LOW LEVEL OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN:
Reasons and policy implication
Education is the basic need of human to live like the human. It is the main thing which distinguishes between humans (literate and illiterate people). Education tells the way how to live a better life? How to communicate others? How can we achieve our goals? etc. But when we talk about the developing countries, we become shocked about their conditions. Pakistan is also a developing country in the world. But its education level is so poor according to other developing countries such as China, India, Malaysia & Singapore and so on. So talking about education in Pakistan we have to take a brief study of way of education, teaching methods, reading languages, students understanding, fulfillment of modern education, participation in world educated countries, learning from education, practical use of education, causes of low level of education, and such type of other things which effect education. After this all study which was based upon literature and history of education ratio in Pakistan, so we have designed a questionnaire for taking samples from different sectors and made a conclusion from this research and also suggest that how we can improve our education and become a literate country. Our main purpose of this research is to point the reason that why we are lacking in literacy rate from other developing countries and how we can improve it. As education plays an important role in the growth of any country so findings of this research are most important for us.
By definition, a person having the ability to read and write is known as educated or literate. Better education gives confidence, good character and knowledge and helps the people to earn a job with better salaries. An educated person can avail all opportunities for life and able to compete for the challenges of life and as well as world. Education plays a very important role in the growth of the economy. Society is also taking effects of education e.g. educated people to make a society better, admirable, ideal for others against it the society of uneducated or illiterate people has social problems e.g. disrespect, detestation, crimes, enmity, brutality etc. Nations with high literacy rate can make solutions for their problem and also search for new inventions but illiterate nations depend upon others for solutions of their problem. As in Islam basic education is necessary for all (men or women). So we can say that education is vital for a nation to overcome their problems and to achieve new goals with moral thoughts, better planning and efficiently.
When we talk about the education system in Pakistan, it has been divided into 5 categories or stage.
· Primary Education (KG to 5th class)
· Middle Education (6th to 8th class)
· SSC(Secondary School Certificate) (9th and 10th / Matric)
· HSSC (Higher Secondary School Certificate) (11th and 12th)
· Degree / University Programs
Pakistan has two regions of education.
Education is one of the basic rights of human. It plays a vital role in the progress of a country. It is a key of success to development of economy. It also has a great impact upon political and social development. Education is the major focus of any country at present. High educated countries have good stability even socially, economically and politically. Education level is low in Pakistan due two main reasons:
· Economic Reasons
· Social Reasons
As Pakistan is developing country so there are many economic issues which effecting Education in Pakistan such as Poverty is the main cause of low literacy rate. About 40% people living beneath the poverty line in Pakistan. Even they don’t have resources to fulfill their basic needs such as food, water, shelter etc. Income is much low to support their families so their children are not able to earn primary education. So to fulfill their needs people prefer children to work and they can easily meet criteria of basic needs.
In social causes main is the gender discrimination. Due to low education people has lack of awareness and they believe that no education for girls. As a result a large number of women remain uneducated, which reflect in overall literacy rate of Pakistan. So in poor families, they become able to educate their one or few of children than they prefer boys to learn. The literacy gap between male and female was 24% in 1998 and at present it is 55%. Education is much expensive for poor people. In rural areas people restrict female in houses and not educate them because of less knowledge and misinformation about religion and dated thinking.
There are other reasons also present which effects education level of Pakistan. The most important is the quality of education, education environment, syllabus, teaching abilities and practical facilities etc.
Main reason of choosing such topic is to highlight the key problems of low level education in Pakistan. Even it is the main focus Pakistan Govt. But if we take a view of last few years in education improvement is very low or unacceptable. As low education causes other social crimes, such as disrespect, intolerance, fights and so on. Our main purpose is to highlight the lack areas which cause low level of education and to design a path to solve these issues and make education attractive to our society.
Literacy Rate of Pakistan:-
Literacy rate at national level:-
Primary Education (Age 5-9 yrs)
Secondary Education (Age 14-15 yrs)
Youth Literacy (Age 15 yrs and above)
Literacy Rate 2011-12 provincial level:-
(Age 5-9 yrs)
Secondary Education (Age 14-15 yrs)
(Age 15 yrs and above)
As education is basic right of human so in developing countries it is one of the major challenges of developing countries as well as in Pakistan. Pakistan has lowest education among developing countries.
Sabina Qureshi (2004):-
In her study, she discussed some major aspects of low education in Pakistan.
· In society of Pakistan woman play a traditional role, which is motherhood, housewife or work at home. She has restrictions to go outside home. A narrow thinking is that education is only for boys not for girls. Another reason of this resistance is unsafe traveling, inadequate school physical infrastructure and lack of female teachers.
· A huge number of students leave school before completing their primary education. Average years of schooling are 1.3 and 3.8 years for girls and boys accordingly.
· Three system of education including English medium, urdu medium and madrassah system creating confusion for people. In most public sector schools instruction medium is in urdu. Some English medium school offers better education but it s=is much expensive. Madrassah system offers only religious education. In urban and rural areas urdu medium and madrassah both have lack of teaching facilities.
· Pakistan has not any monitoring system which evaluates the education system of Pakistan. As a result various new education projects and schemes become failure.
· Budgetary allocations for education sector were very low. This was less than 2 % of GDP. To achieve the goals of education at least 4% of the GNP needs to be allocated for education.
Munir Ahmed (2005):-
In his study, he concluded that Pakistan was facing serious challenge of low literacy rate. Most of districts had more than 80 % illiteracy rate. It was highest among rural and tribal areas. A number of projects launched in different parts of country. Few were successful and remaining failure. Main points to meet this challenge were:
· Increase awareness of importance of education among people.
· Setting up a system for informal and formal education.
· Setting up a better management system for information system.
· Mobilization of NGOs.
· Increase research and training facilities
In this way we can improve our education.
In his study, he discussed the education crises of Pakistan and South Africa. He was the “South African Minister for Basic Education”. He had estimated that 80% of schools are not functioning, while Pakistan was in worst condition because half the adults and two thirds of the women were illiterate, which was not obvious to meet Millennium Development Goals on education. While against it South Africa has invested heavily in education. There is plenty of guilt to go around. Teachers are insufficient, holding low salaries, absent from job and have less knowledge. They had got a new solution, which was a low fee private schools by local entrepreneurs.
Ghulam Rasool Memon(2007):-
In his study, he concluded that a low quality educational system is a most important reason why poor countries do not grow. In Pakistan, the quality of education was very poor. The government had initiated strong measures in uplifting the quality and quantity of education. At that time quality of teachers especially at primary level was questionable. We cannot transform better education system without qualified teachers. To achieve this, many reforms were introduced in area of teaching but their vision seemed to be narrow. Hence,
These reforms were not effective to make any significant impact on the quality of teachers and teaching process. Against it, these reforms further affected the quality of education.
Dr. Munawar Mirza(2004):-
In his study, he concluded the following conclusions:
· At that time, educational policies and plans were reflecting to increase of gender equality. However, the concept of gender equality was narrow sense by various participants.
· The textbooks were developed on the bases of National prospectus provided by the Ministry of Education. In the prospectus mentioned the concepts, constructs the activities as themes or enlists the personalities. Out of enlisted personalities women are only 7.7%.
· The female working as an author and in textbook production was approximately one quarter of each of the relevant categories. The boards have no policy to support females, who want to participate as authors.
United Nations Millennium Development Goals categorically presses the need for provision of primary education to all. But the situation of education in Pakistan is distrustful/ doubtful. We have just 55% literacy rate, which is questionable but the quality of that education is also low. To understand the education system of Pakistan in response to UN’s MDGs, we have considered a model of supply of education. As Education management system in Pakistan is decentralized so each province has its own education policies to achieve the target of universal primary education. Each province has taken actions to achieve the above target:
The Government of Punjab adopted the National Plan of Action of Education for All and the National Education Policy. The education system in Punjab is different at primary level. There are different kinds of institutions, conveying education to the common people.Net Enrollment Rate in Punjab is 61.83% (PSLM 2010-11).In order to increase education:
· The government provided free text books in the public schools.
· Punjab Education Sector Reform Program (PERSP) has also been introduced to improve quality of education.
To improve education in Sindh following reforms were done:
i) SERP (Sindh Education Reform Program). The SERP planned to achieve:
· Increase school participation
· Reduce gender and rural-urban disparities
· Increase evolution and improve the measurement of student learning
As a result of these policies Net Enrollment Rate in primary schools according to PSLM 2010-11 reached 53%.
In Baluchistan, Education Sector Reforms prepared in 2001. “Baluchistan Action Plan” incorporates the adoption of the two important sub-sets of national policy on education
· The National Curriculum 2006
· The National Textbooks Policy 2007
According to PSLM 2010-11, NER in primary schools of Baluchistan was 47%.
In KPK, data on the national policy was unavailable however from the data of the number of educational Institutions, students enrolled and their teachers for the years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 we can say that a marginal increase in education. The Madrassah or Mosque schools were also providing primary education in KPK. All of these policies focus on increase education but target has not achieved yet. There are many reasons may attribute to this such as:
· low public investment as budgetary allocations for education have remained under 2 % of GDP
· low enrollment rates caused by very high drop rates and high growth in population
· Lack of quality, teachers availability, access to schools, significance of education primary level to life and parental attitudes especially in case of girls are some other factors.
· Access to school is a critical issue in Baluchistan because transportation facilities are less.
Education Policy 2015:
Free and universal primary education by 2015 and up to class 10 by 2025
The allocation for education would be 7% of the national GDP by 2015
The Literacy rate will be enhanced to 86% by 2015
A common curricular framework shall be applied to educational institutions in both the public and the private sector
The level of public-sector schools will be lifted to match the level of good private schools (The deadline for the task was 2010)
The curriculum from Class 1 onward shall comprise of English (as a subject) Urdu, one regional language and mathematics, along with an integrated subject
English shall be employed as the medium of instruction for sciences and mathematics from class IV onwards
For 5 years Provinces shall have the option to teach mathematics and science in English or Urdu/ official regional language, but after five years the teaching of these subjects shall be in English only
Deeni Madaris (Islamic Schools) shall be mainstreamed by introducing contemporary studies alongside the curricula of Deeni Madaris to enhance prospects of their students to pursue higher studies research and excellence and to ensure employment, recognition and equivalence
A Bachelor degree, with a B.Ed, shall be the minimum requirement for teaching at the elementary level. A Masters degree for the secondary and higher secondary with a B.Ed, shall be ensured by 2018.
Failure to achieve targets:
The goal to achieve 80% literacy rate couldnot achieved as the survey of PSLM shows the 60% literacy rate of Pakistan in 2016 , which is 20% less than the promised.
Only 2.7% of GDP was allocated for education against the target of 7% of GDP .
The curriculum could not be improved as the students from class 1 to 5 still study in their provincial language.
Technical education should be made a part of secondary education. Classes for carpentry, electrical, and other technical education must be included in the curriculum.
Providing economic incentives to the students may encourage the parents to send their children to school and may help in reducing the dropout ratio.
Curricula must be same for every province to enhance competition among the provinces.
There is the severe need of standing committee of education to monitor the performance of education of all provinces.
Local government system is helpful in promoting education and literacy in the country. In local government system the funds for education would be spent on a need basis by the locality.
Corruption in education departments is one of the factors for the poor literacy in the country. An effective monitoring system is needed in education departments..
Unemployment of educated men and women is a major concern for Pakistan. There should be career counselling of the pupils in schools so that they have an understanding of job market and they can develop their skills accordingly.
Counselling of parents is required, so that they can choose a career for their child which is market friendly.
There are two approaches to acquiring education:
First, which is being followed by many in Pakistan is to get education to earn bread and butter. The second approach is to get education for the sake of personal development and learning. This approach is followed by affluent and economically stable people who send their children to private schools and abroad for education. The problem arises when non-affluent families send their children to private schools, and universities. This aspiration for sending children for higher education is wrong, because the country does not need managers and officers only. There are several other jobs where people are needed. Hence the mind-set of sending one’s children to university only for becoming officers and managers needs to be changed.
The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan cannot be done by the government alone, public-private participation and a mix of formal as well as non-formal education can pull out majority of country’s population from illiteracy. Similarly, to make the youth of the country an asset, attention should also be paid to vocational and technical training.