Pakistan primary education, 3 out of 5 are Illiterate

Primary education declines by 3pc
Lahore, July 17, 2008: Pakistan is perhaps one such state among 200 countries on the global map wherein percentage of primary education has declined to the extent of 3 per cent during the last decade. According to studies conducted by the World Bank, three out of five persons in Pakistan cannot read and write. Pakistan is at No 132. In the literacy chart, literacy in Punjab is below 46 per cent and eight million children between ages of 5 to 9 are deprived of primary education while 40 per cent of Punjab population up to the age of 14 years consists of children - of them 50 per cent do not go to schools.

The children population of less than 18 years of age in Pakistan is 70 million. As many as 20.60 million are of less than 5 years, and almost 20.30 million below the age of 18 years do not go to schools. The total strength of schools in Pakistan is 2,60,0095 out of which 1,44,724 are in the public sector. The total strength in these schools consists of 30.33 million children.

The number of primary schools in Pakistan do not exceed beyond 1,25,000 where capacity for admission is minimal. The lack of facilities in government schools force the parents to send their children to private schools where they have to pay higher expenses, which inflict a heavy toll on the domestic budget of families while their children do not get quality education.

According to a UNESCO report, " Education For All -EFA Global Report, 45 per cent children leave the primary school without qualifying 5th class examination due to missing facilities both at the school and at their doorstep.

A human development report 2008 of the federal government says that one out of 40 schools do not have boundary wall, 1/5th are without electricity and drinking water facility and 1/4th do not have any class room furniture, 1/7th do not have lavatories. Hundreds of schools can be termed as ghost schools as teachers are getting salaries but the institutions do not exist anywhere. Hundreds of primary schools in the peripheral areas are used for livestock.

According to a study conducted by Education Executive Club and presented at the Pakistan National Forum special session held recently on primary education, the rupees two billion amount allocated to upgrade schools in the total of Rs 30 billion earmarked for education in 2008-09, the primary schools will get little share. Consequently, the children will continue to sit on jute mats and under the open sky. No new school will be opened in Punjab during the current budget period.

Your Comments
"I just wanted to say that FPSC is not playing its key role perfectly because I could not get my letter and could not prepare my self for the test held on 25th of june and i just appeared on the spot so i am realy very disappointed."
Name: iram nazir
City, Country: lahore , pakistan

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Why is education bad?
Dera Ismail Khan: The situation of education in Pakistan is rather somber. At the very basic level, there is no effective management and a complete absence of check and balance. Absence of a strong monitoring process, spineless administration, political interference in postings and transfers and the flawed values of faculty make the system rotten. The most prized posts in the education department i.e., ADEO, Dy: DEO, DEO and EDO are filled with a nod from the powers that be. The blue-eyed incumbents, who take up these prized posts, are able to maintain liaison with the elite ruling the roost. These appointees, as a token of indebtedness, operate at the beck and call of their benefactors.

The system works on the basis of favouritism and patronage which leads to high burn-out among the worthy and efficient workers. The ultimate outcome of appointing unworthy to these posts is general laxity and corruption. That in turn leads to ghost schools, absenteeism in the institutions and blatant cheating in the examination. The harmful effects of such appointments can be averted by employing the platform of Public Service Commission for filling up key posts in the education department.

Saifullah Khan Mainkhel (The Nation)

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