Education... By Amina
23 January, 2014
Providing basic education facilities to their citizens has always been a top priority of developed countries for sustainable socio-economic growth, while the developing countries follow the same track, however at a slower pace. Pakistan is one of those countries that keep committing to make the country an example in the field of education. A lot of times, an education emergency has been imposed, to no effect. Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan makes the state responsible to provide free education to children between the ages of five and 16. Similarly, international commitments including the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All have made it compulsory for the government to provide primary education to our children and ensure zero dropout rates at the primary level.
However, in spite of all these obligations and pledges, the education system of the country shows a very grim picture. According to the latest figures from the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 21 percent of children between the ages 6-16 are out of school due to lack of infrastructure. Other factors that have contributed to this ugly snapshot are lack of qualified staff, poverty, migration, floods, lack of security, etc. According to the report, the quality of education, especially at the primary level, has been consistently declining. Children have been found unable to read and write even in their own national language. The report reveals that only 48 percent to 50 percent of grade 5 students in urban areas can read sentences in English and Urdu/Pashto/Sindhi respectively.
The situation calls for the immediate attention of the relevant education departments and other stakeholders to effectively implement education policies and comply with the national and international commitments. Girls' education should be promoted at all levels. Teachers training should form the basis of quality education. The concept of taking up teaching as an ad hoc profession must be done away with. It is the duty of the teacher to give his/her best to those who depend on the teacher for a better future.