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Education quality in the country still not up to the mark

ISLAMABAD: Despite a renewed focus on education in recent years by the provincial and federal governments, there still appear to be major gaps as far as quality of education is concerned, as a new survey paints a gloomy picture of education standards in schools across the country.

The Annual Status of Education Report (Aser) 2016, was launched by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) on Tuesday revealed that 48pc Class 5 students surveyed in government and private schools in rural districts of the country could not read a story in Urdu.

Further, 54pc of the surveyed students could not read...

School enrolment dropped in 2015, says annual report

KARACHI: The Sindh launch of the Annual Status of Education Report, ASER-Pakistan 2015, at a hotel here on Thursday, highlighted several key findings of some 10,000 ASER volunteers covering the country that can pave the way of policy-makers looking to work for the betterment of education here.

In Sindh, the survey was conducted in 25 rural districts, covering 14,668 households in 737 villages. After collecting detailed information on 44,713 children aged three to 16 years of whom 58 per cent were male and 42pc female and looking at 698 government and 74 private schools in the province it...

24m students still out of school, says govt report

ISLAMABAD: Despite the government’s claim that it has brought major improvements to the country’s education sector, there is still much to be desired, with over 24 million children still out of school.

The figure was acknowledged for the first time when the Pakistan Education Statistics 2014-15 was launched by the Ministry of Federal Education’s Academy of Educational Planning and Management.

The report said the number of out of school children (OSCs) had declined from 25.02 million in 2013 to 24.02 million in 2014-15. Pakistan has the second highest number of out of school...

FEATURES Why Pakistan’s most successful businesswoman should be celebrated

As the founder of 256 schools, Seema Aziz has transformed the lives of millions. So why does the West ignore her story?


Pakistan society intended Seema Aziz to be a wife and mother. Her father arranged for her to get married at a young age, and by her early thirties she had a comfortable life as a Lahore housewife, married to a chemical engineer.

Then she took charge of her own fate. In the late 1970s, well before the era of jihad, Pakistan was flooded with western products. People began wearing jeans and T-shirts, leading Seema to conclude that there was a market for high-quality...

With Guns, You Can Kill Terrorists - With Education You Can kill Terrorism

With Guns, You Can Kill Terrorists With Education You Can kill Terrorism

Necessity of private schools linked to govt’s failure

The State has handled the sector of education so poorly that private schools have become necessary even though the gap between them and the public ones is seriously denting the society, internationally acclaimed physicist Dr Parvez Hoodbhoy said on Saturday. “In our set-up, the government has made such a mess of things in every sphere of activity that private schools have become a must,” he said while speaking as a panel list at a session titled, “Are private schools enablers or dividers?”, at a two-day conference, “School of Tomorrow: Educational and Cultural Festival 2015”,...

A broken system

IN Pakistan, one of the major factors contributing to rampant lawlessness is quite simply that criminals don’t get caught. And if they do, weak investigation and prosecution means that soon enough, dangerous individuals are back on the streets. In fact, the data collected by the Faisalabad police serves as an eye-opener to indicate just how rotten the system is. Information collected by the district police reportedly shows that over the last five years, around 8,000 suspected criminals have been released for a number of reasons. Some of the suspects were apprehended for alleged...

Pakistan shows modest improvement in standard of education, says report

A schoolgirl, who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, puts down her shoe before entering her classroom, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.

The Alif Ailaan District Education Rankings 2015 is the third annual attempt at comparing and contrasting the various regions of Pakistan based on their standards of education. Alif Ailaan and SDPI began this exercise in 2013. The attempt is to assess both educational outcomes and school infrastructure by comparing the relative performance of different regions.

‘Malala of Umerkot’ heads to New York


UMERKOT: Aasoo Kolhi, also known among her people as the ‘Malala of Umerkot’, shed tears of joy at the prospect of leaving for the US to attend the world premiere of the documentary film He named me Malala. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film is about Malala’s life, from childhood till the attack on her by the Taliban.

A poor peasant girl who set up a school in her village of Meena Je Dhani, near Umerkot, Aasoo’s efforts attracted the attention of Malala Yousufzai who invited her to New York. She will also attend the launch of the ‘Stand With Malala’ campaign.


So much aid, so little education by NADIA NAVIWALA

Five years ago, the Kerry-Lugar-Berman act was passed by the US Congress. Aiming to provide $7.5 billion to Pakistan over five years, the act was a bid to demonstrate American commitment to Pakistan and its people by investing in civilian sectors. This was supposed to symbolise a shift in US policy which is traditionally seen to favour military regimes in Pakistan.

Even though the money is far from having been spent in its entirety, this report examines the available numbers and the progress on the ground to trace where the aid went and what it has achieved.

WHEN the United States...

No Pakistani university makes it to list of top 100 Asian varsities by

ISLAMABAD: Though the annual budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has seen a steady increase for several years, in the recent ranking none of the Pakistani universities could make a place among the top 100 universities of Asia.

On the other hand, India and China are far better than Pakistan in the higher education sector as nine Indian and 20 Chinese universities were among the top 100 Asian universities ranked by the Times Higher Education magazine of London. The world university ranking is the annual publication of the magazine.

The Indian Institute of Science, Punjab...

Paper chase by Zubeida Mustafa

IN May the World Economic Forum issued the Human Capital Report 2015 that facilitates a comparative assessment of the education systems of various countries. For that purpose the WEF has created an index that uses four criteria (termed pillars) as a measure. They are education, health and wellness, employment and enabling environment. The idea is to judge the productive capacity of the workforce.

Where does Pakistan stand in this league? With a score of 52.63, we rank 113th out of a total of 124 countries assessed. In other words, only 11 countries are in a worse state than us. Finland...

War and schools by Rafia Zakaria

AS the month of May wound to an end, representatives of 37 countries got together for a meeting in Oslo to sign on to a document known as the Safe Schools Declaration. Developed by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), the document stipulates that the joining countries will commit themselves to taking concrete steps that will protect education. All of them will now join in to act on GCPEA guidelines for the protection of schools and universities from military use during armed conflict. These guidelines call on all sides in armed conflict to avoid using the...

Enabling the differently abled


attendants that are hired by parents at a monthly fee of Rs3,000 to facilitate their children.

“Not every parent can afford that. Second, being a mother of a teenage girl, I have reservations over having male attendants that are also required to carry disabled children, including girls, in their arms to take them to the washroom or help them get into the van,” she says, voicing her concerns.

The government schools for special children, she believes, are as ill-equipped as any other school being run in the public sector. “Children are given long breaks so teachers can spend...

Getting to school by FAISAL BARI

IN a village just one kilometre from Sheikhupura city girls cannot go to schools or colleges and cannot look for work as they do not have access to safe and secure means of transport. They cannot walk to the city, there is no reliable public transport and there are no dedicated school buses. The village has a high school but then most girls don’t continue with their education post matriculation. The most common complaint, from mothers, is that ‘girls spend the entire day doing nothing’.

In the past month, I have visited girls’ schools across three provinces and many cities and...

Literacy rate remains unchanged by KASHIF ABBASI

ISLAMABAD: Despite their tall claims of placing a special emphasis on the education sector, the provincial and federal governments could not improve the literacy rate over the past five years.

In 2010-11, the country’s literacy rate was 58 per cent whereas in 2013-14, there was virtually no improvement at all, according to the Economic Survey.

The survey said that like many developing countries, Pakistan had not made adequate progress in the field of education and that 42 per cent of its population rema­ined unable to read or write.

It said that school enrolment was low and...

The 4pc Challenge by Asif Saeed Memon

THE budget season is here. Like every year we’ll be hearing calls to increase the education budget. By now we all know that the Pakistani state — the federation as well as the provinces — spends a paltry 2pc of GDP on education.

By comparison, Bhutan spends over 5pc of its GDP on education and India 3.8pc. Countries in the West spend over 5pc while Scandinavian countries, often ranked at the top of international literacy and numeracy tables, spend in excess of 6pc.

When set against the number of children our education system leaves behind (estimates range from 11 to 25 million...

American Kids Are Poorer Than They Were Decades Ago, Education Report Shows


Poverty, which affects a growing number of American students, begins its negative impact on learning as early as the beginning of kindergarten, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report released Thursday.

Teachers reported that kindergarten students from affluent households in the 2010-2011 school year were more likely to have positive approaches to learning than those whose families live below the poverty line, according to the center's annual report, called The Condition of Education 2015. A...

Poland outperforms UK in education and health, report finds

Analysis suggests that Poland is the best country at turning economic growth into the wellbeing of its citizens


Poland is outperforming the UK when it comes to education as well as being the world leader in converting economic growth into the well-being of its citizens, according to a new report.

The Sustainable economic development assessment (Seda) by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) measures wellbeing across 149 countries.

Under the education dimension of Seda, Poland got a score of 90 (the best country gets 100 and the worst zero). This was higher than the...

The HEC should never rank Pakistan's universities


The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan should be the last institution to make public its ranking of universities.

The commission is directly responsible for funding research and providing capital for expansion. The university rankings, as a result, are greeted by those at the top. However, those at the bottom would consider the rankings a sign of future denials by HEC to their capital requests.

The recently released rankings list Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) at the top in the general category. This must have raised the morale at Pakistan’s premier research university....