By Ali Arshad
ISLAMABAD: Despite of ‘government focus’ on education sector, Pakistan has registered a slight decrease in the school infrastructure showing 60. 17 score in 2016, as compared to the last year’s 62. 22 score.
According to Alif Ailaan and SDPI’s Pakistan District Education Rankings 2016, Islamabad Capital Territory is the highest, Azad Jammu and Kashmir is second, while Punjab is at third position. This ranking remained similar to last year.
Gilgit-Baltistan is steady at fourth position third time in a row, although its education score increased by three points. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Sindh remained at the same ranks they were last year, with KPK at the fifth rank and Sindh at the sixth. However, both provinces suffered a decline in their Education Scores of almost two points each . In school infrastructure ranking Punjab is ranked highest followed by ICT and KP, while AJK is ranked at the bottom of School Infrastructure rankings.
Five of the eight regions’ scores are less than 50: AJK, Balochistan, FATA, GB and Sindh. The top 22 districts are all from the Punjab and KPK’s District Mardan at 23rd rank. The lowest ranked district is Dera Bugti at 146th rank and only 24 of the 146 ranked districts scored more than 90 in School Infrastructure Score.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan round up the bottom of the rankings at rank seven and eight respectively. Overall, Pakistan’s Education Score fell from last year (by 4. 05 points) after consecutive years of modest improvement mainly because of a drop in the retention score (from 67 to 59). The Pakistan District Education Rankings 2016 is the fourth annual iteration for tracking progress and comparing the various regions of Pakistan based on their performance. The rankings aim to help understand the state of education in Pakistan and call attention to the evidence of a deep and persistent national crisis.
Alif Ailaan and SDPI aim to instigate the public debate on education in the country. Similar to past years the rankings will assess both educational outcomes and educational inputs (infrastructure) by comparing the relative performance of different regions. It should enable us to revisit the challenges from previous years; and identify the positive trends and opportunities that can be leveraged to improve education outcomes.
Punjab continues to dominate the top of the rankings table. Six districts from the province are in the top ten. None of the districts scored lower than 50. Rajanpur is only district from Punjab to rank outside the top 100. Only four districts in Punjab scored higher than 70 in learning scores, reflecting poor quality of education. The three districts in the bottom half of the rankings are all from South Punjab (Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur).