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Education System in Pakistan (2018 Research)

From 1947, we praise education and we believe that Education can change the fortune of a country. Pakistan has several threatening problems and the top one is Education.

We also believe that only education can solve all the rest big issues that Pakistan is facing today. But the question is How to Improve Education System in Pakistan?

Don’t worry we will answer this question.

A famous quote of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah:

“Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. The world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advance in education, not only shall we lag behind others but may be wiped out altogether.”

We made laws like Article 25-A which states that:

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

Unfortunately, no one focused on practical implementation and still, low or middle-class families have no access to quality education in Pakistan due to the high fees of private institutions.

In this article, we will be going through different flaws, drawbacks, and issues in the education system of Pakistan and will be giving the real solution for those problems as well.

We have also collected some of the valuable suggestions from well-known personalities as well as from teachers to students from different areas, which we will be sharing later.

Flaws in Education System of Pakistan:

In Pakistani Education System, there are a lot of flaws and issues that must be addressed as soon as possible.

We are listing the issues and flaws in the Education System of Pakistan and will be sharing the solutions as well.

1. Theoretical (Not Practical) Education:

I am listing this issue on the top because this is biggest and actual problem due to which Pakistani Education System is unable to educate the students with practical skills rather they only read books to pass exams.

Due to this issue, even degree holders they don’t have any skill to utilize and earn a happy life. They only depend on the jobs which also need practical skills in this modern age.

A very serious part is that a so-called Educated Degree holders are begging for Jobs while on the other side, a local Engineer called “Mistry” who has no degree and is considered as an illiterate earn millions per year and also provide jobs.

At some points, these degree holders are provided internships by these non-degree holders.

It is a big slap on the Educational System of Pakistan.

2. Outdated (20 years old Syllabus):

Yes, you read RIGHT!!! We are teaching 20+ years old syllabus to our students which is just a joke with the education.

How can we improve the Education system in Pakistan with the old age syllabus? We can’t compete with the modern world of Education with this quality.

We need to come with a fresh and latest knowledge which can be compared to the foreign updated syllabus to overcome the challenges of quality education in Pakistan.

We teach students the history of the computer (same for other subjects as well) at BS level (I think it can be listed in top jokes of the world).

3. No Teaching Quality:

In this modern world, Teaching is considered the most special and important field. It is the backbone for Education system of every country. Teachers are given a special type of Training to teach students in a better and friendly way.

Unfortunately, In Pakistan, No quality teachers are provided to students. In fact, those who become unsuccessful in their field and they don’t know what to do with their degree now? they join teaching.

What can a teacher teach if he/she doesn’t know the output of his subject? (Isn’t shame?)

In the government sector, teachers are mostly employed by politicians in favoritism/bribery. While in the private sector, they find the inexperienced and cheapest teachers.

There should be proper training programmes for teachers to learn how to teach and engage students.

4. No Unity (Different Curriculum/Syllabus):

In Pakistan, there are different curriculum followed by the different educational system. First of all, it is very unfortunate that in one country there are several educational systems exist just based on financial differences.

We have National Educational System which includes matriculation and intermediate while the other is the British Educational System which includes O level and A level.

Because of this educational differences, disparities created in the minds of students at a very young age.

Further, in the National Educational System, we have Urdu Medium and English Medium which divides the students, then we have govt. and private sectors which also follows different syllabus and textbooks.

The same case with all the provinces as well. One province has one syllabus while other have other.

This is a very big issue in the educational system of Pakistan. Govt. of Pakistan needs to address this issue with a policy to unite all of them and make them sure to follow one best and updated syllabus.

5. Limited Fields Offered:

In Pakistan, there are few subjects which are considered as a field and these fields are imposed on students like Medical and Engineering.

If one wants to be respected in Pakistani society, he/she must be a Medical Doctor or an Engineer.

No!!! This is wrong. All minds are not the same and they are not supposed to do the same thing. Everyone has different creativity and that creativity can only be utilized if he/she chose his interest.

My Personal Experience:

I was failed in Matric Exam as I was imposed to study Biology (Medical subject) which was not my interest. I topped the whole College at F.Sc level because I chose IT (Computer Science) which was my interest. Always go for interest.

6. No Career Counselling (difficult to Choose Field):

Most of the students, they have no idea at the primary level that what field he/she should choose to specialize in. It is very unfortunate that there is no counseling provided in Pakistani schools and even colleges.

I have seen BS students regretting their decision of coming to their fields.

I like the European system in this regard where one year before field selection is for counseling. They are provided an environment to explore dozens of fields and then chose the best-suited field at the end of the year. In this way, they find their actual interest and field.

7. Education Become a Profitable Business:

Education is considered as a profitable business in Pakistan. Day by day, new institutes are opening not to provide quality education but to benefit from the lack of schools by govt. and earn a huge amount by charging very high fees.

The perceptions of the students and their parents are not much different as well. They are taught to study and pass exams to get a degree and then offered a job to earn money.

They have no vision to contribute to the society or country through education. It becomes a business. Parents invest in children to get Return of Invest later.

8. No Check and Balance:

The worst part of education system in Pakistan is that there is less or no check and balance on both govt. and private sectors.

Several Govt. schools and colleges even have no subject teachers or if they might have as well they don’t come to teach and there is no one to ask why?

There are hundreds and thousands of ghost schools across the country that never opened in years but thousands of employees are getting their salaries every month without any output.

Govt. has already policies and laws regarding these issues but need to implement those laws in real means to overcome the loss of the whole nation.

9. Rattalization (Cramming):

Students are taught to do “Ratta” of the questions and answer without any concept and just paste that Ratta in the paper to pass the exam.

It is because students don’t understand the English language and they are taught everything in English. The funniest part is that Teachers who teach English as a subject can’t speak English themselves.

10. No or Less Security:

Yes, unfortunately, we are facing terrorism as well. The terrorists mainly target schools and other educational institutes which created a fear in the society.

Due to which parents don’t allow their children to go to schools. Govt. need to provide strict security to the educational institutes and assure the parents that their child is in safe hands.

Drawbacks of the Education System in Pakistan (Disadvantages):

We discussed the flaws in Educational System of Pakistan, now we are listing the drawbacks of Education System in Pakistan that caused by those flaws and issues.

1. Child out of School:

It is estimated that presently more than 55 million age 10 Pakistanis are unable to read and write and there are 7 million children of age 5 to 9 years are out of schools.

The more worst part is that in rural areas, more than 52% of girls are not enrolled in school. This is not enough, you know 67% of women as well are illiterate.

These statistics are growing every year which affect every out country from every aspect either it is political instability or less economic growth.

Reasons:

  • Poverty
  • Not enough schools at rural places as compared to their population.
  • No awareness.
  • No output from already degree holders.
  • Low-Quality Education.
  • Non-Responsible Politicians.
  • Wadera, Choudhry, Nawabs don’t allow.
  • Sexual Harassment.
  • No Security.

2. Child Labor:

Because of the worst education system in Pakistan, parents don’t enroll their children in school, instead, they make them earn money at the very young age in hotels/local shops etc,.

Reasons why Parents don’t Enroll Child in School:

  • Poverty (They want their child to earn two times food for them).
  • No Quality Education (Child learn nothing in years)
  • Graduates are unemployed.
  • Graduates could be an inspiration and motivation for others but they themselves are unemployed.
  • Why would parents want their child to waste years for just getting graduated and then do nothing?

3. No Respect for Degrees:

Best was the time when there was a big respect for degree holders. Now very few of them achieve that respect otherwise the most non-respectful people of the society these days are unemployed degree holders.

Because they don’t know the local and basic skills and also learn nothing in graduation which makes him dependent on the job. If a job isn’t provided he/she becomes a burden on the society.

4. No Higher Education:

At first, parents don’t enroll their children at school. If a child has good luck and gets enrolled, he/she only continue to study up to matric or maximum F.Sc level and don’t go for graduation.

Sometimes this decision is from parents side but mostly from students themselves as well because they also get to know the reality that nothing can be learned in real so better to leave.

5. No Major Invention/Exploration:

Due to the flaws in the education system of Pakistan, and low quality of education students are unable to explore something new and invent something for the betterment of the society because they followed only camming(Ratta) and there was no real concept taught to them.

Even those students who are given assignments to write an essay on Pakistan Education System. They copy from the net and submit and don’t think over it.

How to Improve Education System in Pakistan:

Now #ItsTime to roll the table and improve the education system in Pakistan with urgent and big steps. To answer this question, we have researched a lot and asked different teachers, students and other personalities in the society.

We also attend some panel discussions on the topic and collect point of view of different educationists and all those who are struggling to improve the education system in Pakistan.

Suggestions for Improving Education System in Pakistan:

  1. Free Education: As stated in article 25-A, every citizen of Pakistan should be given free education.
  2. Scholarships: Govt. should provide scholarships for higher education.
  3. Focus on the Parents: Why do I say this? because often and especially when it comes to girls, parents are the biggest obstacle to achieving an education. So, what do we do? we mobilize parents.
  4. Practical Education: There should be an educational emergency to prioritize Practical studies over theory. Right from the school level, practical works should be made compulsory.
  5. Career Counseling: It should be compulsory in every school in govt. as well as the private sector.
  6.  Remove Ratta System: Govt. should come up with a new system to remove cramming (Ratta) system.
  7. Teachers Qualification: There must be a standard qualification to be able to teach in schools as in majority private schools FA pass teachers are hired.
  8. Teachers Training: Teachers should be given proper training before allowing them to teach.
  9. Standard Syllabus: One syllabus should be made for country-wide schools to avoid disparities.
  10. Proper Planning: Government and Private both should sit together and draft a master plan for the right education and then the government should follow this plan sincerely.
  11. Unity: Governments must develop partnerships with communities, NGOs, and the private sector to delegate responsibility effectively in order to achieve a universal primary education.
  12. Political Influence: There should no political influence in the syllabus as nowadays, every govt. just put their leader’s praise and history in books.
  13. Student Political Parties: There should be a complete ban on Student Political Bodies in Universities and colleges.
  14. Faculty: There should be strict monitoring of faculty being hired in government and private educational institutes.
  15. Technical Training Centers: Make the vocational and technical training centers more efficient so that skilled youth could be produced.
  16. Policy Planners: Special Policy planning units should be established in provinces.
  17. Special Grants: If needed special grants should be provided to the provinces where the literacy rate is low.
  18. Freelancing: Students must be taught the modern age digital skills and how to utilize them through freelancing on the internet. Pakistan is on 4th number in freelancing in the whole world. If Pakistani students can reach this level without any proper guidance, Imagine, If they will be given a proper training to do online freelancing and other businesses, they can be on 1st very soon and the economy will be boosted. Govt. must think over it.

Your suggestions are most welcomed in the comment section below.

Panel Discussion on Improvement of Education System in Pakistan:

Provide transport for children and teachers: Lack of safe transportation is a major factor in teacher absenteeism and fatigue. It also affects children’s attendance. School van transport is a valuable perk for our teachers.

Amjad Noorani, education activist (Pakistan), The Citizens Foundation, San Francisco, USA @amjadtcfusa@TCFPak


Mobilise Parents: For girls, parents are the biggest impediment to their education. More than half of girls who are out of school lack either parental consent or ability to pay schools fees. We need to advocate more for parents to get involved with community schools – whether they are on the management committee, or helping with the building, financing or security at their child’s school.

Roohi Abdullah, lead and initiator, Girl Rising Pakistan, Washington DC, USA @GirlRisingPak


Take sanitation seriously: At our schools, we have cleaning staff to maintain toilets during school hours. They also help with hygiene of young kids before they go to class as many children are from homes that do not have running water. Toilets, sanitation and privacy are not a trivial requirement.

Amjad Noorani


Identify why children are not in school: The biggest factor is economic constraints and the fact that kids often need to choose between work and school. In an ideal world, we would be able to demonstrate the link between schools and future earnings. We need to get better at promoting the value of education to parents and children.

Madeeha Ansari, writer and independent consultant, London, UK @madeeha_ansari


Get the private sector to offer more scholarships: The government could provide private schools with attractive packages such as cheaper utility bills in return for them making at least 10% of their places available for free to poor students. This could be especially effective in areas government schools have failed to reach.

Zobaida Jalal, former minister of education, Balochistan, Pakistan @ZobaidaJalal


Hold politicians to account: Central government and provincial governments have good intentions but no one’s political stakes are invested in delivering that “better” set of outcomes, so they leave it to donors and NGOs. Until we can get Pakistani leaders to view a dysfunctional education regime as a political liability, we will keep grasping at non-solutions.

Mosharraf Zaidi, campaign director, Alif Ailaan, Islamabad, Pakistan @mosharrafzaidi


Scrap teaching in English: We focus on English too much which is why we’ve ended up with so much rote learning. Many teachers are trying to teach in a language they’re not even fully competent in. Meanwhile, children who are confident in their own language are condemned as dumb if they can’t pick up English.

Zubeida Mustafa, columnist for Dawn, Karachi, Pakistan@zubeidamustafa @dawn_com


Offer stipends to girls: It’s a slightly controversial method but in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa we found that providing stipends to girls at risk increased girls’ attendance. Of course setting the amount for a stipend is very tricky to make sure it is not too expensive to do at scale, but we’ve delivered 400,000 so far.

Adam Hall


Listen to teachers: What do they need to be more effective? What needs to change for them to increase motivation and spend more time in the classroom? This feedback is not adequately collected or used at the moment.

Adam Hall, project manager (education), Adam Smith International, London, UK


Set universal minimum standards for schools: What makes a primary or a secondary school? Currently, you see a school under a tree with two teachers in one place but a primary school with a huge building and many teachers in another place – the same is the case for curriculum, teachers’ qualifications and examinations. Government, community and private schools should have to adhere to the same basic principles.

Dr Mir Afzal Tajik, director, Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan


Collect a wider variety of data: Most government data is focused on school building contracts and teachers’ salaries, rather than on what the children are learning. How about running community focus groups routinely and having more nimble programmes that allow for mid-course correction?

Noorulain Masood, CEO, Teach For Pakistan, Karachi, Pakistan@Noor_Masood


Incentivise teachers to learn as they earn: Teachers should be encouraged with salary incentives to take college qualifications and get a bachelors degree. Additionally, annual professional development workshops and in-service training should be provided. Higher competency should be rewarded.

Amjad Noorani


Adapt teaching techniques for volatile situations: Where schools are frequently closed due to violence, one possibility is home schooling. For example, in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone we moved to delivering educational radio programmes.

Tricia Young, director, Child to Child, London, UK@ChildtoChild


Make provisions for children with special needs: I think we always neglect the children with special needs and their education in our society. As minister for special education, I came out with a national plan of action for people with disabilities and the most vital element was inclusive education. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it widely implemented yet.

Zobaida Jalal


Achievements that Improved Education System in Pakistan to some Extent (2013-2018):

Sindh School Monitoring System by Sindh Govt.:

  • This first digital system in the education sector in Pakistan allows transparent and effective monitoring of staff, students, and school infrastructure.
  • The Sindh School Monitoring System spreads across 15 districts and to the remotest parts of the province. Plans are underway to expand it to the entire province.
  • More than 210,000 teaching and non-teaching staff have been profiled using biometric information, covering more than 26,200 schools.

The Sindh School Monitoring System brings together technology and a robust accountability mechanism to address long-standing governance issues in education.

Fazlullah Pechuho, Former Secretary Education and Literacy Department, Sindh

Sindh School Monitoring System

Education Reforms by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government:

Uniform Education System:

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary & Secondary Education Department (ESED) is revising textbooks.

So far up to class five have been revised. New books are structured in manner, which will help students in concepts instead of root learning.

Schools:

The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (ESED) has successfully established about 450 new schools in KP.

All are fully resourced and functioning according to the data available at ESED. About 229 schools have been sanctioned while 221 are in process.

Budget:

The overall increase in Education budget has been 113.84% over the last 5 years.

Enrolment:

The enrolment of students in govt. schools increased with 4.17 million students in 2014-15, 4.219 million in 2015-16 and 4.274 million in 2016-17.

Reforms in education system improved parents confidence, more than 34,000 students migrated from private to government schools in 2016, while this year a record of 151,000 students have been migrated.

Some of the Key Achievements of ESED:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province that has allocated budget for its Education Sector Plan in-line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nation on education.

More than 13600 schools were provided clean drinking water. In total the Department Spent Rs. 21 Billion on the missing facilities.

During the last three years, ESED has constructed more than 10,000 classrooms, more than 17,350 Group Latrines, more than 14,400 boundary walls, in addition to the completion of more than 10550 Schools electrification projects.

ESED in last three years hired about 40,000 more teachers.

Students drop-out significantly decreased.

To encourage girl’s education KP Govt. have built 1413 new girls’ community schools.

In these schools, 70,000 students are enrolled.

Among the students, total 500 million rupees were distributed by more than 30,000 education vouchers.

The ESED has allocated Rs. 4 billion to provide furniture to schools.

Additionally, ESED built 1350 IT Labs in schools.

The establishment of an Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) has helped in the reduction of teacher’s absenteeism by up to 10%.

The ESED has introduced compulsory Quranic Education in Schools from Class One to the intermediate class.

The first Government Girls Cadet College has been established in Mardan with an allocation of 3 Billion Rupees.

ESED established 5000 play areas and more than 140 sports grounds in schools.

The establishment of the Independent Monitoring Unit in 2013 has helped in overcoming Teachers absenteeism by up to 15%.

The Biometric system has been installed in 76 offices and 480 schools.

More than 1900 best-performing teachers received prizes of 100,000 and 50,000 cash in 2016 while more than 900 teachers received in 2015.

To encourage healthy habits among the students, 5000 sports kits were provided to students and more than 7500 play areas and 198 sports grounds have been completed.

More than 5500 schools have been converted to solar electricity.

ESED distributed more than 5.1 million drawing books in students all over KP.

The ESED has started prizes to the top position holders of Government Schools. Under this scheme, the government will give Rs One Million, Rs. 500,000, Rs. 300,000 prizes to those students of government schools who will get the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position in their board exam respectively.

One such example is available from 2016 when a Physically-challenged Faisal Malik, clinched the top position in the intermediate examinations in Abbottabad district in KP.

Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017 has shown that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has moved up the index and now leads the provision of infrastructure at the primary level across all the provinces in Pakistan.

However, at the middle school level, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is in the second spot after Punjab. Similarly, on the education score and beyond primary readiness score index Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lags behind the Punjab, Islamabad Capital Territory and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Education Reforms by Punjab Government:

The Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme (PESRP) and School Education Reforms Roadmap provided a holistic strategy for achieving systemic sectoral improvements over the last five years.

These reforms put a special emphasis on higher enrolment and retention, improved learning outcomes and quality of education, and a better managed, monitored and administered education sector.

Some of the flagship efforts under the programme include:

  • Improving the provision and quality of teaching
  • Developing improved monitoring systems
  • A robust public-private partnership programme through Punjab Education Foundation (PEF)
  • Restructuring of governance systems through District Education Authorities (DEA)
  • and the development of interventions that strengthen incentives and accountability for service delivery performance.

The last five years witnessed a substantial level of political and financial investment backed by unprecedented technical innovation in tackling the education crisis in Punjab, but the gains of the reforms enacted are still fragile.

Enrolment, retention, learning outcomes, public financial management, school infrastructure, discrepancies in the data regime and centralization of all these efforts continue to pose substantial challenges to the provincial authorities.

‘‘Punjab Government has started Chief Minister’s Stocktake Initiative and worked towards Public-Private Partnerships that have helped not only with accountability but also policy-making ensuring effective and timely solutions.’’

Minister School Education Rana Mashood

Education Reforms by Balochistan Govt.:

The Government of Balochistan has invested time and resources in a number of structural and governance reforms since 2013.

These reforms have largely been to address the challenges of providing improved infrastructure, devolving key responsibilities, and plugging the shortage of teachers through merit-based recruitment.

The Balochistan Education Sector Plan (2013-2018) provided a holistic strategy and roadmap for guiding the reforms process over the following five years. It put special emphasis on improving quality, equity and governance.

Under BESP, the Balochistan government implemented reform initiatives like:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Standardised testing of learning levels
  • Restructuring of governance systems through District Education Authorities (DEA)
  • and improved education financing.

Conclusion:

The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan cannot be done by the government alone, as a citizen of Pakistan, we are also responsible to help the govt. in improving the Education system in Pakistan. Only then, we will be able to pull out our beloved country from illiteracy.

Similarly, vocational and technical training should be paid attention to make skilled youth as an asset of Pakistan.

It was all about the Education System in Pakistan. You can comment your thoughts/suggestion in the comment section.

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