methodology and student assessment system, a teachers' training
workshop commenced here Monday at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture
University, Rawalpindi (AAUR).
The varsity, in collaboration
with the National Academy of Higher Education (Nahe) of Higher
Education Commission is conducting the workshop that would continue
till August 22 with the purpose of competency enhancement of tertiary
The workshop's course objectives include applying
innovative teaching methods and strengthening communication skills
along with the time concept in academic planning and awareness of the
science and skill of research, testing and evaluation.
composite workshop course comprises of seven modules in the areas of
Teaching Profession, Andragogical Skills, Learning Psychology,
Curriculum & Assessment, Communication Skills, Academic Planning
& Management, and Research Methods Skills. A special component on
microteaching, combining theory and lab work, is an additional feature
of the programme. A team of well-qualified and experienced trainers
drawn from local and leading institutions of the country would
contribute to the programme.
The target group of this course
is 35 teachers working in different universities, colleges, cantonments
and garrisons, Ministry of Defence and Punjab Education Department
based in Rawalpindi.
Prof Dr Muhammad Muneer, Dean Faculty Crop
& Food Sciences AAUR, while addressing the workshop's inaugural
session as the chief guest, said our planners need to be more flexible
in providing educational structures while our teachers must adapt more
rapidly to the new styles of learning and teaching, the new
intellectual and social fabric, and new levels of skill development and
productivity. "We have to adapt a forward vision and select some of the
teaching and evaluation challenges that lie ahead of us, from planning
and management to self-evaluation at macro and micro levels," he said.
General Nahe Ms Noor Amna Malik said teaching could not be merely
confined to the classroom, and education is not a process to be
participated by only small groups of students but requires the
partaking of the whole community. "It is only when the teacher
himself/herself is able to gain an adequate insight into the problems
of the community that he/she will be able to appreciate the relevance
of educational programmes and experiment with new approaches and
innovations," she added.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Prof
Dr Azra Khanum, Director Division of Continuing Education, Home
Economics & Women Development AAUR and Course Coordinator,
elaborated the aims and objective of the workshop and hoped that it
would be fruitful for the participants. The News
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