SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
These figures are taken from a report by I-SAPs and Alif Ailan and Pakistan Education Statistics by National Education Management Information, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Ministry of federal Education Professional Training and Government of Pakistan (Feb 2017). Numbers have been rounded of and the discrepancies are due to different sources. For example the number of out of school children is anywhere between 22 million to 25 million.
We also must add that there is no mention of the quality of education in these reports. This means that very little attention is being paid to that aspect of education. But we know from empirical data that quality of education in public sector institutions as well as in most of the private institutions is below par.
From the following figures we can see that not only Pakistan is much behind in terms of allocating funds for education, but out of these allocated funds very small portion is allocated for development. Major chunk is spent just to maintain the current system running. And higher education gets a lion’s share in this budget. In addition even the allocated funds are not spent fully.
So new schools are not being established. No effort is being made to implement new methods, technologies and improving the quality of education.
Another conclusion we draw is that since most children who get to higher education level belong to elite and upper middle-class families, they are consuming a major portion of allocated budget with little left for the masses.
The fact that even small amount of money allocated for development is not being used, means poor governance and mismanagement.
Out of the funds allocated to the current expenses, a major portion is being used for salaries with little left for non-salary expenses. We don’t have objection to that. In fact we believe that teachers should be brought to the level of other civil service officers in order to attract good quality candidates into this profession. But it also means end of political appointments and absentee teachers.
The result is that Pakistan’s literacy rate is not improving. There are no innovations in either the method of teaching or the curriculum.
Pakistan ranks 177, globally, in the community of world countries in terms of public spending on education
Only 2% of GDP is allocated on education. Just seven developing countries in the world spend less on education than Pakistan.
Out of total federal budget of 4,302 billion education receives 84 billion
Out of this about 75% is spent on recurrent expenses and only 25% for development.
Out of budget for recurrent expenses 28% is used for salaries and 72% for non-salary items at federal level
A major chunk of budget is spent on higher education with small amounts left for primary and secondary education. Its share has increased by 58% over last 5 years and spending is higher than allocation.
Out of school children stats:
This is the scariest aspect of these reports. Present looks disappointing and future bleak. Slightly less than half are out of school and out of these, two third never went to school. More than four fifths of children are not in higher secondary level education system. This means we have a whole generation of illiterate people coming up which is not equipped for job market even at medium skill level and worse, being illiterate, is not even trainable. And we cannot even think of entering knowledge economy.
Other alarming aspects of this picture are that this is leading the country towards strengthening the current ruling elite as the children of the masses are not being prepared to take leadership role; there is continued concern of these children being used by terrorist groups for there own interests; a large number of illiterate angry, directionless young people who do not see a future for themselves will lead to social strife.
Out of school children: these figures are based on projected census by National Institute of Population Studies:
Out of a total population of 51.17 million children, ages 5 to 16, only 28.5 million attend school.
22.64 million are out of school.
Number of out of school children by level of education: Primary 5,025,968, Middle 6,400,844, Secondary 4,879,733 and Higher secondary 6,331,397
Number of out of school children by region: Punjab 9,922,822, Sindh 6,667,268, KPK 2,501,106, Baluchistan 1,891,596, AJK 638,969, Gilgit-Baltistan 237,686, FATA 736,929, Capital Territory 41,567.
85% of children are not in higher secondary level
Number of out of school girls is higher than boys at each level and there are differences among provinces, worse being FATA, Baluchistan and KPK
Poor are more likely to be out of school.
Percentage of children according to quintiles of income groups are: Lowest 20% income group has 57% children out of school while highest 20% group has only 10% children out of school.