More than 12,700 schools non-functional: survey
More than 12,700 schools non-functional: survey
Islamabad, June 11, 2008: The Economic Survey for 2007-08 released here on
Tuesday revealed a staggering number of 12,737 non-functional public sector
educational institutions out of a total of 231,289, with Sindh having the
largest share of 58 per cent (7,387) of them.
Of these 12,737
non-functioning institutions, 11,589 are public schools while 1,148 are other
Pakistan Education Statistics 2007 suggests
that out of a total number of 231,289 educational institutions, 164,579 are in
the public sector while 81,103 are in the private sector. (The figure does not
include technical professional, vocational, polytechnic institutions, non-formal
basic education schools and deeni madaris).
About 37.8 per cent schools
in the public sector are without boundary walls, 32.3 per cent without drinking
water, 56.4 without electricity, 40.5 per cent without latrines and 6.8 per cent
without even buildings.
Considering higher percentage of population as
majority of these institutions are in rural areas, the availability of basic
facilities are inadequate, the survey noted and called for providing the missing
facilities to such institutions. It also highlighted the need for reducing
current imbalances of school facilities at various levels in different
About physical infrastructure of educational institutions, the
survey said 83 per cent public schools are housed in government buildings while
5.7 per cent in rent-free buildings. In contrast, private institutions are
predominantly situated either in rented buildings (43.1 per cent) or owned (42.8
per cent) buildings or 11.6 per cent in rent-free accommodations.
survey revealed that 5.7 per cent buildings that housed educational institutions
were in dangerous conditions with most of them in Balochistan. Rest of the 51.6
per cent buildings are in satisfactory conditions but 42.7 per cent need major
or minor repairs.
It said the role of public sector is more dominant in
promoting education than the private sector. The share of public schools is also
higher in rural areas.
The survey highlighted the need for enhancing the
role of the private sector by providing incentives and introducing innovative
schemes like education vouchers to encourage healthy competition between public
and private sector to help improve both the quantity and quality of
At the primary level, the public sector dominates with 86 per
cent primary schools as compared to 14 per cent in the private sector. At the
middle level, only 37 per cent schools are in the public sector as compared to
63 per cent in the private sector.
However, at the vocational or
polytechnics level, the share of private sector is higher (70 per cent) than the
public sector. Almost all the deeni madaris (97 per cent) are in the private
The survey said deeni madaris reform programme was initiated by
the previous government with the introduction of formal education in 8,000
seminaries to mainstream them through grants, salaries to teachers, cost of
textbooks, teacher training and equipment. According to the survey, literacy
rate in Pakistan has improved in recent years at a moderate pace and the overall
literacy rate (10 years and above) has been increased to 55 per cent in 2006-07
(67 per cent for males and 42 per cent for females) as compared to 54 per cent
in 2005-06. Literary remains higher in urban areas (72 per cent) than in rural
areas (45 per cent) and more among men (67 per cent) compared to women (42 per
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QAU closing MSc American Studies programme
Islamabad: Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South America of the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) has decided
to close MSc in Political Science and American Studies programme this year,
though it has been popular among students since it inception in 2002, officials
They said no new admissions would be called in this
programme after completion of the current session. They said it was strange that
the relevant authorities came to know that they had no mandate to run an MSc
programme at the centre after about six years.
They said the authorities
were of the view that the centre was meant for only MPhil and PhD programmes.
However, Dr Rasool Bux Rais, who had designed the programme, said on
telephone that the programme proved very helpful to put out talented students
for MPhil and PhD classes. He said, "It is pity that the programme is being
closed instead of merging it with an independent department to continue its
valuable service. The authorities are unable to retain capable teachers and this
has resulted in it implementing such a destructive initiative."
He said he
got the programme approved from the QAU board of governors (BOG) after three
years of constant efforts. The programme, he said, meant to provide an
opportunity for better studies to students coming from all over the country. He
said, "The authorities are unable to retain capable teachers at the centre that
has resulted into taking such a destructive initiative."
He said the BOG was
fully authorised to approve any programme and it was irrational to close a
successful programme on account of 'mandate'. Official sources said the
programme was beneficial as it had produced very competent students, some of
whom passed CSS examination with distinction. They said only five out of 50
students were once enrolled in the programme due to shortage of teachers. A
senior official said, "The programme is being closed due to poor policies and
lack of sincerity on part relevant authorities."
Around 300 students have
obtained degrees of MSc in Political Science and American Studies so far, he
said. He said, "United States Education Foundation (USEF) has offered students
visits to the US so that they can gain a better understanding of the area in
which they are studying, but the director refused this offer, claiming that
students might not come back."
He said the authorities could have merged the
programme into that of International Relations instead of closing it. He said
four lecturers and assistant professors had been appointed for the project and
their fate was now hanging in balance besides the students who would have
benefited from the programme.
Dr Nauman Sattar, a faculty member of the Area
Study Centre for Africa, North and South America, said the programme for MSc in
Political Science and American Studies had been abolished following orders of
the BOG. He said, "The board has ordered that the centre does not have the
mandate to run the programme and it should only continue its research work." He
said the programme was very helpful to produce talented students for M Phil and
PhD programmes. Daily Times
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