Findings and surveys: State of primary education in Pakistan.


Byline: Nazir Ahmed Shaikh

Education has become a central element of the countries' growth strategies including economic development. Improvements in education need to enable all children to have access to quality education without discrimination and to achieve the skills and knowledge they will need for effective social and labor market integration. Access, equity and quality of education are very important considerations while analyzing the effectiveness of an education system. For each of these important parameters, there are a number of indicators which can determine the level of access, equity and quality.

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Human Capital Report 2017 report, Pakistan clearly isn't the best country for acquiring education and skills development. In fact, it is ranked 125th out of a total of 130 countries according to the report. The rankings were based on the country's educational infrastructure and how well they perform when it comes to learning and skill development. The grading schema for the countries comprised of four sub-indexes namely: capacity, deployment, development and know-how. Each country was scored out of 100 based on these categories. The report consisted of a detailed analysis of the human capital of 130 countries.

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 85% in Islamabad to 23% in the Torghar District. Literacy rates vary regionally, particularly by sex. In tribal areas female literacy is 9.5%., while Azad Jammu and 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. On top of that, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and...

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