National Education Crisis – Pakistan
Education, being the fundamental right of every human is also mandated in the constitution of Pakistan to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of five-sixteen years. Education plays important role in building one’s character and makes people responsible citizens. Education is considered most powerful instrument; to eradicate poverty, make better socio economic progress and present good image to the outer world. Education brings positive attitudes within individuals and societies.
Pakistan faces a multitude of challenges including extensive education crisis. In Pakistan, half of the adults and two thirds of women are illiterate. Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. According to Alif Ailaan, 22.6 million Pakistani children do not attend school, those that do must deal with absent teachers and poor learning environments, among other things. 43% of government schools are in a dangerous or dilapidated condition and lack basic facilities. 21% government primary schools are operating with single teacher and 14% with single classroom.
The women’s literacy rate in FATA is only 3 percent and in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is 18 percent. This is much lower, especially in FATA, than the national level women’s literacy rate of 32 percent. The male literacy rate is much higher: 30 percent in FATA, and 50 percent and 54 percent in KP and national level, respectively. On the top of this, the United Nations Global Education Monitoring Report 2016, claimed that Pakistan was 50-plus years behind in its primary and 60-plus years behind in its secondary education targets. That means the country is set to miss by more than half-a-century the deadline for ensuring that all children receive primary education.
What makes Pakistan’s education crisis particularly troubling is that it exacerbates many of the country’s other problems. The uneducated masses complicate efforts to groom qualified experts. Additionally, young people without sufficient education have trouble getting jobs and represent negative impact of development and competing internationally. Moreover, such people can become desirable recruitment targets for militant groups. Young people lacking in education feel abandoned, often ending up involving with false friends-drugs, alcohol and robbery.
Factors resulting in less enrollments and education crisis are more but poverty, law and order situation, budgetary constraints, lack of access, corporal punishment, terrorism and gender inequality are to name just a few. The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan to overcome the crisis cannot be done by the government alone, public-private participation and a mix of formal as well as non-formal education can pull out majority of country’s population from illiteracy.