Pak education spending at bottom in global rankings
Islamabad, June 05: Pakistan's public spending on education as a percentage to GDP continues to rank at the bottom end of global rankings, as its spending is (2.1 per cent as GDP percentage) lower than even Nepal that spends 3.2 per cent of GDP, revealed the Economic Survey-2009-2010.
With public spending on education as a percentage of GDP amongst the lowest in the chosen sample of eleven countries, the outcome with regard to literacy levels is not surprising. Within the region, only Bangladesh has a worse outcome on both indicators, spending by the public sector as well as literacy rate. The sources of the sample are World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, FBS and Ministry of Education.
Nepal spends a substantial fraction more than Pakistan on education, while its literacy is marginally higher. The survey says: in the sample, China's spending on education is not given, but its literacy is 93.7 pc; Vietnam spends 5.3 pc and its literacy rate is 92.5 pc; Iran spends 5.2 pc while its literacy rate has not been mentioned; Malaysia spends 4.7 pc and its literacy rate is 92.1 pc; Pakistan's literacy rate is 57 pc; India spends 3.3 per cent on education, whereas its literacy rate has not been mentioned.
The overall literacy rate in Pakistan (age 10 years and above) is 57 per cent (69 per cent for male and 45 per cent for female) compared to 56 per cent (69 per cent for male and 44 per cent for female) for 2007-2008, the survey noted.
The data shows that literacy remains higher in urban areas (74 per cent) than in rural areas (48 per cent) and is more prevalent for men (69 per cent compared to women (45 per cent). However, it is evident from the data that overall female literacy is rising over time, but progress is uneven across the provinces.
When analysed provincially, literacy rate in Punjab stood at (59 per cent), Sindh (59 per cent), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (50 per cent) and Balochistan (45 per cent). The literacy rate of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has improved considerably during 2007-08 and to 2008-09.
Pointing out various problems and issues in the sector, the survey noted the poor quality of existing environment is evident from the fact that a large number of schools are missing basic infrastructure i.e. 37.7 per cent schools up to elementary level are without boundary wall, 33.9 per cent without drinking water facility, 37 per cent without latrines and around 60 per cent schools are without electricity. The news
90pc govt schools lack playgrounds
Peshawar: Around 90 per cent government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have no playgrounds, depriving students of a chance to get engaged in extracurricular activities, it is learnt.
Though games are considered an integral part of education but students in government-run middle, high and higher secondary schools cannot participate in sports due to unavailability of playgrounds in most of the educational institutions.
"Most of the students usually go to playgrounds of their respective schools to play different games with schoolfellows during break hours. But if there is no playground inside or adjacent to the schools, they usually go outside schools for playing in the streets," an official of the elementary and secondary education department said.
In rural areas, he said, such students played in open spaces in graveyards or fields near the schools, which was not a proper place for sports activities.
"Sports engage a student in healthy activities which is vital for character building and diverting his attention from other actions which can negatively affect his future," he remarked.
A physical training instructor serving in a government school said that there were two reasons for not arranging sports activities in schools. First, he said, most of the schools had no playgrounds while the second reason was that school heads were unaware of the importance of physical training and games for students.
He said it was mandatory for school administrations to arrange cricket, hockey, football, basketball, volleyball and gymnastic competitions and physical training of students at the school level, but such activities were rarely taking place.
There were specific periods for physical trainings of students but principals of schools often preferred to restrict them indoors, he said. "Instead of engaging students in games and providing them physical training, they are asked to sit down silently inside the classrooms and don't make noise," he added.
Additional director of the elementary and secondary education department, Hakeemullah Khan, when contacted, confirmed that most of government schools had no playgrounds. "Keeping in view the high prices of land in the city and its outskirts it is impossible to purchase land for playgrounds because the government lacks resources," he said.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had sought funds from the federal government for establishing playgrounds at the union council level, he said.
Whenever the department launched tournaments at district and tehsil levels, playgrounds of sports boards were hired, he said.
Admission of five Salu students suspended
Khairpur: Vice-Chancellor, Shah Abdul Latif University (Salu), Dr Neelofar Shaikh suspended admissions of five students and banned with immediate effect their entry into it, including hostels.
"Zahid Hussain of BS-IV, Department of Chemistry; Shakir Ali of BCom, Part-III; Mohammad Zaman of BS (IT)-IV Department of Computer Sciences; Pervez Ali of BS (Computer Sciences) Part-III; and Majid Ali of B.Com Part I, have been suspended and their entry into campus premises banned," said a letter released by Salu registrar.
Meanwhile, activists of Jeay Sindh Students Federation and Sindh People's Students Federation-SB and other nationalist student organisations continued their token hunger strike on court road.
Khadim Sindhi and other student leaders said that the university administration has cancelled admissions of position holders and banned their entry into the campus. They called it an illegal act.
They alleged that the university administration was inefficient and demanded their removal. They vowed to continue token hunger strike till the acceptance of their demands. Dawn
National Conference at KU
Karachi: The Department of Library and Information Science, University of Karachi (KU), is organising a National Conference on "Cultural and Intellectual Heritage of Pakistan" on June 11 and 12 in the Arts Auditorium of KU. It will be a mega event where library professionals and scholars will present their research papers. The news