Hi, i am new member...........plz check my essay and guide me for making it better for CSS level...............Dear seniors i am waiting ur kind and friendly commenets
Education in Pakistan: Problems and its solutions
Education the basic need
Object of Education:
Importance of Education:
Background of Pakistan’s Educational System
Educational System in Pakistan:
Key Performance Indicators for Education Systems
PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN
1. Medium of Education:
2. Disparity of System at Provincial Level:
3. Gender Discrimination:
4. Lack of Technical Education::
5. Low allocation of funds:
6. Inefficient Teachers:
9. Social imbalance:
10. Mismanagement of System:
11. Infrastructure Problems:
12. Private school system:
13. Lack of educational policies:
14. Increase in population:
15. Lack of attention of the authorities:
16. Lack of uniform educational system:
17. Medium of Instruction:
18. Education as a business:
19. Delay in renewal of policies and syllabus
20. Political Interference:
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM:
1. English should be medium of Instruction:
2. Talented and qualified Staff
3. Fulfill the lack of teachers
4. Primary education should be made compulsory:
5. Increase in teachers incentives
6. Translation of foreign research to local language
7. Check on distinctive education:-
8. Scholarships and financial support to students:
9. Special Financial packages:
10. Betterment of education policies and teachers workshop:
11. Infused Technical Education:
12. Promotion of primary education:
Education the basic need
Education is the light of the life. Education proves to one of the most important factors for the development of human civilization. Education enhances human status and leads everyone to propriety. it is a continuous and lifelong process. It attributes most important, precious and permanent property of an individual. Education provides manpower, strengthens national unity and uplifts public awareness. It invites positive and constructive change in life. It makes our life really prosperous and meaningful. Everyone wants to be well educated. Life can be successful by the help of appropriate education. Educated person can only judge what is correct and what is wrong?? And takes the appropriate and right decision but uneducated person fails to do so.
Object of Education:
Robert Maynard Hutchins describes it as “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” We should give our youth the way to educate themselves. Edward Everett said that “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.”
Importance of Education:
We all know the importance of education. It is the most important aspect of any nation’s survival today. Education builds the nations; it determines the future of a nation. ISLAM also tells us about Education and its importance. The real essence of Education according to ISLAM is “to know ALLAH” but I think in our country we truly lost. Neither our schools nor our madrassa’s (Islamic Education Centres) are truly educating our youth in this regard. In schools, we are just preparing them for “Money”. We aren’t educating them we are just preparing “Money Machines”. We are only increasing the burden of the books for our children and just enrolling them in a reputed, big school for what, just for social status??? On the other hand in our madrassas we are preparing people who finds very difficult to adjust in the modern society. Sometimes it seems that they are from another planet. A madrassa student can’t compete even in our country then the World is so far from him. He finds very difficult to even speak to a school boy. It is crystal clear that Islamic Education is necessary for Muslims but it is also a fact that without modern education no one can compete in this world. There are many examples of Muslim Scholars who not only study the Holy Quraan but also mastered the other subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and many more, with the help of Holy Quraan. I think with the current education system we are narrowing the way for our children instead of widening it. There is no doubt that our children are very talented, both in schools and in madrassas, we just need to give them proper ways to groom, give them the space to become Quaid-E-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Alberoni, Abnalhasam, or Einstein, Newton, Thomas Edison. The education system we are running with is not working anymore. We have to find a way to bridge this gap between school and madrassa.
Background of Pakistan’s Educational System
Numerous international assessments could explore that Pakistan is lagging behind many countries in achieving the Education for All goal (EFA). We were the signatory to the treaty under Dakar Framework where it was decided by all the developing countries that they will be trying to achieve the target of EFI in the meeting held in Senegal in 2000. UNESCO rates in Pakistan are at a lower EFA development Index (EDI) because of low; enrolment at primary school, adult literacy, gender equity and equality, equalities in education and quality of education. The adult literacy in Pakistan, in spite of concerted efforts, fail to go beyond the border line of 50 percent. The women literacy is much more belittling as thirty three percent of the adult women cannot even read. The more embracing would be that we would not be catching the target to achieve the adult literacy by 2015. Progress towards the achievement of the targets is exceptionally slow, while gender parity goal is at risk of not being achieved by 2015. Moreover, more than 6 million children are out of school.
Educational System in Pakistan:
Education system in Pakistan is really having a bad configuration at the moment. There is no doubt in accepting the fact that education stands the backbone for the development of nations. Looking at the history of nations, we may safely reach the conclusion that the advanced nations of the world could reach the zenith of prestige and power taking support from education. The allocations for education are too meager, and in spite of allocation, the amount is not spent for what it was meant for as the corruption is found in all the tiers of education and also because of the same delivery from the government institutions that is much below the desired and aspired levels. Private education in Pakistan is far reaching for the poor and the turnover of this quality education does not serve the country the way they are supposed to. Planning for education does not go in congruence with the needs and implement remains ever ignored, so by this way the system is getting more spoiled rather than flourishing. Our universities have failed to produce the planners, developers, implementers, and decision makers. Rather the turnover is a mismatch with the ground realities, the half backed persons we are producing are of no use to us. The students we come across are degree seekers rather than the knowledge. The increase in number of colleges and universities does not mean that we are going by the standards rather these are worsening, a simple evidence of which is that no Pakistani university could find a space among the top 1000 universities of the world. The socio-economic scenario is directly attached with the status of Education in the country. The developed world managed to scale up their education in line with the needs and market requirements. Despite the recent achievements, a lot more is needed to be done as the country still faces numerous challenges which cause deterrence. We are under obligation to raise the education of our population to the level of our South Asian neighbors, to combat our own social and economic wants to the satisfactory level.
The very scale of Pakistan’s education sector -- more than 150,000 public education institutions serving over 21 million students and a huge private sector that serves another 12 million – presents formidable challenges.
Education is found to be the cheapest and tangible defense mechanism for a nation on the social, political, and economic fronts. But the down trodden condition of education in Pakistan bears an ample testimony of the fact that it is unable to defend its own sector. Over the span of 64 years, the nation has been given the 23 policies and action plans but we could not start the march towards success and are waiting for a savior who could take the system out of turmoil. There were ample spending in the government of Pervaiz Musharraf on education and due to which, we could see the visible positive educational change in Pakistani society. Currently the economic situation in Pakistan is under severe stress and education sector has received the highest impact in Pakistan. The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has led to the fact in the following words,
“The state of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period.”
In Human development Report, Pakistan is placed at 136th position because its 49.9% population comes under the definition of education. The dropout rate is alarmingly high at the primary level; consequently, it is revealed by the Data Center of UNESCO, that 33.8% females and 47.18% in males could pass through the most initial level of education. We may be conclusive about the ground reality that people in the 6th largest country of the world have no access to the basic education even.
Key Performance Indicators for Education Systems
The frequently used indicators for assessing education and its systems are adult literacy rates, male and female enrollment at different levels of education, participation rate in the different areas of the country; the dropout rates, the amount of resources allocated to education as a proportion of the GDP and some measures of the quality of education being pursued. At the moment, the workability of these indicators rests on the footing of authenticated and recent data so that the planning details may be worked out with confidence. Irony of fate, the indicators, their footings and the quality of data all want more authenticity, but unfortunately, Pakistan's record lacks objectivity and rationality on all counts.
PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN
1. Medium of Education:
The system of education in Pakistan is operative in match with the local needs and ground realities. It is almost a decisive factor that the education in the mother tongue surrenders more dividends but we have the system more segregated and diversified just contrary to our requirements. A good example of it is that we fail to decide about the Medium of education over the span of 64 years. Different mediums are operational in both, public and private sector. This creates a sort of disparity among people, dividing them into two segments.
21. Disparity of System at Provincial Level::
The Regions of Pakistan in the name of provinces are not at par as regards the infrastructure, availability of staff, their training, content mastery allocation of resources and their utilization. This develops a disparity not only in the system but in the turnover too. There is a need to revisit the schools in Baluchistan (The Largest Province of Pakistan by area) because these are not that much groomed as that of Punjab (The Largest Province of Pakistan by Population). In FATA, the literacy rate is deplorable constituting 29.5% in males and 3% in females. The conditions are to be made more congenial about teaching and learning in all parts of the country without any discretion.
22. Gender Discrimination::
We should have know how of the population comprising females, unfortunately their education is not attended to the way it was deemed fit. The gender discrimination is a cause that is contributing towards the low participation rate of girls at the basic level of education. The male and female participation ratio is projected at the primary school in the shape of ratio of boys & girls as 10:4 respectively. In the decade passed, government invited private sector to shoulder the responsibility of education of the youth. The intent was also to provide the education at the doorstep to the children especially the female students. The private sector took up the challenge and there was an increase in the growth of private schools but this step didn’t cause the increase in the students or the quality. The masses could not be attracted because of precious education. It created clear cut tiers of society and created a gap among those with the haves and have not’s.
23. Lack of Technical Education::
There is a craze for the white collar jobs for the same pupils. Select the general rut of education, though they have the least tilt or the capacity to cope with the demands. China, Japan and Germany have the ruts for those who have a taste for and do not achieve the excellence in the general rut of education. We have kept the opportunities open for all to participate in general education at all levels especially the university level. We could not attract the general masses towards technical education making them to earn of their own act as the entrepreneurs and make their living without being the burden on the government. Education system is needed to be revamped making a space for the science, IT, management, and pupil with the excellence to go to the higher education pursuing the education of their own choice. Lesser emphasis on technical education means the lesser manpower for industry and hence the lesser finance generation.
24. Low allocation of funds::
The allocation of funds for education is very low as it never went beyond 1.5 to 2.0 percent of the total GDP. Even this amount was not utilized and had to be surrendered back to the government because of want of expertise and the knowledge of codal formalities and in time release of funds. There is a need to increase it around 7% of the total GDP keeping in view the allocations by the neighboring countries, there is also a need to rationalize the share at the different levels not ignoring any.
25. Inefficient Teachers::
Government fails to attract the potential candidates for teaching with the zeal vigor and excellent carrier. Teaching is rated as the lowest among the jobs for the youth, because of lesser incentives, slow promotions and lesser fringe benefits. The teachers in government schools are not well groomed and equipped with knowledge and training. People who do not get job in any other sector, they try their luck in educational system. There is a need to reorganize pre-service and in-service trainings making them matched with the requirements rather to keep them ideal, unique and novel.
Poverty is growing over the years. The average class is vanishing like anything. It happens to be a curse for the nation that exists without having the average income group. The escalation of poverty has restricted the parents to send their children to tasks for child labor or at least to public or private schools. In these schools, the drop out is very high because schools are not the attractive places, the curriculum is dry and the teaching does not match the live situations. Poor parents are constrained to send their children to madressahs where the education is totally free.
Corruption causes the educational policies, plans and projects to fail because of being the major contributing factor. There is no accountability and transparency in the system, the salaries are low, the incentives are too less to be accounted and even those are uneven. An estimated Rs. 2,594 million out of a total of Rs. 7,016 million provided for improvement of school facilities such as buildings, electricity, drinkable water, etc had gone unaccounted during the fiscal periods 2001-06 (UNESCO Bano, 2007). Similarly, more than 70% literacy centers in Punjab remained inoperative or exist only on paper (ADBP, 2007). The chances of ghost schools should be evaded by involving the community in the processes of inspection and monitoring.
28. Social imbalance::
The students from the elite class follow the "O" and "A" levels curriculum instead of Pakistan's routine orthodox and stagnant curriculum. They have little or no awareness of their religion and culture whereas those passing out from Urdu medium schools are usually destined to work in clerical and lower level positions. Religious madrassas churn out yet another class that is usually unaware of the world outside their own perception.
29. Mismanagement of System::
Teachers’ absenteeism, poor professional training, sub-standard materials and obsolete teaching methods act as the major contributive factors towards the low enrolment in schools. Burki (2005), opines that most of the public schools are either mismanaged or poorly managed. They are found imparting education of second-rate quality through substandard textbooks and curricula that do not cater the needs of the 21st century. The education should be based on learning outcomes through suggesting multiple books rather than following a single book as an obligation.
30. Infrastructure Problems::
The dropout rate of those lucky enough to be enrolled goes beyond 45% as has been divulged by the several reports. Most of the public sector educational institutions stay in a status of poor condition lacking even basic facilities, resultantly shaking the presupposed standards of education. There are four areas that snivel for pressing concentration which are curriculum, textbooks, examinations, and teacher training (Hoodbhoy, 2001). The textbooks need be made more facilitating, student and learning friendly.
31. Private school system::
Private Schools in Pakistan enroll more students than in other countries of the region. They least bother about the capacity and facilities available, they rather over burden the teaching staff. The rapid mushroom growth of private schools and academies of teaching reflect the people's lack of trust in the public sector schools coupled with a deficiency of sufficient educational institutions to cater to the needs of the fast growing population. However, there are certain private schools which are slightly better than the public ones. In the elite schools where the quality education is offered, heavy fees is charged that continues to be a problem. These private sectors schools are meant only for a special sector of the population and are out of the reach of general masses. The private sector schools should be brought under the control of rules making these somewhat accessible for the common population.
32. Lack of educational policies::
The National Education Policy (1998-2010) was developed prior to Dakar. It has a clear cut vision and direction to support the education department. Since the 2001, the Ministry of Education has developed a number of policy documents including that of National Education policy (2009) but the endeavors remain focused on paper work more rather than the operationalization, though the involvement of NGOs and international development agencies is very much there. The simple reason is that the plans are vicious and not the ground reality based. The policies should be environment friendly. .
33. Increase in population::
Literacy in Pakistan has risen from 45 to 54 percent within the span of 2002 to 2006, simultaneously primary enrollment rates have also increased from 42 to 52 percent. The population explosion could not enable to catch the targets. In spite of the increase in the certain parameters, the participation rate in Pakistan remains the lowest in South Asia. Alongside it, there are marked male-female, inter-regional and rural-urban disparities: Only 22 percent of girls, compared to 47 percent boys, complete primary schooling. Female literacy in rural Baluchistan is only 32 percent compared to high urban male literacy rates (and 80 percent among the urban male in Sindh)
34. Lack of attention of the authorities::
Most of the criticisms leveled against the education procedures and practices may be rationalized through improving governance and accountability. It would be tangible and workable if we could go for considering the merit, enabling capacity building, increasing investments in education as an industry and finally giving the heir and fire powers to the administrative heads. The private sector and the banks should finance the educational milieu with confidence, as at the moment, we are spending 2.3 percent of GDP which is the lowest in South Asia.
35. Lack of uniform educational system::
There is a crying need for quality which calls for homogeneity among the procedural formalities like the observance of the curriculum. Had it been uniform the working for it, further extension becomes easier and getting the intellect skimmed out of masses becomes possible. Currently, the poor are deprived of education in the elite institutions which are causing the development of a special class. This class doesn’t work for the nation; they work elsewhere but are fed through the national resources.
36. Medium of Instruction::
We took a long period in deciding that what our medium of instruction would be, till now we don’t have a clear picture before us. It is good to have the National language as the medium of communication provided; we have a rich treasure of knowledge. In our case, we do not fail to develop Urdu to cope with the intellectual needs nor do we translate the treasure of knowledge available for our national use.
37. Education as a business::
Education has been pursued by some of the people as an industry but because of being illiterates, they fail to cope up with the stipulated standards. The leader with vision spoils the mission as well as the projects undertaken. Their only intent is money making that has caused the decay in the standards, induction of sub-standard staff, and depriving the deserving to grow. They don’t want to catch with the move of success but they try to be good entrepreneurs.
38. Delay in renewal of policies and syllabus/Political Interference::
There is a need to continuously update the curriculum because if it goes stale, it does not equip the beneficiaries with the saleable skills and expertise. At the first place, the problems cited have arisen due to lack of commitment and inefficient management on the part of state. The policies lack long term vision and its implementation strategies are being affected by undue political interference. In addition to it, the measures taken are not evidence based and geared by the vested interests of the authorities. Whatever strategies have been applied failed to promote the rational and critical thinking skills amongst the students.
At the second place, we find lack of resource commitment and realistic implementation alongside poor allocated resource utilization. As relevant statistics are not available, implementation of the education policy has not been successfully executed.
At the third place, we come across weak budgetary planning because of staggered data and least coordination among the data maintaining units (USAID, 2006). The coordination, match with the assessment, project design and implementation are not to the desired level within the government and with the donor agencies. The harmonization is missing too between the federal and provincial governments which cause drastic problems in the policy implementation.
The policy formulating, planning and implementing bodies work in isolation as the water tight compartments. The government's consultation is very much restricted and does not go beyond its specific quarters. It should have to be extended to non-state sectors to initiate and mobilize the action. Teachers does not normally form the part of policy making process, hence the process of sharing and consultation remains missing. It leads to implementation of educational policies without consultation, thus the efforts go in vain (UNESCO, 2007).
Over the span of time, what we have learnt is to go for dialogue, and keeping the private and public sector on board. The matter of access to education and challenges to quality remain at stake as being unresolved despite much policy deliberation.
Recently, Minister of Education announced a new Education policy for that next 10 years ignoring the fact that the previous educational policy span still persists that was from 1998 to 2010. The policy has projected new plans and promises to the nation pointing to the fact that all the public schools will be raised to the level of private schools within the shortest period of time. In the absence of a plan of action, the suggested plan of action would not work. The schools have been put under obligation to use the national curriculum and encourage the students of 5th and 8th class to take board exams. This has disturbed the students of private sector also.
It is urged that the Universities should be the research centre’s and must not be allowed to act as the examining bodies for graduate or post-graduate examinations. Allocations are supposed to be made to the aspired levels as UNO suggests a country to allocate at least four percent of its GDP towards education but here in Pakistan we are just allocating less than two percents of GDP. Even that is not fully utilized because of procedural formalities.
Suggested Solutions for Educational System:
13. English should be medium of Instruction:
English language should be the medium of instruction from beginning to the higher levels of learning. National language should be a supporting language for communication facilitation and every day business. Efforts should be made to enhance the knowledge treasure in the national language through translation of the research based information.
14. Talented and qualified Staff
Hiring should be made from amongst the highly qualified and the teachers should be paid not according to the level of education but the qualification of the staff.
15. Fulfill the lack of teachers:
Efforts should be made to bring down the student-teacher ratio to 15:1 in lieu of current 40:1. Consequently, the number of teachers will have to be enhanced, leading to the rise in number of teachers and enabling the competent persons to be inducted to the system of education.
16. Primary education should be made compulsory:
Primary education should be made compulsory and free (it is already free of cost but not compulsory). It should also be made appealing, impressive, interesting and utilitarian to attract the general masses.
17. Increase in teachers incentives
Teachers should be offered more financial benefits by increasing their pays.
18. Translation of foreign research to local language
University professors should be encouraged to conduct and share the research to the concerned stakeholders. They should also be asked to translate the foreign research into local languages for sharing it with the lower formations of education enabling them to implement/take benefit out of it.
19. Check on distinctive education:-
Government should strictly check all private educational institutions for keeping a balance of standards and level of practices.
20. Scholarships and financial support to students:
Students should be offered more scholarships and government should support the intelligent and outstanding students to prosper, develop and serve their local community rather than migrating to the big cities.
21. Special Financial packages:
The dilemma here in Pakistan is that students are genius but they use their intelligence in negative way, hence, contributing nothing towards the development of country. Another problem with Pakistan is brain drain. Capable and outstanding professionals prefer foreign jobs instead of serving in their own country. This is due to the low financial benefits and indifferent attitude of government towards them. Recently Government should provide them facilities and special financial packages to encourage them to stay in their own country.
22. Betterment of education policies and teachers workshop:
In the view of importance of education, the Government should take solid steps towards implementation instead of projecting policies. In this regard, the allocations should be made easy and timely from provinces to districts and then to educational institutes. Workshops must be arranged for teachers as a continuous feature for learning.
23. Infused Technical Education:
Technical education should be infused into the regular system stream. The education board of Punjab has projected a plan to give tech- education to the children of industrial workers.
24. Promotion of primary education:
Promotion of the primary education should be made possible by consulting teachers, professors and educationists while devising any plan, syllabus or policy for it. There should be a balance in reliance on public and private for enabling education to reach the general masses in its true shape. Students’ outlook is to be broadened by taking them out of the books into the practical realities. Education is the only cure of disability of the state and for bringing revolution through evolution and by eradicating the social evils through education.
Education serves as the backbone for the development of nations. The countries with the effective impressive need oriented, saleable and effective system of education comes out to be the leaders of the world, both socially and economically. It is only education which can turn a burden of population into productive human resource. Pakistan's current state demands that the allocations for education be doubled to meet the challenges of EFI, gender disparity and provision of teachers in the work places earlier than 2018 as per stipulated qualifications. Millennium Development Goals are yet to be realized latest by 2015.
The natural calamities, political turbulence, provincialisms, and political motivations make the best planned, fail. The allocations towards the sector of education could not be enhanced because of the earlier. We have to revisit our priorities to keep the country on the track of progress.
Last edited by Shooting Star; Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Do not use red colour.
|Federal Ministry of Education|
Education in Pakistan is overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and in the financing of research and development. Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years. "The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law".
The education system in Pakistan is generally divided into six levels: preschool (for the age from 3 to 5 years), primary (grades one through five), middle (grades six through eight), high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate or SSC), intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSSC), and university programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The literacy rate ranges from 87% in Islamabad to 20% in the Kohlu District. Between 2000 and 2004, Pakistanis in the age group 55–64 had a literacy rate of almost 38%, those ages 45–54 had a literacy rate of nearly 46%, those 25–34 had a literacy rate of 57%, and those ages 15–24 had a literacy rate of 72%. Literacy rates vary regionally, particularly by sex. In tribal areas female literacy is 9.5%. While Azad Jammu & Kashmir has a literacy rate of 74%. Moreover, English is fast spreading in Pakistan, with more than 92 million Pakistanis (49% of the population) having a command over the English language, which makes it one of the top English-speaking nations in the world. On top of that, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year. Despite these statistics, Pakistan still has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world and the second largest out of school population (5.1 million children) after Nigeria.
Stages of formal education
Only 87% of Pakistani children finish primary school education. The standard national system of education is mainly inspired from the British system. Pre-school education is designed for 3–5 years old and usually consists of three stages: Play Group, Nursery and Kindergarten (also called 'KG' or 'Prep'). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grades 1 to 5. This is followed by middle school from grades 6 to 8. At middle school, single-sex education is usually preferred by the community, but co-education is also common in urban cities. The curriculum is usually subject to the institution. The eight commonly examined disciplines are:
Most schools also offer drama studies, music and physical education but these are usually not examined or marked. Home economics is sometimes taught to female students, whereas topics related to astronomy, environmental management and psychology are frequently included in textbooks of general science. Sometimes archaeology and anthropology are extensively taught in textbooks of social studies. SRE is not taught at most schools in Pakistan although this trend is being rebuked by some urban schools. Provincial and regional languages such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and others may be taught in their respective provinces, particularly in language-medium schools. Some institutes give instruction in foreign languages such as Turkish, Arabic, Persian, French and Chinese. The language of instruction depends on the nature of the institution itself, whether it is an English-medium school or an Urdu-medium school.
As of 2009, Pakistan faces a net primary school attendance rate for both sexes of 66 percent: a figure below estimated world average of 90 percent.
Pakistan's poor performance in the education sector is mainly caused by the low level of public investment. Public expenditure on education has been 2.2 percent of GNP in recent years, a marginal increase from 2 percent before 1984-85. In addition, the allocation of government funds is skewed towards higher education, allowing the upper income class to reap majority of the benefits of public subsidy on education. Lower education institutes such as primary schools suffer under such conditions as the lower income classes are unable to enjoy subsidies and quality education. As a result, Pakistan has one of the lowest rates of literacy in the world and the lowest among countries of comparative resources and socio-economic situations.
Secondary education in Pakistan begins from grade 9 and lasts for four years. After end of each of the school years, students are required to pass a national examination administered by a regional Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (or BISE).
Upon completion of grade 9, students are expected to take a standardised test in each of the first parts of their academic subjects. They again give these tests of the second parts of the same courses at the end of grade 10. Upon successful completion of these examinations, they are awarded a Secondary School Certificate (or SSC). This is locally termed as 'matriculation certificate' or 'matric' for short. The curriculum usually includes a combination of eight courses including electives (such as Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Physics) as well as compulsory subjects (such as Mathematics, English, Urdu, Islamic studies and Pakistan Studies).
Students then enter an intermediate college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of each of the two grades, they again take standardised tests in their academic subjects. Upon successful completion of these examinations, students are awarded the Higher Secondary School Certificate (or HSSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA/ICS or 'intermediate'. There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences), computer science and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).
Alternative qualifications in Pakistan are available but are maintained by other examination boards instead of BISE. Most common alternative is the General Certificate of Education (or GCE), where SSC and HSSC are replaced by Ordinary Level (or O Level) and Advanced Level (or A Level) respectively. Other qualifications include IGCSE which replaces SSC. GCE and GCSE O Level, IGCSE and GCE AS/A Level are managed by British examination boards of CIE of the Cambridge Assessment and/or Edexcel International of the Pearson PLC. Generally, 8-10 courses are selected by students at GCE O Levels and 3-5 at GCE A Levels.
Advanced Placement (or AP) is an alternative option but much less common than GCE or IGCSE. This replaces the secondary school education as 'High School Education' instead. AP exams are monitored by a North American examination board, College Board, and can only be given under supervision of centers which are registered with the College Board, unlike GCE O/AS/A Level and IGCSE which can be given privately.
There is another type of education in Pakistan which is called "Technical Education", gathering technical and vocational Education. The vocational curriculum starts at grade 5 and ends on grade 10. Three boards, Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE), KPK Board of Technical Education (KPKBTE) and Sindh Board of Technical Education (SBTE) offering Matric Tech. course (equivalent to 10th grade) and Diploma in Associate Engineering (DAE) in technologies like Civil, Chemical, Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Computer and many more. DAE is a three years program of instructions which is equivalent to 12th grade. Diploma holders are called associate engineers. Either they can join their respective field or can take admission in B.Tech. or BE in their related technology after DAE.
According to the UNESCO's 2009 Global Education Digest, 6% of Pakistanis (9% of men and 3.5% of women) were university graduates as of 2007. Pakistan plans to increase this figure to 10% by 2015 and subsequently to 15% by 2020. There is also a great deal of variety between age cohorts. Less than 6% of those in the age cohort 55-64 have a degree, compared to 8% in the 45-54 age cohort, 11% in the 35-44 age cohort and 16% in the age cohort 25-34.
After earning their HSSC, students may study in a professional institute for Bachelor's degree courses such as engineering (BE/BS/BSc Engineering), medicine (MBBS), dentistry (BDS), veterinary medicine (DVM), law (LLB), architecture (BArch), pharmacy (Pharm.D) and nursing (BSc Nursing). These courses require four or five years of study. The accreditation councils which accredit the above professional degrees and register these professionals are: Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Pakistan Council for Architects and Town Planners (PCATP), Pharmacy Council of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC). Students can also attend a university for Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree courses.
There are two types of Bachelor courses in Pakistan: Pass or Honors. Pass degree requires two years of study and students normally read three optional subjects (such as Chemistry or Economics) in addition to almost equal number of compulsory subjects (such as English, islamiyat and Pakistan Studies). Honours degree requires four years of study, and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study, such as Biochemistry (BSc Hons. Biochemistry).
Pass Bachelors is now slowly being phased out for Honours throughout the country.
Most of Master's degree programs require two years education. Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is available in most of the subjects and can be undertaken after doing Masters. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) education is available in selected areas and is usually pursued after earning a MPhil degree. Students pursuing MPhil or PhD degrees must choose a specific field and a university that is doing research work in that field. MPhil and PhD education in Pakistan requires a minimum of two years of study.
Nonformal and informal education
Out of the formal system, the public sectors runs numerous schools and training centres, most being vocational-oriented. Among those institutions can be found vocational schools, technical training centres and agriculture and vocational training centres. An apprenticeship system is also framed by the Pakistanese State. Informal education is also important in Pakistan and regroups mostly school-leavers and low-skilled individuals, who are trained under the supervision of a senior craftsman.
See also: Women's education in Pakistan
In Pakistan, gender discrimination in education occurs among the poorest households but is non-existent among rich households. Only 18% of Pakistani women have received 10 years or more of schooling. Among other criticisms the Pakistani education system faces is the gender disparity in enrollment levels. However, in recent years some progress has been made in trying to fix this problem. In 1990-91, the female to male ratio (F/M ratio) of enrollment was 0.47 for primary level of education. It reached to 0.74 in 1999-2000, showing the F/M ratio has improved by 57.44% within the decade. For the middle level of education it was 0.42 in the start of decade and increased to 0.68 by the end of decade, so it has improved almost 62%. In both cases the gender disparity is decreased but relatively more rapidly at middle level.
The gender disparity in enrollment at secondary level of education was 0.4 in 1990-91 and 0.67 in 1999-2000, showing that the disparity decreased by 67.5% in the decade. At the college level it was 0.50 in 1990-91 and reached 0.81 in 1999-2000, showing that the disparity decreased by 64%. The gender disparity has decreased comparatively rapidly at secondary school.
There is great difference in the rates of enrollment of boys, as compared to girls in Pakistan. According to UNESCO figures, primary school enrollment for girls stand at 60 per cent as compared to 84 percent for boys. The secondary school enrollment rate stands at a lower rate of 32 percent for females and 46 per cent males. Regular school attendance for female students is estimated at 41 per cent while that for male students is 50 per cent.
A particularly interesting aspect of this gender disparity is representation of Pakistani women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine). In 2013, the issue of women doctors in Pakistan was highlighted in local and international media. According to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, in many medical colleges in Pakistan, as many as 80% of students are women, but majority of these women do not go on to actually practice medicine, creating a shortage of doctors in rural areas and several specialties (especially surgical fields). In 2014, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council introduced a gender-based admission policy, restricting women to 50% of available seats (based on the gender ratios in general population). This quota was challenged and subsequently deemed unconstitutional (and discriminatory) by Lahore High Court. Research indicates several problems faced by women doctors in Pakistan in their career and education, including lack of implementation of women-friendly policies (like maternity leave, breast-feeding provisions and child-care facilities), and systemic sexism prevalent in medical education and training. Pakistan's patriarchal culture, where women's work outside the home is generally considered less important than her family and household obligations, also make it difficult for women to balance a demanding career. Despite the importance of the issue, no new policies (except now-defunct-quota) have been proposed or implemented to ensure women's retention in workforce.
In Pakistan, the quality of education has a declining trend. Shortage of teachers and poorly equipped laboratories have resulted in the out-dated curriculum that has little relevance to present day needs.
Since the HEC's reforms have been carried out in 2002, HEC has received praise from the international higher education observers. Prof. Atta-ur_Rahman, founding Chairman of HEC, has received number of prestigious international awards for the remarkable transformation of the higher education sector under his leadership. German academic, Dr. Wolfgang Voelter of Tübingen University in Germany over viewed the performance of HEC under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman and described the reforms in HEC as "A miracle happened." After teaching and visiting in 15 universities of Pakistan, Voelter wrote that the "scenario of education, science and technology in Pakistan has changed dramatically, as never before in the history of the country. The chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Education recently announced the first 6 years of HEC under Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman as "Pakistan's golden period in higher education". Recently ThomsonReuters in an independent assessment of Pakistan's progress in international publications has acknowledged that in the last decade there has been a fourfold increase in international publications and a tenfold growth in highly cited papers, statistics that were better than the BRIC countries 
American academic Prof. Fred M. Hayward has also praised the reform process undertaken by Pakistan, admitting that "since 2002, a number of extraordinary changes have taken place." Hayward pointed out that "over the last six years almost 4,000 scholars have participated in PhD programs in Pakistan in which more than 600 students have studied in foreign PhD programs." The HEC instituted major upgrades for scientific laboratories, rehabilitating existing educational facilities, expanding the research support, and overseeing the development of one of the best digital libraries in the region. Seeking to meeting the international standard, a quality assurance and accreditation process was also established, of which, ~95% of students sent abroad for training returned, an unusually high result for a developing country in response to improved salaries and working conditions at universities as well as bonding and strict follow-up by the commission, Fulbright, and others."
The HEC's reforms brought about by Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman were also applauded by the United NationsCommission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) which reported that the "progress made was breath-taking and has put Pakistan ahead of comparable countries in numerous aspects." In limited time, the HEC established and provided free access to scientific literature by high-speed Internet for all universities, the upgrade of research equipment accessible across the country, and the programme of establishing new universities of science and technology, including science parks attracted the foreign investors, prove the efficiency and the long-term benefits for the country enabled. The UNCSTD has closely monitored the development in Pakistan in the past years, coming to the unanimous conclusion that HEC's program initiated under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman is a "best-practice" example for developing countries aiming at building their human resources and establishing an innovative, technology-based economy.". A number of institutions have been named after Prof. Rahman including the “Atta-ur-Rahman Institute of Natural Product Discovery” (RIND) at Malaysia’s largest university, Universiti Teknologi Mara  and the Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences at National University of Science & Technology in Islamabad .
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman has won four international awards for the revolutionary changes in the higher education sector brought in the HEC. The Austrian government conferred its highest civil award (“Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeischen am Bande") in recognition of his eminent contributions. Nature, a leading science journal, has also written a number of editorials and articles about the transformation brought about in Pakistan in the higher education sector under the HEC. In an article entitled "Pakistan Threat to Indian Science" published in a leading daily newspaper Hindustan Times, India, it has been reported that Prof. C. N. R. Rao, Chairman of the Indian Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council made a presentation to the Indian Prime Minister at the rapid progress made by Pakistan in the higher education sector under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Chairman, Higher Education Commission. It was reported that as result of the reforms brought about in Pakistan " Pakistan may soon join China in giving India serious competition in science". "Science is a lucrative profession in Pakistan. It has tripled the salaries of its scientists in the last few years.". Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was conferred the highest national Award of the People's Republic of China in September 2014 for his contributions to develop strong linkages between Pakistan and China in various fields of higher education, science and technology.
Dr Javaid Laghari the next Chairman continued the reforms initiated earlier. During his 4-year tenure, the world ranking of universities declined due to budgetary cuts and other problems faced by HEC, although seven Pakistan universities were ranked among the top 250 universities of Asia according to QS World University Rankings 2013. Research output out of Pakistan increased by over 50% within three years, which was the second highest increase worldwide. According to Scimago world scientific database, if Pakistan continues at the same pace, its ranking will increase from 43 to 27 globally by 2017.
Main article: Abdus Salam
Abdus Salam was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the electroweak unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces. Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg shared the 1979 Nobel prize for this work. Salam holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani to receive the Nobel Prize in any field. Salam heavily contributed to the rise of Pakistani physics to the Physics community in the world.
Ayub Ommaya was a Pakistani neurosurgeon who heavily contributed to his field. Over 150 research papers have been attributed to him. He also invented the Ommaya Reservoir medical procedure. It is a system of delivery of medical drugs for treatment of patients with brain tumours.
Mahbub-ul-Haq was a Pakistani economist who along with Indian economist Amartya Sen developed the Human Development Index (HDI), the modern international standard for measuring and rating human development.
Atta-ur-Rahman is a Pakistani scientist known for his work in the field of natural productchemistry. He has over 1052 research papers, books and patents attributed to him. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2006  and won the UNESCO Science Prize in 1999.
Education expenditure as percentage of GDP
Public expenditure on education lies on the fringes of 2 percent of GDP of this nation. However, in 2009 the government approved the new national education policy, which stipulates that education expenditure will be increased to 7% of GDP, an idea that was first suggested by the Punjab government.
The author of an article, the history of education spending in Pakistan since 1972, argues that this policy target raises a fundamental question: What extraordinary things are going to happen that would enable Pakistan to achieve within six years what it has been unable to lay a hand on in the past six decades? The policy document is blank on this question and does not discuss the assumptions that form the basis of this target. Calculations of the author show that during the past 37 years, the highest public expenditure on education was 2.80 percent of GDP in 1987-88. Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP was actually reduced in 16 years and maintained in 5 years between 1972–73 and 2008-09. Thus, out of total 37 years since 1972, public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP either decreased or remained stagnant for 21 years. The author argues if linear trend were maintained since 1972, Pakistan could have touched 4 percent of GDP well before 2015. However, it is unlikely to happen because the levels of spending have had remained significantly unpredictable and unsteady in the past. Given this disappointing trajectory, increasing public expenditure on education to 7 percent of GDP would be nothing less than a miracle but it is not going to be of godly nature. Instead, it is going to be the one of political nature because it has to be "invented" by those who are at the helm of affairs. The author suggests that little success can be made unless Pakistan adopts an "unconventional" approach to education. That is to say, education sector should be treated as a special sector by immunizing budgetary allocations for it from fiscal stresses and political and economic instabilities. Allocations for education should not be affected by squeezed fiscal space or surge in military expenditure or debts. At the same time, there is a need to debate others options about how Pakistan can "invent" the miracle of raising education expenditure to 7 percent of GDP by 2015.
Main article: Rankings of universities in Pakistan
According to the Quality Standard World University Ranking for 2014, QAU, PIEAS, AKU, NUST, LUMS, CIIT, KU, Punjab University, UAF and UET Lahore are ranked among top 300 universities in Asia.
Religion and education
Education in Pakistan is heavily influenced by religion. For instance, one study of Pakistani science teachers showed that many rejected evolution based on religious grounds. However, most of the Pakistani teachers who responded to the study (14 out of 18) either accepted or considered the possibility of the evolution of living organisms, although nearly all Pakistani science teachers rejected human evolution because they believed that ‘human beings did not evolve from monkeys.’ This is a major misconception and incorrect interpretation of the science of evolution, but according to the study it is a common one among many Pakistani teachers. Although many of the teachers rejected the evolution of humans, " all agreed that there is ‘no contradiction between science and Islam’ in general".
Literacy rate (Census)
From census to census the definition of literacy has been undergoing changes, with the result that the literacy figure has vacillated irregularly during the last 5 censuses. A summary of the censuses is as follows:
|1951 (West Pakistan)||17.9%||21.4%||13.9%||N/A||N/A||One who can read a clear|
print in any language
|1961 (West Pakistan)||16.9%||26.1%||6.7%||34.8%||10.6%||One who is able to read with|
understanding a simple letter in any language
|Age 5 and above|
|1972||21.7%||30.2%||11.6%||41.5%||14.3%||One who is able to read and|
write in some language with understanding
|Age 10 and Above|
|1981||26.2%||35.1%||16.0%||47.1%||17.3%||One who can read newspaper|
and write a simple letter
|Age 10 and Above|
|1998||43.92%||54.81%||32.02%||63.08%||33.64%||One who can read a newspaper|
and write a simple letter, in any language
|Age 10 and Above|
|2017 (awaiting census results)||“Ability to read and understand simple text in any language from a newspaper or magazine, write a simple letter and perform basic mathematical calculation (ie, counting and addition/subtraction).”|
Literacy rate by Province
Literacy rate of Federally Administered Areas
Youth literacy rate (2012)
|Country||Youth literacy rate||Male||Female|
As of January 2015, the International Schools Consultancy (ISC) listed Pakistan as having 439 international schools. ISC defines an 'international school' in the following terms "ISC includes an international school if the school delivers a curriculum to any combination of pre-school, primary or secondary students, wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country, or if a school in a country where English is one of the official languages, offers an English-medium curriculum other than the country's national curriculum and is international in its orientation." This definition is used by publications including The Economist.
- ^Riazul Haq. "Education woes: Pakistan misses UN target with 58% literacy rate". The Express Tribune.
- ^ abcd"Ministry of Education, Pakistan"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2011-10-02.
- ^"VU Solution". VU Solution.
- ^Peter Blood, ed. (1994). "[https://edupk.pk/ Pakistan - EDUCATION]". Pakistan: A Country Study. GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- ^"Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on November 13, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
- ^"Figure 7.7"(PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- ^"Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
- ^Dr Pervez Tahir. "Education spending in AJK". The Express Tribune.
- ^List of countries by English-speaking population
- ^InpaperMagazine. "Towards e-learning".
- ^"Literacy Rate in Pakistan Province Wise | Pakistan Literacy Rate". Ilm.com.pk. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- ^ abc"Youth and skills: putting education to work, EFA global monitoring report, 2012; 2013"(PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- ^Stuteville, Sarah (August 16, 2009). "seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009670134_pakistanschool16.html". The Seattle Times.
- ^ abUNESCO Institute for Statistics. "Adjusted net enrolment ratio in primary education". UNESCO. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- ^ abRasool Memon, Ghulam (2007). "Education in Pakistan: The Key Issues, Problems and The New Challenges"(PDF). Journal of Management and Social Sciences. 3 (1): 47–55. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- ^ abc"Vocational education in Pakistan". UNESCO-UNEVOC. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- ^ abGlobal Education Digest 2009(PDF). UNESCO Institute for Statistics. 2009.
- ^Archived September 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ abKhan, Tasnim; Khan, Rana Ejaz Ali (2004). "Gender Disparity in Education - Extents, Trends and Factors"(PDF). Journal of Research (Faculty of Languages & Islamic Studies). Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- ^Zakaria, Rafia (2013-07-26). "The doctor brides". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- ^ ab"Are Pakistan's female medical students to be doctors or wives?". BBC News. 2015-08-28. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- ^"Pakistan sees high rate of female medical students, but few doctors". Women in the World in Association with The New York Times - WITW. 2015-08-30