Quality education a serious challenge facing Pakistan: Survey

KARACHI: The quality of education is a serious challenge; poorly qualified and untrained teachers, irrelevant curriculum, non availability of textbooks, shortage of other learning materials, insufficient space due to which learning levels are low, teacher’s absenteeism are the main issues, says new Pakistan Economic Survey 2013-14.

According to (Draft) Vision 2025, development of a society in which every child, youth and adult must have access to quality education without discrimination. Provinces will lead the education development with active support from the federal government.

The provincial governments showed their commitments to increase their education budget spending. Curriculum reform and modernized teaching methods will improve the quality of education. Quality of teaching in public schools will be improved by providing capacity building training arrangements; accreditation and certification procedure of the institutions should be standardized and institutionalized.

To obtain the objective of educated and skilled human resource, large investment in education is very important as education would help the stakeholders in changing their mindset to get maximum literacy rate. Private and public development sectors have to fulfill their corporal social responsibilities in education sector. The linkage of education with the industrial/ commercial sectors would open the avenues of development and employment. They need to establish state of the art educational institutions in the premises of their set- up/organization. Hence, there is need to develop a strong interaction between the industries and academy as academic-industrial linkage is the foundation stone for innovation and technology development which certainly leads the country to economic growth.

According to Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, the state should provide free and compulsory education to all the children between 5 and 16 years of age in Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan is also a signatory to various international conventions on education, including the education for All in 1990 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) joint declaration on Education and the Dakar Framework for Action (April 2000). These conventions make it mandatory for the state to ensure that the fundamental right of education is provided to all its citizens without any discrimination.

As per National Educational Policy 2009, our education system focused on to provide quality education to our children and youth to enable them to realize their individual potential and contribute to development of society and nation, creating a sense of Pakistani nation, the concepts of tolerance, social justice, democracy, their regional & local culture and history based on the basic ideology articulated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In view of the 18 th Amendment, the country’s federating units; including Azad Jammu and Kashmir signed a joint declaration on education to abide by all the international commitments, including the MDGs.

The provincial governments also affirmed their commitments in true spirit to implement legislation on children’s right to free and compulsory education. Role of Private Sector in Education In the rural areas of Pakistan, almost 74 percent students attend public schools while 26 percent students attend private schools including Madrasah etc and in urban areas 41 percent go to public schools while 59 percent students attend private schools including Madrasah etc. The contribution of private sector is very low as compared to other countries of the region.

At national level with the collaboration of provincial governments, some corrective measures are need ed to encourage private sector which can be beneficial in increasing the number of students’ enrollment as well as, can create a competition among public and private educational institutions especially in the rural areas of the country. The parents will have the opportunity to send their children to the best institutions either in public or private sector. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of Education Primary education plays a crucial role in the whole education system. It lays foundation for secondary, college and tertiary education.

An effective and efficient process at primary level would be helpful to attain the goal of another cycle of secondary education. The target is aimed to be achieved by 2015, for which joint efforts are being made at both federal and pr ovincial level to increase the enrollment at primary level. During 2013-14, the federal government budget for education was Rs. 59.28 billion while PSDP of federal government was Rs.5.72 billion for the expansion and development of Basic and College Education. In addition, the provincial governments have also allocated Rs. 59.440 billion to accelerate the pace of education at all levels and to achieve the MDGs targets. The achievements made up to 2012-13 are given in the Table 10.1 and 10.2.

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