Political Patronage: Pakistan School Enrollment Rate Flat Despite Increased Education Spending

Data shows that Pakistan's literacy and enrollment rates are not rising in spite of significantly increased education spending over the last several years. Education budgets at federal and provincial levels have seen double digit increase of 17.5% a year on average since 2010. And yet, school enrollment and literacy rate have remained essentially flat during this period.  This lack of progress in education stands in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes seen from increase education spending during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. Why is it?

Is the money not being spent honestly and wisely? Is the education budget being used by the ruling politicians to create teacher jobs solely for political patronage? Are the teachers not showing up for work? Is the money being siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians by hiring "ghost teachers" in "ghost schools"? Let's try and examine the data and the causes of lack of tangible results from education spending.

Pakistan Education Budget:

The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17, representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.



Education and Literacy Rates:

Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Pakistan's Human Development: 

Human development index reports on Pakistan released by UNDP confirm the ESP 2015 human development trends.Pakistan’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.537— which is in the low human development category—positioning the country at 146 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2013, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.356 to 0.537, an increase of 50.7 percent or an average annual increase of about 1.25.

Pakistan HDI Components Trend 1980-2013 Source: Human Development Report 2014


Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent.

Going further back to the  decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP,  the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.

Bogus Teachers in Sindh:

In 2014, Sindh's provincial education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that "a large number of fake appointments were made in the education department during the previous tenure of the PPP government" when the ministry was headed by Khuhru's predecessor PPP's Peer Mazhar ul Haq. Khuhro was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying that "a large number of bogus appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff had been made beyond the sanctioned strength" and without completing legal formalities as laid down in the recruitment rules by former directors of school education Karachi in connivance with district officers during 2012–13.

Ghost Schools in Balochistan:

In 2016, Balochistan province's education minister Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal was quoted by Express Tribune newspaper as telling his provincial legislature that  “about 900 ghost schools have been detected with 300,000 fake registrations of students, and out of 60,000, 15,000 teachers’ records are unknown.”

Absentee Teachers in Punjab:

A 2013 study conducted in public schools in Bhawalnagar district of Punjab found that 27.5% of the teachers are absent from classrooms from 1 to 5 days a month while 3.75% are absent more than 10 days a month. The absentee rate in the district's private schools was significantly lower. Another study by an NGO Alif Ailan conducted in Gujaranwala and Narowal reported that "teacher absenteeism has been one of the key impediments to an effective and working education apparatus."

Political Patronage:

Pakistani civilian rule has been characterized by a system of political patronage that doles out money and jobs to political party supporters at the expense of the rest of the population. Public sector jobs, including those in education and health care sectors, are part of this patronage system that was described by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, the man credited with the development of United Nation's Human Development Index (HDI) as follows:

"...every time a new political government comes in they have to distribute huge amounts of state money and jobs as rewards to politicians who have supported them, and short term populist measures to try to convince the people that their election promises meant something, which leaves nothing for long-term development. As far as development is concerned, our system has all the worst features of oligarchy and democracy put together." 

Summary:

Education spending in Pakistan has increased at an annual average rate of 17.5% since 2010. However, the school enrollment and literacy rates have remained flat and the human development indices are stuck in neutral.  This is in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes from increased education spending seen during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. An examination of the causes shows that the corrupt system of political patronage tops the list. This system jeopardizes the future of the country by producing ghost teacher, ghost schools and absentee staff to siphon off the money allocated for children's education.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Myths and Facts on Out-of-School Children

Who's Better For Pakistan's Human Development? Musharraf or Politicians? 

Corrosive Effects of Pakistan's System of Political Patronage

Development of Pakistan's Human Capital

Asian Tigers Brought Prosperity; Democracy Followed

Musharraf Accelerated Growth of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Fresh corporate investments (in India) grew at the slowest pace since 1992 in the 2016-17 financial year
Analysts said a poor demand in the economy and banks’ reluctance to lend to new projects had led to this decline.

https://scroll.in/latest/843180/fresh-corporate-investments-grew-at-the-slowest-pace-since-1992-in-the-2016-17-financial-year

Fresh investments by the corporate sector in the financial year 2016-17 grew at the slowest pace since 1992, Business Standard reported on Saturday. In FY 2017, the combined capital expenditure by the country’s top 1,000 non-financial firms, in terms of revenue, was up by just 5.8% – the previous low of capital expenditure growth was recorded in 1999.

Analysts said this decline was because of poor demand in the economy and banks’ reluctance to lend to new projects.

“It’s in line with a near – collapse in banks’ credit growth in the last fiscal year,” said G Chokkalingam, founder and managing director, Equinomics Research and Advisory. “Public sector banks have put a virtual freeze on fresh lending to risky projects, fearing bad loans hitting funding for large industrial projects.”

Fresh investments, worth Rs 2.07 lakh crore, by the top 1,000 companies in the last fiscal was down from Rs 2.9 lakh crore in FY16 and an all-time high of Rs 5.7 lakh crore in FY14.

The drought, led by domestic private companies, is in complete contrast to their past behavior, an analysis of a common sample of listed companies suggested. The capex growth registered by private sector companies is also the slowest in 12 years.

The incremental capex by listed private companies was Rs 2.15 lakh crore in 2016. It nearly halved to around Rs 1.1 lakh crore in the last financial year. The amount is a third of a record high reached in 2012 and the lowest in 10 years.
Chadrahaas said…
Banks cannot continue to operate as they were letting dud loans pile up. The RBI raised intra interest rates to counter it. Short term pain but long term economic climate will be enhanced
Riaz Haq said…
Burying Dar-nomics. #Pakistan #PMLN #PPP #Corruption #Taxes #Exports #Industry #Economy Sakib Sherani

https://www.dawn.com/news/1352190

Here is a snapshot of PML-N’s economic policies in numbers.

On top of these new taxation measures, the government has been withholding refunds of businesses of around Rs150bn to Rs200bn while collecting advance tax to bolster its revenue performance under the IMF programme. Measures such as the foregoing in particular, including the levying of sales tax of up to 52pc on high speed diesel, a main stay input for the entire economy, have been particularly damaging for industry.

In terms of borrowing, the government’s debt-accumulation since 2013 has pushed up total public debt from nearly Rs14.5 trillion in FY13 to around Rs21.5tr by June 2017 — adding Rs7tr in just four years. More worryingly, the PML-N government has contracted new foreign loans of nearly $40bn in four years, an unprecedented amount, pushing total public external debt outstanding in net terms (after repayments), from $51bn in June 2013 to $62bn at the end of March 2017.

Under the third leg of economic policy under Mr Dar, the exchange rate has appreciated 26pc in real effective terms since December 2013 — hurting exports while giving a boost to all manner of imports including non-essential consumer and luxury items. In addition, the overvalued exchange rate has acted as a spur to capital flight from the country.

A combination of unaddressed structural challenges from the past, and Mr Dar’s policy framework since 2013, has resulted in Pakistan’s export sector (manufactured goods) shrinking to 6.9pc of GDP from around 14pc in the mid-2000s.

So the first order of business for the new PML-N prime minister should be to undo the punishing taxation burden on industry imposed by Mr Dar’s policies, and to rectify the policy framework in ways that will boost industry, in particular exports, in the long run. With Pakistan no more sleepwalking into a balance of payments crisis but sliding into one (even with international oil prices at around $50!), the government’s policy space and options are becoming limited. It, or its successor, will need to begin talking to the IMF for a new loan programme sooner rather than later, which will curtail freedom of movement for introducing industry- and investment-friendly policies.

However, some immediate concrete policy measures to reduce the cost of doing business in the country (on the taxation side), combined with a strong signal that the PML-N government is moving away from Mr Dar’s damaging economic policies, will be welcome as well as hopeful news for Pakistani industry.

Tailpiece: Thank God for the PPP government in Sindh! In a huge service to real democracy, its uninterrupted misrule since 2008 has buried some apologetic myths forwarded since the July 28 Supreme Court ruling to ‘defend’ the pathetic non-performance of political governments.

With the military commanding the heights in foreign and security policy, and not in terms of economic governance, it cannot be blamed if Thari children die each year due to lack of medicines in public hospitals, or if roads in Larkana are in a shambles, or there are heaps of uncollected garbage in Karachi. With around Rs2,100bn transferred to Sindh from the centre since 2013 under the National Finance Commission awards, in addition to the nearly Rs200bn tax collected by Sindh itself over this period, the issue is not even of money.

It boils down to corruption pure and simple. Large-scale, pervasive and systemic corruption has been widely documented as the undoing of many resource-rich but underdeveloped countries, particularly in Africa, which have no civil-military imbalances to worry about. Regular, ongoing attempts to shift the blame from bad governance and grand corruption (political sleaze) to tensions in civil-military relations are disingenuous as well as a disservice.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Launched Annual Status Of Education Report (ASER)

https://www.researchsnipers.com/pakistan-launched-annual-status-education-report-aser/


The United Kingdom strongly supports ASER, this is the only citizen-led independent assessment of Education and it is also an important tool for citizen’s accountability. We as DFID have been supporting ASER since its launch years ago, and we will continue to support the cause for better of the society, said Joanna Reid while addressing the panelists.

The number of out-of-the-school children has dropped significantly from 25 million to 22 million according to the government data. However, it’s still not enough, there is a lot more to be done. We should not compromise on access to schools, our main focus should be on improving quality, the education budget was increased this year which is a good sign towards development but still short in achieving targets, from 2.83% of GDP the budget allocation this year was 3.02%, Joanna added.

Education and economic development are correlated with each other, economic growth in Pakistan heavily relies on education, Pakistan has a larger segment of population which is aged between 10 to 24 years according to population Council, 61 million young people can really make a difference if they are equipped with required education and skills, if half of them are not, Pakistan will not be able to meet its workforce needs in the future to continue economic growth, she said.

The ASER meeting was organized by Idra-e-Taleem-o-Agahi with other partners of ASER in Serena Hotel. Key personalities from Federal government Education department, National Assembly, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and Human Rights Activists were among the Panelists.

Riaz Haq said…
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > PAKISTAN
ASER Survey 2016: More students enrolling in public schools in ICT
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1472658/aser-survey-2016-students-enrolling-public-schools-ict/

Even as the government enhanced the education budget and is seen to be making concerted efforts to boost school enrollment in the country, the proportion of out-of-school children is still the same when compared to 2015.

This was stated in Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 national survey report launched on Wednesday.

The seventh version of the citizen-led household-based survey, managed by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in partnership with a number of key civil society and semi-autonomous bodies including the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) and others, found that 19% of children between the ages of 6-16 are still out-of-school. The remaining 81% which are attending school are not learning much either.

The ASER rural survey assessed 216,365 children between the ages of 5-16 years cohort in language (Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto, English), and Arithmetic competencies.

The report noted that almost all parts of Pakistan including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) recorded some increase in enrollment figures from 1.4% to 4.5%.

However, at the same time, there was a considerable shift from public to private schools in most parts of the country.

The ASER 2016 rural results showed that 26% of children between the ages 6-16 years of age go to non-state schools. This was up from 24% last year.

Only the Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory registered a positive shift in enrollment in public schools.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) in rural parts of Pakistan has been on a declining trend, falling from 39% in 2014 to 36% in 2016.

Overall, government schools have witnessed a fall of 7.5% (63% overall) in enrollment for ECE, while the private sector continues to hold a 37% slice of total enrollment.

“There are 61 million young people in Pakistan aged 10 to 24 years as per the estimates of Population Council. Their ability and skills will play a major role in making Pakistan prosperous and a successful player in global economy,” said head of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Joanna Reid at the launch of the report.

“If half of them [youngsters] are not equipped to do their job, Pakistan will not be able to meet the workforce needs of its economy.”

Dipping competencies

The report further notes that student competencies, especially in learning English, Arithmetic, and other languages have dipped.

As many as 48% of children from class V cannot read a class-II-level-story written in Urdu, Sindhi or Pashto.

In English, only 46% Class V students surveyed could read sentences, which should ideally be read by students of the second grade. Arithmetic learning levels too showed a decline with only 48% of class V children able to complete a two-digit division, something which is expected in the second grade.

The report revealed that only AJK showed substantial improvement in English and Arithmetic with 17% and 29% respective increase from 2015 results.

Punjab registered a solitary increase in Arithmetic learnings over scores from 2015. The survey further showed that children enrolled in private schools continued to perform better as compared to those studying in government-run schools. As many as 66% of children enrolled in Class-V in private schools were able to read a story written in Urdu, Sindhi or Pashto.

The difference in learning levels for English was starker with 65% of grade V students able to read a class-II-level sentence.

For arithmetic, 64% of children enrolled in class V could complete a two-digit division. While the gap was narrower in some provinces, the gap was a consistent feature.
Riaz Haq said…
Punjab and Sindh provinces in Pakistan are public-ising their private schools (and they’re also privatising their public schools)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/punjab-and-sindh-provinces-in-pakistan-are-public-ising_us_59e474eee4b02e99c5835804

Back in 2015 the Economist published an article called “Learning Unleashed”, which breathlessly declared Punjab, Pakistan to be the “new standard bearer for market-based education reform”. No matter there isn’t really any evidence that learning has been improved, never mind unleashed, what the article described is just about the opposite of a market-based reform. Through voucher and subsidy schemes, Punjab’s government injects public finance into private schools. Similarly, in the southern province of Sindh, the state is fully financing the education of hundreds of thousands of kids enrolled in private schools. And in both provinces it is the state, not the market, that sets the rules of the game.

Kids in Pakistan’s schools aren’t learning. And they’re the lucky ones who are actually in school
Test scores suggest that children in Pakistan are performing well below curricular standards. Although, unlike in India, their test scores have not worsened over time, like almost every other developing country they are not improving. Data from ASER makes for grim reading: less than a third of grade five children from the wealthiest quintile have the numeracy and literacy skills that are expected of a child in grade two. Just 17 percent of grade five kids from the poorest quintile can read a single sentence. Remember, these are the kids who managed to make it to grade five – in other words, they’ve sat through at least five years of schooling and 83 percent of them still can’t read a sentence.

As for those who aren’t in school, Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics estimates that there are 5.6 million primary age out-of-school kids (note that this figure is based on the 1998 census, and so the true number could well be substantially higher or lower).

The twin ”crises”of low and static test scores, combined with millions of kids not in school, has led to a proliferation of education reforms. These include policies that aim to harness the vibrant and growing private education sector.

With education in crisis, government turned to the private sector for help
Provincial leaders in Punjab and Sindh are taking bold steps to reform their failing education systems. They’ve moved fast, particularly in Punjab where the Economist’s Learning Unleashed article is framed and proudly mounted on several government office walls.

Together, the PPPs in Punjab and Sindh make up one of the largest and fastest-growing public private partnerships in the world. More than three million kids in the two provinces are enrolled in around ten thousand private primary schools, with the cost of their education fully financed by the state. They’re managed by semi-autonomous entities, the Sindh Education Foundation and the Punjab Education Foundation, whose funding is almost entirely provided by their provincial governments.
Riaz Haq said…
Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Rural Poor
October 3, 2016

http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/sief-trust-fund/brief/investing-in-the-education-market-strengthening-private-schools-for-the-rural-poor

Policy Issue

So-called low-cost private schools are a growing and increasingly popular option in poor countries. These private schools usually spend less per student than government-run schools, holding down costs by paying their teachers lower salaries than in the government system. Although the teachers often are not as formally qualified as teachers in the government schools, students in these private schools tend to do as well or better than their counterparts in the other schools. One question is how to encourage these schools to expand beyond primary education, and how to encourage them to make further investments in the education they offer. This evaluation of a new financing mechanism for low-cost private schools in Pakistan will help policymakers understand their options for supporting these schools, allowing them to harness the power of the market rather than relying on greater public subsidies to the private sector.

Context

Since 1980, the number of private schools in Pakistan has grown from about 3,000 to about 45,000. Nearly one-third of all primary school children in Pakistan country attend private schools, covering all income spectrums. A 2001 survey showed that about one in five of Pakistan’s poorest families sends their children to private village schools.

Children in these private schools tend to outperform those in public schools, while costs per student can be 20 to 50 percent lower than those in public schools, generally because these private schools hire less-qualified local teachers at lower wages. Despite these advantages, private school growth may be limited by the lack of financing possibilities. This evaluation assesses the benefits of different financing models for encouraging school expansion.

Riaz Haq said…
Low-cost private schools
Learning unleashed

Where governments are failing to provide youngsters with a decent education, the private sector is stepping in

https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21660063-where-governments-are-failing-provide-youngsters-decent-education-private-sector

Authority over education is devolved to Pakistan’s four provinces, and Punjab’s energetic chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of the prime minister, Nawaz, has decreed that the government will not build any of the new schools needed to achieve its 100% enrolment target for school-age children by 2018. Instead money is being funnelled to the private sector via the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), an independent body with a focus on extremely poor families.

One scheme helps entrepreneurs set up new schools, particularly in rural areas. Another gives vouchers to parents living in slums to send children who are not in school to PEF-approved institutions. All the places in some schools have also been bought up. Those schools cannot charge fees and must submit to monitoring and teacher training. Although the funding per pupil is less than half of what is spent by state schools, results are at least as good, says Aneela Salman, PEF’s managing director. “The private sector can be much more flexible about who it hires, and can set up schools quickly in rented buildings and hire teachers from the local community.”

Crucially, the province is also improving oversight and working out how to inform parents about standards. It has dispatched 1,000 inspectors armed with tablet computers to conduct basic checks on whether schools are operating and staff and children are turning up. They have begun quizzing teachers, using questions from the exams they are meant to be teaching their pupils to pass. The early results, says one official grimly, are “not good”.

In a joint study by the World Bank, Harvard University and Punjab’s government, parents in some villages were given report cards showing the test scores of their children and the average for schools nearby, both public and private. A year later participating villages had more children in school and their test scores in maths, English and Urdu were higher than in comparable villages where the cards were not distributed. The scheme was very cheap, and the improvement in results larger than that from some much pricier interventions, such as paying parents to send their children to school.

PEF now educates 2m of Punjab’s 25m children, a share likely to grow by another million by 2018. Meanwhile the number of state schools has fallen by around 2,000 as some have been merged and others closed. Such a wholesale shift to private-sector provision would create a storm of protest in Britain, whose Department for International Development is backing Punjab’s reforms. But there are few signs of anxiety in a country where many parents aspire to send their children to a private school and the country’s recent Nobel laureate, the education activist Malala Yousafzai, is the daughter of a private-school owner.





Riaz Haq said…
UNESCO and World Bank data from 2012 shows Pakistan spends 6% of GDP on education---2% public and 4% private spending as percentage of GDP, according to the Economist Magazine.


UNESCO and Word Bank data from 2013 shows that 46% of Pakistani kids and 32% of Indian kids reached expected standard of reading after 4 years of school, according to the Economist Magazine.

https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21660063-where-governments-are-failing-provide-youngsters-decent-education-private-sector
Riaz Haq said…
What’s Really Keeping Pakistan’s Children Out of School?
By NADIA NAVIWALA OCT. 18, 2017


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/opinion/pakistan-education-schools.html

Since 2010, Pakistan has more than doubled what it budgets for education, from $3.5 billion to $8.6 billion a year. The budget for education now rivals the official $8.7 billion military budget. The teaching force is as big as the armed forces.

But Pakistan has a learning crisis that afflicts its schoolchildren despite much debate and increase in funding for education because policy interventions by the government and foreign donors misdiagnosed what is keeping children out of school.

...... the demand for education is already high, evidenced by the mushrooming of low-cost private schools that now enroll 40 percent of students in the country and charge as little as $2 a month.

Foreign donors also want Pakistanis to send their girls to schools, but a 2014 Pew survey found that 86 percent of Pakistanis believe that education is equally important for boys and girls, while another 5 percent said it was more important for girls. Even in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — where Malala Yousafzai is from — government high schools for girls are enrolled beyond their capacity.


Pakistan’s education crisis is a supply-side problem. Enrollment rates are used as the measure for progress because Pakistan has the second-largest population of out-of-school children in the world. But the proportion of 5- to 9-year-olds in school is the same as it was in 2010: 57 percent. With teachers chronically absent from school at a rate of 20 to 30 percent and most of the education budget going into their above-market salaries ($150 to $1,000 a month), doubling the budget was never the solution to Pakistan’s education crisis.


-------

Eighteen million of the 23 million out-of-school children in Pakistan are between 10 and 16 years old. Efforts to reach them have been negligible. These children opted out of a failing education system and now they have aged. They will not now go to school if it means starting in kindergarten. They need accelerated programs, or short crash courses in literacy and math to help them enroll with their age group.

Even if these children do not go back to school — international evidence suggests they won’t — they will, at least, become literate adults.

Riaz Haq said…
Is our education sector ready for the future challenges?

Selim Raihan (Bangladesh)

http://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/society/our-education-sector-ready-the-future-challenges-1486282

Despite the fact that Bangladesh made considerable progress in gross-enrolment in primary education for both genders, the country is seriously lagging behind in ensuring quality education for all. Because data for many of the targets related to Goal 4 are not available, we have studied a few available indicators which are consistent with the goal 4.

If we consider the average years of schooling as an indication of the status of education of any country, during the years between 2010-2015, this number for Bangladesh was only 5.1 which was higher than Pakistan (4.9) but lower than India (5.8). However, Bangladesh was far behind Sri Lanka (10.9) and some of leading Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia (10.1), Thailand (7.7) and Vietnam (7.8).

Two important indicators related to the quality of educational infrastructure are "percent share of trained teachers in total teachers in primary education" and "pupil-teacher ratio in primary education". During the years between 2010-2015, in the case of trained teachers, Bangladesh (53 percent) performed very poorly compared to India (77.2 percent), Pakistan (83.7 percent), Sri Lanka (79.1 percent), Malaysia (97.2 percent), Thailand (100 percent) and Vietnam (100 percent). In the case of pupil-teacher ratio, though Bangladesh (39.8) performed better than Pakistan (42.8), it performed worse than India (32.5), Sri Lanka (23.8), Malaysia (11.9), Thailand (16.1) and Vietnam (19.4).

Regrettably, Bangladesh is among the bottom in the list of countries in the world with the lowest ratio of public expenditure on education to GDP, which is only 2.1 percent. This ratio is 3.7 percent in India, 5.4 percent in Malaysia, 4.3 percent in Thailand, and 5.3 percent in Vietnam. This is one of the reasons why the private spending on education as a share of household monthly expenditure is much higher in Bangladesh compared to those of other South Asian countries. According to the latest available Household Income and Expenditure Surveys of five South Asian countries, the share of private expenditure on education in the average monthly household expenditure in Bangladesh is around 5.5 percent, 2.6 percent in India, 4.8 percent in Nepal, 2.5 percent in Pakistan, and 1.9 percent in Sri Lanka. This suggests that the responsibility of education expenditure heavily falls on households in Bangladesh, and the government's role is yet to be ideal.

Riaz Haq said…
Mobile school opens in Cholistan
https://www.samaa.tv/education/2017/11/mobile-school-opens-cholistan/
BAHAWALPUR: Under the auspices of Punjab Education Foundation, a mobile school was inaugurated in Nawa Kot area of Cholistan desert to impart education to local children.
According to a press release issued here on Friday, Chairman, Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), Raja Qamar-ul-Islam inaugurated mobile school in Nawa Kot area of Cholistan desert falling within jurisdiction of tehsil Liaquat Pur.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that mobile school would help in spreading education. He said that local children of Cholistan desert who have no access to school would be beneficiary of mobile school system. “PEF is working on agenda of Parha Likha Punjab,” he said.
Local notables including Chairman Union Council, Chak-178 and others were present. – APP
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN DEBATES HOW TO FILL EDUCATION GAPS
Despite 220,000 schools nationwide, more than 20 million children are not in school, the government said in a 2016 report.

http://ewn.co.za/2017/11/07/pakistan-debates-how-to-fill-education-gaps

Two young boys kneel over small white tables, intently studying the Koran at a madrassa in Pakistan.

The Al-Nadwa Madrassa in the hill station of Murree, 30 kilometers from the capital, Islamabad, is part of an established alternative system of education in the South Asian nation.

Private schools, charitable institutions and religious seminaries are stepping in to supplement government-run schools to help meet the education needs of an estimated 50 million school-age children.

Despite 220,000 schools nationwide, more than 20 million children are not in school, the government said in a 2016 report.

The government has pumped money into schooling, with the education budget swelling by 15% every year since 2010, according to education consultancy Alif Ailaan.

The United Nations estimates Pakistan’s current education budget at 2.65% of GDP, roughly $8 billion, or around $150 per student.

Private educators say the country’s education problems are not only due to a lack of funds but also inadequate teaching.

“It’s not the number of schools, it’s the quality, the attitude,” said Zeba Hussain, founder of the Mashal Schools which teaches children displaced by war in the country’s north.

Hussain started the charitable Mashal Schools after she met a group of refugee children while visiting the hill areas surrounding Islamabad.

Federal education director Tariq Masood said blaming teachers was unfair. He said population growth and funding were the biggest challenges faced by government schools.

Masood said government schools adhered to a nationwide curriculum that was being constantly reworked and improved.

“No one who is underqualified can enter the government system. There are fewer checks in the private system,” he said.

The country’s poor often send their children to one of the thousands of religious madrassas (the Arabic word for school) where students live and receive Islamic instruction.

Most operate without government oversight and some madrassas have been criticized for their hardline teachings of Islam.

The madrassas say they provide shelter, three full meals, and a good education to young people whose families are unable to make ends meet.

“In certain cases people send their kids because they can’t even afford to feed them,” said Irfan Sher from the Al-Nadwa Madrassa.

He said Pakistan’s future hinged on education for its youth.

“The overall policy should be changed...they should understand that if they want to change the country the only way is to spread quality education,” he said.
Riaz Haq said…
A political machine is a political group in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses (usually campaign workers), who receive rewards for their efforts. The machine's power is based on the ability of the workers to get out the vote for their candidates on election day.

Although these elements are common to most political parties and organizations, they are essential to political machines, which rely on hierarchy and rewards for political power, often enforced by a strong party whip structure. Machines sometimes have a political boss, often rely on patronage, the spoils system, "behind-the-scenes" control, and longstanding political ties within the structure of a representative democracy. Machines typically are organized on a permanent basis instead of a single election or event. The term may have a pejorative sense referring to corrupt political machines.[1]

The term "political machine" dates back to the 20th century in the United States, where such organizations have existed in some municipalities and states since the 18th century. Similar machines have been described in Latin America, where the system has been called clientelism or political clientelism (after the similar Clientela relationship in the Roman Republic), especially in rural areas, and also in some African states and other emerging democracies, like postcommunist Eastern European countries. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is often cited as another political machine, maintaining power in suburban and rural areas through its control of farm bureaus and road construction agencies.[2] In Japan, the word jiban (literally "base" or "foundation") is the word used for political machines.

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Theodore Roosevelt, before he became president in 1901, was deeply involved in New York City politics. He explains how the machine worked:

The organization of a party in our city is really much like that of an army. There is one great central boss, assisted by some trusted and able lieutenants; these communicate with the different district bosses, whom they alternately bully and assist. The district boss in turn has a number of half-subordinates, half-allies, under him; these latter choose the captains of the election districts, etc., and come into contact with the common heelers

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The corruption of urban politics in the United States was denounced by private citizens. They achieved national and state civil-service reform and worked to replace local patronage systems with civil service. By Theodore Roosevelt's time, the Progressive Era mobilized millions of private citizens to vote against the machines


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_machine

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