Education in Pakistan
By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nasim
Everyone has the right to education and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit (Universal declaration of Human rights, 1948). Our civil society and literate people have to think about as to what are our moral obligations and how we can help to contribute towards our less fortunate people. We all keep asking ourselves as to what should we teach our children and how shall we raise them, Education holds the key to the well-being and prosperity of our society, for Nation building we need to focus on primary, middle, high school right up to the university education. But the real question is nothing gets done and the Pakistan is finding hard to prosper because of lack of attention towards under 15 which is nearly 40% of the population (roughly 64 million) and adult literacy program. Nearly 50 million Pakistanis (half the country’s adult population) cannot read. Only 60% of Pakistani children complete 10 years of school and only 10% complete 12 years. World Bank Survey Report of 2006 says Pakistan is spending less than 2% of GDP on education whereas other countries of South Asia spending 3.6% of their GDP. According to the Survey Pakistan have 20 million kids between 5-9 and 50% of these kids i.e. roughly 10 million do not go to school. Ten million kids between 5- 9 who go to school, roughly 45% of them leave elementary/ primary education because according to an estimate, 6000 schools are without building and thousands are without basic amenities, like water, electricity, gas, 30% leave in middle education, 28% leave in secondary education and 38% leave in intermediate making the highest drop-out. Only 3% could reach for higher education. Lot of work is required to educate our under l5 Economists say make them technical hands through O2 years certificate courses from TEVTA and 03 years diploma / 04 years degree courses in different disciplines/trades of engineering and technology. These technical hands will help the country in industrialization and bring the foreign exchange from overseas. Three parallel school systems are going on, firstly, Government Schools (Urdu plus English Medium), secondly, Private Schools (English Medium) and thirdly, Madressah Schools. The big chunk of our kids are passing through Government Schools where the situation is not satisfactory due to multitude of reasons either there was no building or no teacher. For quality education, the selection and training of teachers for primary and high schools is very critical in achieving our total objective. Head of each Government School must focus on teachers training, teachers performance in the classroom, parent-teacher meeting to create an interactive society and finally the provision of teaching kits (TLM's) will create better environment for teacher as well as student. Educational kits developed by NEEC helps in strengthening the concepts in science and mathematics during early years of education. NEEC has bigger challenges and opportunities to grow and play a leading role in the science education of our children across Pakistan.
Note: This message was written for NEEC's quarterly newsletter (Jul-Sep-2010) by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nasim.