75 percent attendance in governemt schools

75 percent enrolled children attend govenment schools
Peshawar, Sep 25: Pakistan has about 184,000 primary schools, including about 121,000 government schools, an estimated 25,000 mosque schools and 38,000 private and non-formal community based schools.

According to education sources, approximately 75% of enrolled children attend government schools. The government intends to introduce core subjects at the primary, middle and secondary levels of the country's over 10,000 madrassahs.

Access to free and compulsory education is a fundamental right of children. In Pakistan education is neither free, nor compulsory, nor easily accessible to all children.

In the 50 years since its creation, the country has managed to attain a literacy rate of 45%. In 1947, the first education conference set 1967 as the target date for achieving UPE (Universal Primary Education) for the entire country, including the rural females.

This promise went unfilled and target dates were pushed forward. Many experiments were conducted in the education sector in the decades that followed, but none that led to positive results.

The two most important steps that could have revolutionized the country's education profile increasing resources and making education free and compulsory were never taken.

Budgetary allocations for education have remained consistently low. UNESCO recommends allocating 5% of the GDP to the education sector. In Pakistan it remains about 2% of the GDP, and even these meager allocations are not utilized efficiently. Actual spending is mismanaged and remains far short of the allocations.

The education sector today is afflicted by innumerable problems and putting it on track requires massive inputs in terms of planning, monitoring, material and human resources. Getting children enrolled in schools and making them stay means making schools attractive and education meaningful.

At present the state of many schools is characterized by shabby structures (in some cases no structures), little or no water and sanitation facilities, no learning material, abusive teachers (a major reason for the high rate of school dropouts), absent teachers, teachers with little or no training (in a study on the quality of teaching staff it was found that only 6 out of 10 teachers could pass a fifth grade math examination).

The level of learning that takes place in such an environment is reflected in a UNICEF report, The Realities of Girl's Lives in South Asia, according to which 66% of children who completed primary school in Pakistan could not read with comprehension and 80 % could not write a letter.

These realities are evident to even poor and illiterate parents who find sending children into the workforce a more productive contribution to their households.

According to the Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (Round 4: 2001-02), 51% of the population ten years and older has ever attended school. This proportion is much higher in urban areas (69%) than in women (36%).

The difference between the sexes is particularly large in rural areas. Punjab (54%) and Sindh (49%) have the highest proportions that have ever attended school; Balochistan (37%) has the lowest.

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Malakand toppers awarded prizes certificates
Peshawar: To encourage Education in the area, 67 position holder girls and boys of all schools of Malakand protected area have been given cash prizes and certificates.

This was stated in a press release issued here on Thursday which added that DCO Malakand Shafeer ullah Khan distributed prizes and certificates among the students at a function organized by Malakand Development Project (MDP) one student from each school, who got first position, was selected for the prizes.

The DCO distributed Rs. 280,000 among the students. Parents of the students were also attended the function. Arif Rahim who got first position throughout the district was given Rs10,000, Shadab Daud Rs8,000 for second and Zuhra Anwar got Rs6,000 for third position. Shafirullah Khan District Coordination Officer (DCO) Malakand was the Chief Guest while Mushtaq Ahmad Executive District Officer Education, Fazli Ahad Director High Secondary Schools were present on the occasion.

During the ceremony, DCO Malakand, congratulated the students and their parents for their excellent and outstanding performance in the annual examination of SSC 2009. He particularly appreciated the girls for their high achievements (84%) against boys (72%) and added that girls are naturally hard workers and are not in the habit of losing time.

He announced that next year headmaster of the top position holder at the district level would be provided an opportunity to be sent for Umrah while the student getting 1st three position will get high cash prizes. EDO Education, Mushtaq Ahmad congratulated the student and their parents. He appreciated the DCO for keen interest to improve education in the district.

He pointed out that the Education Department has nothing solid to take measures for encouragement of outstanding students and Teachers, but at the same time appreciated the MDP for providing such a golden opportunity for excellent students of the District to take benefit from. F.P Report

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Technical problems disrupt Google's Gmail
Washington: Google's Gmail suffered a disruption on Thursday, the second time in a month that the Internet giant's email service has gone down. "We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a small subset of users," the Internet giant said in a message on its App Status Dashboard, a site that monitors the performance of its online services.

"The affected users are unable to access Google Mail," Google said in the message posted at 14:29 GMT. Google provided details on the site of a workaround, which it said would allow Web users to tap into their email accounts. The disruption came three weeks after an outage, which left millions of users without the email service for more than an hour and a half. Daily times

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