Importance of Education in Pakistan

Rafait Mahmood, Qingdao, China

Importance of Education in Pakistan

Education is an important factor in human progress and the basic right of every citizen of Pakistan. Education is considered to be closely related to the economic and social development of a country. Without substantial investment in human resources, no country can achieve sustainable economic development. The literacy rate is one of the important indicator to measure the level of education. Its consolidation has a profound impact on other important indicators of prosperity.Education always helps people to understand the difference between right and wrong and opens the doors to justice. History shows that, Incompetence and inability in the field of education is one of the main reasons for destruction. 

According to the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLSM) district level survey 2019-20, the literacy rate of population (10 years and above) is stagnant at 60 per cent in 2019-20 since 2014-15. The cumulative education expenditures by the federal and provincial governments in FY2020 stood at 1.5pc of the GDP compared to 2.3pc in FY2019-20. Expenditures on education had been rising gradually till 2018-19 but in 2019-20 it witnessed a decrease of 29.6pc from Rs 868 billion to Rs.611 billion.” 

According to UNICEF, Pakistan, Presently, Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school, which is representing 44 per cent of the total population in this age group and in the 5-9 years age group and 5 million children are not enrolled in schools and after primary school age.According to the Constitution of Pakistan, the government has a responsibility to provide free education to children of these ages but it couldn’t happened accordingly.Pakistan’s literacy rate is near to 58.7 percent this year, which is even lower than the literacy rates of Bangladesh and Nepal, which are 61.5% and 64.7%, respectively. As far as education is concerned, Pakistan is one of those nations Sri Lanka and Maldives, which are left out in this area and are behind the majority of the countries of this world which is one of the very core reasons for the slow growth and destructive economy. 

It would not be wrong to be said that Pakistan’s education system has not been given much importance since independence comparatively to other nations.  The number of government schools in the country is very low, even the existing ones do not have adequate facilities. About 50% of the schools in Pakistan do not have access to drinking water, washroom facilities, it been seen that some government schools used as livestock stables and some were in open air. This is not the case in any one province but in all provinces. All political parties promise to impose an educational emergency to get votes, but when they come into government, they do not keep their promises and couldn’t made serious efforts to the quality education to its citizens but to made only unbiased claims. 

In spite of a very low share of GDP to education comparatively to some other Asian countries, corruption is one of the main reasonunderpinning the incapability of serving quality education to the citizen of Pakistan. Whereas, Federal and provincial governments are under international pressures to take appropriate measures regarding education, recently it has been observed that the federal and provincial governments has made some changes concerning towards a quality education and also announced different schemes and scholarships to attract the people of Pakistan. All these scholarships will be given biometrically at 70% attendance. Recent measures taken by Federal and Provincial governments towards education and literacy are appreciated andin effect they will attract and enable many poor people to educate their children. Such steps can lead to a change in the country. There are different education systems in Pakistan that are being taught. The federal government has announced an education system across the country but Sindh government has reservations about it. The federation, along with Sindh and all other provinces shouldbe imparted education policy for restructuring the whole education system and make a nominal increase in percentage of GDP and take precautionary measures against corruption, delivery of quality education and betterment of futuristic generations.