Education in India & Pakistan

As of 2010, there are 380 out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 who enrolled in school, 22 dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 completed it. There are 401 out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 completed secondary school  while 111 dropped out. Only 55 made it to college out of which 39 graduated with a degree.

The preceding assessment is based on an interpretation offered by Indian blogger Siddarth Vij of Barro-Lee data in response to my earlier blog post titled Pakistan Ahead of India in Graduation at All LevelsRobert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee are Harvard University researchers whose data on educational attainment is used by UNDP and the World Bank.  Here's how Vij read Barro-Lee dataset for India:

"327 out of every 1000 Indians above the age of 15 have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 673, only 20 dropped out during primary school. Once we got kids into primary school, we managed to make sure that they completed it. In secondary school, however, the situation is markedly different. 465 out of every 1000 Indians made it to secondary school but 394 dropped out without completing. Only 58 made it to college out of which a little more than half graduated with a degree" 

Putting the two together, here's how the two South Asian neighbors compare:

 As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school  while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians)  made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.

While Vij's explanation of Barro-Lee data-set sounds quite plausible, I still stand by my conclusion made in the earlier post that the percentage of population that completed secondary and tertiary education in Pakistan is higher than that in India.

Source: OECD Global Education Digest 2009



Another important point to note in Barro-Lee dataset is that Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India. In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians who had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.


Clearly, both India and Pakistan have made significant progress on the education front in the last few decades. However, the Barro-Lee dataset confirms that the two South Asian nations still have a long way to go to catch up with the rapidly developing nations of East Asia as well as the industrialized world.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India & Pakistan Comparison Update 2011

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices



Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET piece on Pakistani universities among top 300 in Asia:

Investments in higher education seem to have reaped dividends as six universities of Pakistan, including the University of Karachi (KU), have won a place among the top 300 Asian universities.

The QS Asian University Rankings 2012 list shows National University of Science and Technology (#108), KU (#191-200), Aga Khan University (#201-250), Lahore University of Management Sciences (#251-300) and The University of Lahore (#251-300) in the top 300 universities of the continent.

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is the world’s most renowned and prestigious ranking agency.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) claimed that the rankings speak volumes about the hard work put in by the management and faculty of these universities.

The HEC has consistently supported the varsities in terms of infrastructure, digital libraries, opportunities for innovative research, collaborative research projects with leading international institutions and participating in international exchange programmes, it was said.

Pakistani universities have produced more PhDs in the past nine years (3,280) – since the establishment of the HEC – than in the first 55 years (3,000) of the country’s establishment.

Research output has grown eight-fold since 2002 (from 815 in 2002 to 6,200 in 2011) which is a remarkable achievement by any world standard. Eighty per cent of these research publications are coming from higher education institutes. The output has more than doubled in the last three years and is expected to double again in the next three.

Around 5,000 scholars from Pakistan have presented their research work at leading conferences of the world and have established academic linkages with their counterparts in every leading university of the world in the US, UK, China, Germany, France, Australia, Korea, etc.

According to the HEC, Pakistani scientists, engineers and technologists are the country’s biggest strategic asset. Till five years ago, they were concentrated in a few strategic organisations, but the higher education revolution brought about by the HEC has ensured that every engineering and science and technology university has started to blossom into a centre of research and innovation.

The HEC declared that it has been able to break the elitist myth of availability of talent only in large cities by providing scholarships to talented students belonging to the middle class and poor segments of the society.

Currently, the education commission is focusing on expansion of facilities for biotechnology and genetics, immunology, robotics and automation, nanotechnology, superconductivity, photo-optics and lasers, electromagnetics and nuclear fusion for energy, it was stated.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/386574/ku-lands-in-bottom-half-of-top-300-asian-universities/

http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/asian-university-rankings/2012
Riaz Haq said…
Here are the names of 6 Pakistani universities among top 300 Asian universities ranked by QS 2012:

#108 NUST Islamabad

#191-200 University of Karachi

#201-250 Agha Khan University Karachi

#201-250 Univ of Engg & Tech (UET) Lahore

#251-300 Lahore University of Management Sciences

#251-300 University of Lahore
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an AFP report on Pakistan economy:

Pakistan's economy grew by 3.7 percent in the current fiscal year with tax collection up an "unprecedented" 25 percent, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Thursday.

He unveiled the statistics one day before presenting the next budget to parliament amid concerns that Pakistan is headed towards a financial crisis unless it returns to the IMF.

"The growth rate remained 3.7 percent and it is the highest in the past three years," Shaikh told a news conference of the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

"The growth rate for a country like Pakistan should be at least five to six percent and this is our medium term goal," he said.

Shaikh said that high oil prices in the international market had affected economies all over the world, including Pakistan's, and that Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence deterred foreign investors.

Pakistan has also suffered from a second consecutive year of major flooding, totting up losses of $3 billion, Shaikh said.

The minister said the budget deficit was five percent for the period July 2011 to April 2012. External forecasts predict it will nudge closer to seven percent of GDP for the fiscal year amid warnings that the government is running out of ways to fund it.

The IMF bailed out Pakistan with an $11.3 billion loan package in 2008 that stopped last November after Islamabad rejected strict reform demands, largely over tax.

Shaikh said tax collection had increased by 25 percent compared to the previous year.

"For the first 10 months we had tax collection of 1,450 billion rupees as compared to 1,050 billion rupees last year and it is an increase of 25 percent which is unprecedented in Pakistan's history," Shaikh said.

The country's tax revenues are among the lowest in the world at just 9.8 percent of GDP in fiscal 2010-2011, says the Asian Development Bank. Less than two percent of the population pays tax on their income.

The minister said the government had reduced its expenses by 10 percent.

Inflation stood at 10.8 percent, compared to 13.8 percent during the previous fiscal year, he said, adding: "We have adopted a tight monetary policy."

Pakistan has also missed out on payments from the United States for its efforts to fight militancy under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

This brought around $8.8 billion into Pakistan's coffers between 2002 and 2011, including $1.5 billion in 2009-10, but Islamabad stopped claiming the money as ties with Washington collapsed in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i5FI6KtGv3YCAp5BkWTywYT69MaQ?docId=CNG.f69b45f6cd1189152e35c5b5ab00af47.8a1
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET story on increasing school enrollment in Swat with food rations to children:

Apart from providing education, primary schools have an added incentive for children in upper Swat. They get free food rations for attending classes under the United Nations World Food Safety Net Feeding Programme. This has subsequently upped the enrolment rate in the schools by 60 per cent, it has been learnt.

Students have been provided energy biscuits and cooking oil under the World Food Program-sponsored programme since 2009. Teachers said that the project is achieving more than their expectations.

“Apart from increasing enrolment in primary schools, the programme aims to eliminate child labour and improve attendance,” Programme Manager Amjad Ali told The Express Tribune. He said that around 130,000 children and teachers in 610 primary schools of the upper Swat have benefited from the programme.

Balancing an oil canister in his hands, Muhammad Ali, a second grader who was returning home on Wednesday, said joyously: “We get parathas (oiled flatbread) with tea at school daily in the morning, which we did not get before.”

Another schoolboy, also holding an oil canister he got from school, seemed even more jubilant than his classmates. “We are getting double advantage: study and food. We love our school,” they said in unison.

“This is an effective way of attracting children towards schools,” said Kalam Education Department Centre In-charge Shah Nazar. “We don’t need to launch new campaigns to attract students; we are already short of space to accommodate them,” he said. Nazar added the programme has also motivated parents who were initially sceptical about sending their children to school and were more inclined towards sending them to work instead.

Abdul Ghafar Khan, a teacher in Kalam, concurred. He said that with the incentive of food, even street children have been admitted to schools.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/386965/food-for-education-in-swat-a-delectable-reason-to-be-in-primary-school/
Riaz Haq said…
Here are a few excerpts from Wall Street Journal story titled "India Fades":

India's growth prospects have been fading for some time. Multinationals are walking away from the country, withdrawing some $10.7 billion worth of investments in 2011 alone, according to Nomura. Manufacturing contracted by 0.3% for the year that ended March 31. Agriculture and services faltered as well.
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Delhi managed to keep the party going after the 2008 financial crisis with more government spending and easier credit. But that only postponed the reckoning—while sending the inflation rate north of 8% for the better part of the last two years.

After growth dipped below 7% late last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned to gimmicks, like having state-owned Coal India boost coal supply to power producers in a one-off manner or proposing to set up special manufacturing zones where factories would get tax breaks. But businesses want less red tape permanently, especially when it comes to energy investments, as well as labor reform to make hiring and firing easier. On both fronts, the Prime Minister has done nothing.

Then there was his one serious attempt at reform. In late November he announced plans to allow foreign investment in big-box retail stores. The reform would have been a boon for consumers, and would have helped import some crucial supply-chain know how. But the reform met the usual combination of populist and special-interest resistance, and the government folded in 10 short days.

Indians are increasingly disenchanted with Congress's failure to push for pro-market reforms, and have voted accordingly in recent state elections. That's the good news. There's been a lot of talk about India's emergence as a new economic superpower. An India with the ambition to rise in the world will not treat a high-growth economy as a national birthright.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640104577440103460087194.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Nature report on financial crunch hurting university research in Pakistan:

Pakistani universities are grappling with yet another financial crisis after parliament’s approval of a 2012–13 higher-education research budget of 15.8 billion rupees (US$166 million), 10 billion rupees less than the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had asked for.
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The HEC, which governs and distributes funds to Pakistan’s 74 government-funded universities, was set up in 2002, and it brought about revolutionary changes in the country’s higher-education system. University enrolment tripled between 2003 and 2008 and the number of international research publications from Pakistani institutions rocketed from 600 per year to more than 4,300. The HEC’s research funding rose from 270 million rupees in 2002 to 22.5 billion rupees in 2009, but fell to 14 billion rupees last year.

The financial stress has already led to the closure of many research and higher-education projects, including a programme of ‘Core Groups’ to promote life sciences, chemistry and physics. Most of the 175 new projects funded by HEC last year are going at a slow pace or have been halted for want of funds.
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The main reason behind the low funding for the HEC is a constitutional amendment enacted in 2010 that devolved responsibility for several federal ministries, including the education ministry, to the provinces. The government has tried to devolve the HEC as well, even though it was not under the control of the education ministry. This led to mass protests in April 2011, and Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared the plan unlawful.

Academics say that devolving the HEC to the provinces would undo the recent improvements in higher education, and some believe that the federal government considers the HEC a financial liability, as spending money on an institution that will eventually be devolved to the provinces is an unfruitful investment.

Imtiaz Gilani, vice-chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar, says: “Funding cuts and the non-provision of promised money shows that the government wants to get rid of higher-education responsibility, but this would badly affect universities and research in Pakistan.”

The government issued a notification on 11 June bringing the HEC under the control of the Ministry of Professional and Technical Education, paving the way for devolution. This move was widely opposed by academics, who fear that it will damage the commission’s autonomy.

Kaleem Ullah, president of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), which organised the 25 June protests, says that his group will not be satisfied until all withheld funds are released. FAPUASA has threatened to stage continuous protests until the funding issue is resolved.


http://www.nature.com/news/academics-protest-shrinking-funds-in-pakistan-1.10935
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET story on Dr. Ataur Rehman speech on knowledge economy in Pakistan:

“With the initiatives taken by the HEC, Pakistan was poised to make a major breakthrough and evolve into a knowledge economy from an agricultural economy,” he said. He lamented that an official notification was issued on November 30, 2010 to fragment the HEC and break it into pieces.

Rehman, however, being the Pakistan Academy of Science president intervened and approached the apex court to receive an order which declared the fragmentation of the HEC to be unconstitutional. “The government, however, slashed the commission’s budget by 50 per cent and a number of development programmes in universities have come to a halt,” he said.

Making a reference to an article in The Hindustan Times, he said, “The rapid developments posed a threat to India, but we ourselves are our own worst enemy.” He added we had this aim that Pakistan should not equal India but outdo it in terms of research outpost.

He also highlighted the fact that during his term as minister, he successfully convinced the former president, Pervez Musharraf, to increase the education budget by 2,400 per cent and that of science and technology by 1,600 per cent.

According to Dr Rehman, around 11,000 scholarships were awarded to students to study abroad at mostly European universities.

He said that the world’s largest Fulbright scholarship programme was initiated, with a research grant worth $100,000 dollars and a job arranged for the recipient a year prior of returning to Pakistan.

The HEC also developed the Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) through which 60,000 textbooks and 25,000 research journals were made accessible to students at their educational institutions. The students’ enrolment at the universities climbed up to 850,000 from 270,000 in just nine years while the universities produced 3,685 PhDs in such a short span which earlier were 3,200 in total from 1947 till 2000.

As for technological development, Dr Rehman said that fiber-optics lines which were laid in 40 cities in the year 2000, expanded to 400 cities allowing access to internet in nearly 1,000 cities and villages from just 29 cities previously.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/410711/we-are-converting-to-a-knowledge-based-economy-from-an-agriculture-based-economy/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's PakObserver on growing number of people with doctorate degrees i Pakistan:

Saturday, November 24, 2012 - Islamabad—The Pakistani universities are now able to produce more PhDs in the next 3 years as compared to last 10 years. The total number of PhDs in Pakistan has reached the figure of 8,142. According to the available statistics, the number of PhDs has increased from 348 (1947 to 2002) to 679 in 2012 in agriculture and veterinary sciences, from 586 to 1,096 in biological sciences, from 14 to 123 in business education, from merely 21 to 262 in engineering and technology and from 709 to 1,071 in physical sciences, Technology Times Reported.

In social sciences, the number increased to 887 from 108 during last ten years. The figures also indicate that during the last decade, special emphasis has been paid to the disciplines of agriculture and veterinary science, biological, physical and social sciences, business education, engineering and technology. “HEC has so far introduced various indigenous scholarship schemes to create a critical mass of highly qualified human resources in all fields of studies who conduct research on issues of importance to Pakistan.


http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=183938
Riaz Haq said…
It takes at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers with relevant training and skills to have a nuclear weapons program, according to a 1968 UN study...."a United Nations study conservatively estimates that at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers are needed to develop and maintain warhead production facilities, and an additional 19,000 personnel (more than 5000 of them scientists and engineers) are required to produce delivery vehicles of the intermediate ballistic missile variety"

There's a recent book titled "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb" by Feroz Khan to understand the basic fact that Pak nuclear weapons program has been a great catalyst for building national human capital and industrial base in the country.

Since 1990s, Pak has built two indigenous nuclear reactors at Khushab entirely on its own. Two more are under construction now.

As to nuclear power plants, Pakistan will find a way to generate more energy from various sources...the current PAEC plan is to build 8,800 MW nuclear power plants capacity by 2030.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of a Dawn report on Pakistan's university education:

According to the OECD’s 2009 Global Education Digest, 6.3 per cent of Pakistanis were university graduates as of 2007. The government plans to increase this rate to 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020. But the key challenges are readiness for growth of the educational infrastructure and support from public and private sector.
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According to 2008 statistics, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year. Pakistan Telecom Authority indicates that as of 2008 there are nearly 22 million internet users and over 80 million mobile phone subscribers. A combination of all these educational and technological factors gives Pakistan great leverage to progress towards targeted curriculum development and dissemination through e-learning..


http://dawn.com/2011/02/28/towards-e-learning/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a NY Times story on college degrees in America:

Last year, 33.5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24.7 percent in 1995, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 1975, the share was 21.9 percent. The number of two-year college degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates has also risen recently.

The increases appear to be driven both by a sharp rise in college enrollment and by an improvement among colleges in graduating students. The trends could bring good news in future years, economists say, as more Americans become qualified for higher-paying jobs as the economy recovers.

College attendance has increased in the past decade partly because of the new types of jobs that have been created in the digital age, which have increased the wage gap between degree holders and everyone else. The recent recession, which pushed more workers of all ages to take shelter on college campuses while the job market was poor, has also played a role.

“Basically, I was just barely getting by, and I didn’t like my job, and I wanted to do something that wasn’t living dollar to dollar,” said Sarah O’Doherty, 24, a former nail salon receptionist who will graduate next month from the County College of Morris in New Jersey with a degree in respiratory therapy. “After I had my son, I wanted to do something I felt passionate about, to have a career.”

The attainment of bachelor’s degrees has risen much faster for young women in the past decade than for young men. It has also risen among young whites, blacks and Hispanics, though relatively little among Asians, who already had the highest rate of college completion. The share of people with a college degree also varies tremendously by state, with 48.1 percent of people ages 25 to 34 in Massachusetts holding a bachelor’s degree, but just 20.4 percent in Nevada, according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a research and development center founded to improve management at colleges
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The unemployment rate for graduates of four-year colleges between the ages of 25 and 34 was 3.3 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For high school graduates in the same age group who had not attended college, it was 11.8 percent.

Today’s premium for college degrees is caused partly by increasing selectiveness among employers about whom they hire and screening based on education even for positions that do not require higher skills. But jobs themselves have changed, too.

“Think about jobs 15 years ago that didn’t need any college education,” said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education. Many of them now do, she added.

“Maybe you don’t need a bachelor’s to change bedpans,” Ms. Baum said, “but today if you’re an auto mechanic, you really have to understand computers and other technical things.”
....


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/13/education/a-sharp-rise-in-americans-with-college-degrees.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an AP report on private school enrollment growth in Pakistan:

Pakistan is seeing a surge in private schools, a trend some find hopeful in a country where the government education system is decrepit and the other alternative is religious schools, known here as madrasas, which offer little education beyond memorizing the Quran and are seen as one source of Islamic militancy.

The U.S., for one, says it plans to invest in private schools as part of a multibillion-dollar aid package designed to erode extremism in the nuclear-armed country battered by Taliban attacks.

"The quality of education in the public sector is deteriorating day by day," said T.M. Qureshi, a Ministry of Education official. "When there's a vacuum of quality, someone will fill it."

According to UNESCO figures, Pakistan spends 2.9 percent of its gross domestic product on education, slightly less than India's 3.2 percent and well below the U.S.'s 5.2 percent.

One reason education has historically been a low priority for Pakistani governments, experts say, is that the governing elite can afford to send their children to the best private schools or to academies abroad. Another, the experts say, is the feudal structures in the rural areas that give landowners an incentive to keep farm workers uneducated and submissive.

Only around half of Pakistani adults can read, schools often lack basic amenities like water, teachers get away with absences, and the bureaucracy is cumbersome.

But since the mid-1990s, small, inexpensive private schools, once an urban phenomenon, have been sprouting in earnest in the poorer countryside, offering relatively affordable tuition, according to a 2008 World Bank report.

Between 2000 and 2005, their number grew from 32,000 to 47,000, the report said. More recent Pakistani government statistics put the figure at more than 58,000. Around one-third of Pakistan's 33 million students attend a range of private schools, far more than the 1.6 million in the 12,000 madrasas.

The private schools tend to outperform their government peers academically, though generally speaking, standards are low across the board, said Tahir Andrabi, an economics professor at Pomona College in California who has studied the trend.

In the big picture, proponents of private schools echo the argument for charter schools in the U.S. — that they can make schools better and children more educated, and in Pakistan's case dent poverty and the appeal of extremism.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/11/07/pakistan-sees-surge-in-private-schools-over-failing-government-system/
Riaz Haq said…
From Sadaf Shallwani:

Take a look at these recent statistics:

Pakistan has the second highest (after Nigeria) population of out-of-school children in the world, with almost five and a half million school-aged children not accessing school . This number accounts for 10% of the world’s out-of-school children. (UNESCO, 2014)
72% of school-aged children enroll in school. This is an improvement compared to two decades ago, when only 58% of children enrolled in school. One of key goals of the Education For All declaration is for countries to achieve a primary enrollment target of at least 95% by 2015. While Pakistan is rated as very far from target (with an enrollment rate below 80%), it is also rated as having relatively strong progress over the last two decades. (UNESCO, 2014)
However, only one out of every two children who enroll in school will make it to the last year of primary (Grade 5). On average, 4% of children will repeat any given grade. (UNESCO, 2014)
Before the end of Grade 1, 17.5% of enrolled children drop out of school. Another 4.9% repeat Grade 1. In other words, more than one in five children experiences failure before making it to Grade 2. (UNESCO, 2014)
Of those children completing primary school (Grade 5), 51% are unable to read at a Grade 2 level and 57% are unable to do arithmetic at a Grade 2 level (SAFED, 2014). This means that these children have spent five or more years of their lives attending school but are still without basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Outcomes for all learning indicators are lower in government schools than in private schools, and lower in rural areas than in urban areas. (SAFED, 2014)
The education system is failing too many children!

Education is critical for human development – and for national development. Consider this:

The Pakistani government invests only 2.3% of its Gross National Product in education – less than what it spends on the military (UNESCO, 2014). The effects on the availability and quality of the education system are clear, as seen above.
In Pakistan, the wages of a literate person are 23% higher than those of an illiterate person (UNESCO, 2014). However, the adult literacy rate is 55% (UNESCO, 2014), and it will be difficult to increase this number in the decades ahead with so many out-of-school children, and so many children leaving primary school without basic literacy skills.
We need to push for greater public investment in education in Pakistan. This means:

Increasing tax revenue and reducing tax evasion (less than 1% of Pakistanis pay income tax – Economist, 2012, as cited in UNESCO, 2014)
Prioritizing education at the policy and budget level – above the military for example (education is likely a stronger force against terrorism and war anyway, in the long run!), and
Identifying and implementing proven strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools across the country – especially in the early grades. (More on this in a later post.)

http://sadafshallwani.net/2014/08/07/primary-education-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
From Sadaf Shallwani:

Take a look at these recent statistics:

Pakistan has the second highest (after Nigeria) population of out-of-school children in the world, with almost five and a half million school-aged children not accessing school . This number accounts for 10% of the world’s out-of-school children. (UNESCO, 2014)
72% of school-aged children enroll in school. This is an improvement compared to two decades ago, when only 58% of children enrolled in school. One of key goals of the Education For All declaration is for countries to achieve a primary enrollment target of at least 95% by 2015. While Pakistan is rated as very far from target (with an enrollment rate below 80%), it is also rated as having relatively strong progress over the last two decades. (UNESCO, 2014)
However, only one out of every two children who enroll in school will make it to the last year of primary (Grade 5). On average, 4% of children will repeat any given grade. (UNESCO, 2014)
Before the end of Grade 1, 17.5% of enrolled children drop out of school. Another 4.9% repeat Grade 1. In other words, more than one in five children experiences failure before making it to Grade 2. (UNESCO, 2014)
Of those children completing primary school (Grade 5), 51% are unable to read at a Grade 2 level and 57% are unable to do arithmetic at a Grade 2 level (SAFED, 2014). This means that these children have spent five or more years of their lives attending school but are still without basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Outcomes for all learning indicators are lower in government schools than in private schools, and lower in rural areas than in urban areas. (SAFED, 2014)
The education system is failing too many children!

Education is critical for human development – and for national development. Consider this:

The Pakistani government invests only 2.3% of its Gross National Product in education – less than what it spends on the military (UNESCO, 2014). The effects on the availability and quality of the education system are clear, as seen above.
In Pakistan, the wages of a literate person are 23% higher than those of an illiterate person (UNESCO, 2014). However, the adult literacy rate is 55% (UNESCO, 2014), and it will be difficult to increase this number in the decades ahead with so many out-of-school children, and so many children leaving primary school without basic literacy skills.
We need to push for greater public investment in education in Pakistan. This means:

Increasing tax revenue and reducing tax evasion (less than 1% of Pakistanis pay income tax – Economist, 2012, as cited in UNESCO, 2014)
Prioritizing education at the policy and budget level – above the military for example (education is likely a stronger force against terrorism and war anyway, in the long run!), and
Identifying and implementing proven strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools across the country – especially in the early grades. (More on this in a later post.)

http://sadafshallwani.net/2014/08/07/primary-education-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
The Global Search for Education: What's the News from Pakistan?

I had the pleasure of talking to Sir Michael Barber (Chief Education Advisor, Pearson) who is a leading authority on education systems and education reform. Barber's recently published report, The Good News from Pakistan, showcases the revolutionary reform in Punjab -- an initiative that posed one of the greatest challenges to education improvement in the world.
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What made you call Pakistan, when you first approached your job, the biggest education reform challenge on the planet?

One reason was just the sheer scale: estimates vary, but there are somewhere between 25 and 30 million children and between 300,000 and 400,000 teachers in Punjab, Pakistan. The numbers in Pakistan as a whole are double that. Another is that Pakistan is a place ridden with crises and complexity, given just the security challenges alone. Punjab had just had a flood; that's not the first time that's happened. They've got a whole variety of health challenges; they've got a water challenge; they've got an energy challenge. And then the politics have been complicated throughout. So put together all of those things -- the scale plus all the challenges that Pakistan faces in society, and all of those things distract the politicians.

Your report shows immense statistical improvements in its education system, including improved attendance and teacher presence. What changes for you have been the most crucial?

A major factor of our success has been improved management at every level. We had good, focused attention from the chief minister and a really good team of officials in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, overseeing a team of about 10 or 12 officials that any UK government or any US state would be proud to have running their education report. The districts, the top officials, and the top education officials are now all appointed on merit. So a really big part of it, that's very important, is just improving the management, or what I call a "delivery chain."

The second thing is getting regular monthly data from all the 60,000 schools of Punjab. We use that data to drive action, so if we see that one of the 36 districts is underperforming in one of the indicators, we try to find out why that is and solve that problem with them. So great management and real time data.

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Where does Pakistan's educational system stand now in terms of effectiveness, in your opinion? And what further progress or changes at this point do you feel need to be made, looking forward?

It's still a very poor system in terms of national benchmarking. It's still far short of what it needs to be. The chief minister and all his officials are totally aware of that. So it's got a long way to go. I would say that what the chief minister and his team have done is take a system that was really, really poor and make it better. But there's much more to do to build the capacity of teachers to teach great lessons every time. They've got much better textbooks, they've got lesson plans, but the sophistication of the lesson plans, really delivering high quality lessons on a regular basis, and the whole approach to continuous teacher development that you see in the better developed systems, we haven't quite got that working the way we need to yet. That's a big focus at the moment.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_b_6209060.html

http://www.reform.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The_good_news_from_Pakistan_final.pdf

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1amf6m_punjab-pakistan-education-reform-roadmap_news
Riaz Haq said…
Ayaz Ali stands outside the only school in his southern Pakistan village, struggling to recall the last time the lone teacher showed up. It was at least five years ago.

“I’d come back but we haven’t really seen the teacher for some time now,” said Ali, 16, who now spends his days in the fields picking cotton and wheat near Allah Warayo village in Sindh province. “I don’t think he’s returning.”

The school is strewn with plastic bags, while urine stains and dried-out feces emit a foul smell. Since district education officials say the school is technically still open, Ali has no alternatives that he can afford.

Ali’s plight shows how Pakistan’s government often poses a bigger obstacle to a quality education than Taliban militants who shot Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in the face two years ago. One in three students now attends a privately run school, up 50 percent from a decade ago, as a failing public system produces one of the world’s highest truancy rates.

“People are rushing to private schools,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, campaign director for Alif Ailaan, an education advocacy group in Islamabad, who added that poor students like Ali who can’t afford private school are the ones who suffer most. “The answer isn’t private, private, private. The answer is to fix the government.”

The country has seven million children who are out of school, two-thirds of them girls, and most of them lack minimum mastery of math and reading, according to a World Bank report in April 2014. Pakistan ranked 113 of 120 countries on the United Nations’s Education for All index.

Pakistan is a young country, with a third of its population less than 15 years old. Even so, spending on education fell for a second straight year to 2.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, among the lowest in the world, according to the latest available data from the World Bank. That’s about half as much as the nuclear-armed nation spends on its military, budget documents show.

Since his election in May 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has focused on stabilizing an economy hit by a power crisis that curbed growth. Provincial governments are responsible for overseeing education, according to the constitution.

Ali’s school in Allah Warayo is typical of government-run schools, which are often in decaying buildings that lack running water, toilets or proper furniture. Teachers are frequently absent or don’t attend at all.
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Private schools are increasingly filling the gap. Pakistan now has more than 150,000 for-profit schools, at least 25,000 madrasahs and hundreds of other non-profit schools. That compares with 233,300 public schools, according to the government’s Economic Survey 2014.

Elite private schools in well-to-do sections of big cities can cost as much as 30,000 rupees ($300) a month. These offer better salaries to attract highly qualified teachers and provide a good standard of education.

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Politicians often stand in the way, said Atta-ur-Rahman, a former chairman of the constitutionally mandated Higher Education Commission. Poorly qualified teachers are routinely hired as a way to dish out favors in return for votes.

“The feudal landlords who have ruled over us are determined to keep the people of Pakistan uneducated,” Atta-ur-Rahman said. “This allows them to loot and plunder the national exchequer at will.”

In Allah Warayo village, Ali is stuck toiling in the fields as he waits for his school to reopen.

“I really miss my math class,” he said. “If I can go back to school, I will leave this farm work and finish my education so I can get a proper job and take care of my family.”




http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-12-08/trash-filled-classrooms-have-pakistanis-racing-to-private-school
Riaz Haq said…
The Promise of Pakistan’s Private Schools
Through market-driven schools, young Pakistani women are gaining access to opportunity.
By Tahir Andrabi

Dec. 11, 2014 11:59 a.m. ET , Wall Street Journal


When 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Wednesday, the accompanying pomp and press coverage helped rekindle a global fascination with the fearless young Pakistani activist who was shot and wounded after speaking out against Taliban attacks on girls’ schools.
Back home in Pakistan, the international attention has only fed the polarized opinion surrounding Ms. Yousafzai, beloved by some and derided as a pawn of the West by others.
But to single out Ms. Yousafzai as either a national hero or tool of foreign influence is to miss the real story. After working as a field researcher in Pakistan for a decade, it’s become clear to me that Ms. Yousafzai represents a new generation in Pakistan, where an estimated 50 million children are of primary-school age. For the first time in the nation’s history, more girls—63%—of primary-school age are in school than not, even as they face Taliban and other extremist threats, and even amidst an ongoing national crisis of leadership.
Girls in every corner of Pakistan, including those bordering the tribal areas and in Ms. Yousafzai’s northwest home district of Swat, are not only passing high-school exit exams at a higher rate than boys, they also consistently rank among the top students in these exams. In the most recent rounds of admissions to medical and dental schools, Pakistani girls made up 70% of the successful candidates.
The most striking change in the educational landscape feeding this phenomenon is the tremendous growth in low-cost private schools and not, as is commonly believed, in religious schools, or madrassas. This is confirmed by surveys, by government data and now by an increasing body of my own team’s field research. Their growth is fastest in the rural areas, including the Pashtun belt, and their numbers increased to more than 70,000 in 2011 from 36,000 in 1999—with no signs of a slowdown. Today they account for almost 40% of enrollment of the country’s youth. In fact, Ms. Yousafzai’s father started one such school—the Khushal School and College—in Swat in the 1990s.
This phenomenon first began after the denationalization of schools and colleges in the 1980s, allowing a critical mass of modestly educated young women, which had emerged due to government investments in secondary schooling, to serve as teachers in these schools. Today these mom-and-pop-run schools are market driven, fiercely competitive and teach a mainstream curriculum focusing on languages and math. Staffed overwhelmingly with local female teachers and bereft of any organized support from foreign-aid donors or the Pakistani government, these schools outperform their public counterparts (admittedly a low bar) on learning outcomes by a wide margin—equivalent to one year’s worth of learning by grade five. And tuition is only about $2 a month, making the schools affordable to many families dependent on daily wage labor of about $2 per day—the nation’s poverty line.
In surveys conducted in poor rural areas by the research team to which I belong, Pakistani parents exhibit little gender bias in their belief in girls’ abilities to succeed academically. In carefully conducted field experiments, rural families tend to show high aspirations for their girls when told of the increasing performance of girls in urban areas. What also stands out in these surveys is how the aspirations of Pakistani parents are indistinguishable from those in similarly developed countries across Asia and Africa.
Pakistan is a large, complex country, and there is danger in pushing any single narrative too far....


http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-promise-of-pakistans-private-schools-1418317180
Riaz Haq said…
The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with two different non-governmental organisations to arrange free education for out of schoolchildren in backward districts of Southern Punjab that lack educational facilities.

PEF Director (NSP) Maleeha Batool signed the agreement on behalf of the foundation at her office.

Under the MOUs, BRAC Pakistan and Ghazali Education Trust will open low-cost schools as per need assessment in the districts of Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh to educate a total of 32,000 out of schoolchildren during the current academic year. These schools will be opened under the ‘New School Program’ undertaken by the foundation, while PEF will provide a monthly fee and textbooks to the students.

Meanwhile, Managing Director PEF Dr. Aneela Salman has welcomed this MOU and hoped that this partnership will open new avenues for the deserving out of schoolchildren in these two districts. She said that the NSP is helping promote free schooling in the remote areas through private entrepreneurs.

This initiative is part of a commitment to ensure free quality education for every deserving child in Punjab, especially girls, so that they can change their lives through education, she added

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/05/04/city/lahore/pef-gives-32000-out-of-schoolchildren-a-chance-at-education/
Riaz Haq said…
DFID support is primarily towards the national cash transfer programme, providing women from the poorest households a monthly stipend of Rs1,500.

DFID is also supporting BISP’s Waseela-e-Taleem education conditional cash transfer programme, which encourages the poorest families to send their children to school. “DFID will continue to support the Government of Pakistan in expanding and strengthening the country’s largest national social safety net. This support is vital to empowering nearly five million women from some of Pakistan’s poorest families through monthly stipends,” Swayne said in a statement. He added that these stipends allow beneficiaries to buy essential items such as food and medicine, and to protect them from shocks such as illness or unemployment, which can push families deeper into debt and poverty.

“Alongside the main unconditional cash transfers, BISP’s use of supplementary conditional cash transfers is an impressive example of how to use small incentives to encourage the poorest families to educate their children,” Swayne added. He further said that education boosts the economy, broadens outlooks, and offers a brighter future for young people by giving them skills to improve their lives and employment opportunities. Memon said BISP is a vital tool in helping the poorest and most vulnerable in order to build a more inclusive Pakistan, where everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to the economy. “We intend to make BISP the pride of Pakistan by offering seamless services, targeted products, and a medium of lifted empowerment to our most vulnerable,” she added.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/925427/rural-education-uk-reaffirms-commitment-to-bisp/
Riaz Haq said…
The (ADB) report ( Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015) uses a unique data set of education indicators across 67 economies globally, including 23 from developing Asia and the Pacific, to capture key features of basic educational systems.

In most economies, the report states that the enrollment ratios are generally gender neutral, the largest gap is in Pakistan, where the net enrollment ratio in primary education for boys is 9.9 percentage points higher than that for girls, but this gender gap has narrowed significantly from 21.1 percentage points in 2002.

In other economies where enrollment ratios have been in favour of boys in earlier years, the gender gaps have also narrowed, with the advantages slightly reversing in favour of girls in latest years for Bangladesh, Bhutan, Georgia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Developing economies with youth literacy rates below 80% include Afghanistan (47.0%), Bangladesh (79.9%), Bhutan (74.4%), Pakistan (70.8%), and Papua New Guinea (71.2%).

Among the 23 economies that fell short of the 95% mark for completion of last grade of primary school, five economies with the lowest ratios (below 70%) are Nepal (60.4%), India (61.4%), Pakistan (62.2%), Cambodia (64.2%), and Bangladesh (66.2%). However, more economies have improved their expected primary school completion rates, with significant increases of at least 20 percentage points (pp) in Bhutan (48 pp), Cook Islands (30 pp), Cambodia (30 pp), the Lao PDR (41 pp), Mongolia (23 pp), Nepal (25 pp) and Tajikistan (27 pp). Armenia’s latest rate (94.2%) is slightly below 95% and has just fallen slightly from its 1997 baseline rate (96.5%).

As of 2015 (or latest year), all economies in the Asia and Pacific region have under-5 mortality rates of less than 100 deaths per 1,000 live births, with the highest rates in Afghanistan (91), Pakistan (81), and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (67).

Other developing economies with at most 75% of their 1-year-old children immunized against measles are Afghanistan (75%), India (74%), the Marshall Islands (70%), Pakistan (61%), Papua New Guinea (70%), and Timor-Leste (70%).

The prevalence of moderately and severely underweight children under 5 years of age has decreased in 26 of the 31 economies with data for earliest and latest years. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Vietnam have remarkable average annual reductions (of more than 1 percentage point per year) in the prevalence of underweight children since 1990. However, malnutrition remained high in 11 economies of the Asia and Pacific region (at more than 20%), which include the heavily populated economies of India (29.4%), Bangladesh (32.6%), and Pakistan (31.6%).

Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Vietnam in Southeast Asia and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have seen rise in HIV prevalence rates since 2001.

Prior to that, economies with a relatively young age structure, such as India and Pakistan, should benefit from a rising share of the working-age population in their total population.

About half the regional economies were in the category of “medium human development,” including India and Indonesia. Bangladesh, the region’s fifth most populous economy, was a new addition to the medium group, while the fourth most populous economy, Pakistan, remained in the “low human development” group, along with five other smaller economies.

In Pakistan, a randomized experiment that provided information on school performance to families in markets with public and private education raised student achievement by 0.11, while reducing private school tuition costs by 17%.

“Private school tuition likely declined because better schools were forced to spend more with little real return to learning outcomes, simply to differentiate themselves enough from competing schools,” the report stated.

http://www.geo.tv/article-201487-Enrollment-ratio-of-primary-schoolchildren-has-improved-ADB

https://openaccess.adb.org/handle/11540/5231
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan: #Education rekindles hope in minds of displaced #FATA children. #Waziristan #Taliban http://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/pakistan-education-rekindles-hope-minds-displaced-fata-children?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shared&utm_source=twitter.com … via @reliefweb


Schools are being established across Fata, encouraging conflict stricken children to continue learning

By FARID SHINWARI

As the sun sets behind the mountains, young boys ranging from nine to 16 sit on the floor of an empty classroom in Bara tehsil, some of them adorning a scarf and hat to keep warm.

“My mind does not grasp what is being taught in class,” says Asif Khan a student and resident of Bara Khyber Agency, expressing his disappointment at the time spent out of school.

Although he is not shy about reading aloud in front of his classmates, Asif says at times the pace of the lecture feels as if it’s in “slow motion.”

“The golden time for learning has almost passed,” he says, referring to the years long interval in his studies due to the conflict in his hometown.

Several children have recently enrolled in Alternative Learning Schools (ALS). The project is part of the ‘Literacy for All’ campaign under the Annual Development Program (ADP) which has been initiated to bring education to militancy-hit Fata.

Among them is 13-year-old Khalid Khan. A resident of Bara, Khalid is sitting at a Hujra (council of elders) now turned into a school. Much like other official buildings and gatherings in the community, the Hujra designates a minimum of two rooms which can be used as makeshift classrooms.

Before enrolling at his school, Khalid and many other children relocated to safer ground due to a rise in militancy and subsequent security operation. He now attends classes at a school a few meters away from what was previously a militant base.

“I had left my home due to their [Lashkar-e-Islam's] influence. During the military operation mortar shells were fired by unknown miscreants causing a lot of displacement,” he recounted. From 2009 to 2014 Khalid and his family took refuge in Zakha Khel in Landi Kotal.

After returning home, Khalid enrolled in an ALS school, established by the Fata Education Foundation (FEF) aiming to enhance enrollment of children who were displaced during military operations.

Despite being a progressive initiative, Asif feels that the school lacks facilities. “We need a bathroom, dustbin, furniture, big black board and other facilities so as to continue learning,” he says.

Laying the groundwork

Javed Iqbal, Manager Planning and Development of FEF, says arrangements have been made for the provision of desks and stationary. He claims they will “arrive over the next couple of months.” Iqbal also adds that checks will be conducted on each school via the Village Education Committees (VEC) before and during their operating hours of 2pm to 6pm..

According to FEF more than 76 schools for boys and 61 for girls have been established across tribal regions.

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