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Let’s talk about education

By Wafa Naz

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mendela)

Pakistan is the developing country that has been passing through many crises now a day. One of the greatest drawbacks is lack of education. The educational setup of Pakistan has been divided into five major categories namely;

  • Primary (Class one through five)
  • Middle (Class six through eight)
  • High (Class nine and ten, Matriculation)
  • Intermediate (Class eleven and twelve, Intermediate)
  • University programs (Graduation and advanced degrees).

Let’s talk about education. Constitution of Pakistan states that “Every child has the right to free and compulsory education” yet the number of out-of-school children in Pakistan is 22.6 million. Education in Pakistan is overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial governments. Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years.

The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law.

Lahore has been producing many doctors, engineers, teachers, journalist, photographers, professors and other people of higher rank at high level. On the other hand its literacy rate is 64.7%. This creates a great difference. Lahore is the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is the second-most populous city in Pakistan after Karachi.

Lahore is ranked as a beta-world city, and is one of Pakistan’s wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion (PPP) as of 2014 (Wikipedia). But unfortunately the educational condition of Lahore is worse than most of the other cities of Pakistan.

The overall literacy rate of Lahore district is 64.7% and it is ranked 2nd out of 3415 districts of Punjab in terms of literacy rates (the Pakistan Social & Living Measurement survey- PSLMs 2006-07). This literacy rate is too low for survival and to compete with the modern world that is full of technology and competition. If we will not put our efforts to increase this rate we might wiped out from the world.

In Lahore for about 1 Billion people there are only 1240 Government Schools. Due to this unfortunately about 50% students are bound to get admission in private schools. Due to this prevailing situation and increasing fairs mostly students quit schools. In Lahore all the boys who enter school, 77% survive till class 5. This caused the literacy rate to drop from 60% to 58% in Pakistan.

Number of government schools in Lahore is approximately 1200+. On the other hand number of private schools in Lahore is approximately 5000+. In most of the government schools there is no security barrier, improper boundary wall, no school boards, children are outside the classroom. 22.6 million Children are still out of school in Pakistan. Education is a right not a privilege.  This needs to be addressed on priority basis otherwise this will create alarming situation for our new generation.

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world”.(Malala Yousaf Zai)

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