Education is the process of learning and instructing a skill. It is considered as a gradual process of imparting knowledge. History of education is as long as the history of Human beings. Education has been a part of culture of civilizations. Education is the base of a sound personality. All the latest invention and progress made by mankind is due to education and skill learning. This article is written for the purpose of highlighting the Education System in Pakistan.
Educational Setup in Pakistan
The education in Pakistan is governed and managed by both Provincial and Federal government. Ministry of education looks after the educational affairs of the country. The provinces also have their own ministries that deal with education in the province. Education system in Pakistan has different levels. Primary level is upto class 5. Class 6 to 8 is called Middle education. Class 9 to 12 is secondary education. It include SSC (Secondary School certificate, grade 10) and HSSC (Higher secondary School certificate) grade 12. Then there is higher education which is offered in colleges and universities.
There are education boards in major districts of the country. The government and private schools and colleges are affiliated with these Education boards. They manage education up-to grade 12. Popular Education boards in the country are “Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education”, Lahore board and Rawalpindi board.
Education beyond grade-12 is handled by individual universities. The universities are the degree awarding bodies. Some colleges are affiliated with these universities and they offer classes for certain degrees. Eventually after examination, the concerned university awards degree to the student.
Higher Education System in Pakistan
Higher education in Pakistan was dealt by University Grants Commission (UGC). Since 2002 the UGC has been dissolved and an independent institution has been established. It is named Higher education commission (HEC) of Pakistan. HEC has achieved many milestones in a short span of time. It has revolutionized the higher education in the country. The number of Ph.D graduates during last few years has increased. There is also a great boom in the enrollment of students in universities.
HEC actually manages the funding and working of universities in Pakistan. HEC affiliates and recognizes the universities which fulfill the set criteria. Both private and public sector universities are recognized with HEC. There are about 160 universities affiliated with HEC. Complete list of HEC recognized universities can be obtained from their official site.
HEC offers scholarships to students for studying abroad and in the country. Scholarships are mostly offered for Doctorate programs and for M.S leading to Ph.D. These scholarships are mostly fully funded. The students return to the country after learning from world renowned institutes.
Some universities of the country have been recently included in top universities of Asia and world. Some prestigious universities of Pakistan are named as under.
Punjab University, Lahore. Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad. COMSATS, Islamabad. University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. GC university, Lahore. University of Karachi, Karachi. Agha Khan University, Karachi. LUMS, Lahore. PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi.
Literacy Level in Pakistan
Pakistan unfortunately is among those countries where the literacy rate is not high. There is a difference between literacy rate of males and females. Similarly, rural areas have lower literacy rates as compared to the cities. Literacy level has raised over past few decades but still it is lower than other countries. Figures regarding literacy rates in different provinces can be obtained from the Economic survey of Pakistan. Punjab has the highest literacy rate. Sindh comes second followed by KPK and Balochistan.
But still Pakistan is the third largest English speaking nation of the world. About 18 million Pakistanis can speak English language. It is because of the fact that English is the essential part of the education system in Pakistan. It is also the country official. Urdu being the national language.
Major Education Systems
There is absence of a uniform educational system throughout the country. It varies from public to private schools. Similarly, religious educational institutes follow their own system of learning. There are two major mediums and languages of learning. Most of the Government run schools follow Urdu medium learning. English medium schools are also great in number. They teach students in English language. 3 major syllabus are found in the education system in Pakistan.
- Indigenous Syllabus (Provincial textbook boards, federal board).
- International Syllabus (Oxford Syllabus, O-levels, A-levels etc).
- Madrassa System (Dars-e-Nizami).
This non-uniformity results in difference of educational level and abilities of students.
Problems of Education System in Pakistan
There are some defects and flaws in the education system in Pakistan. They are of managerial, economic and social nature.
1) Lack of Funds: This the foremost and important issue in education system in Pakistan. The share of education in GDP is less than 2%. Whereas, developed nations are devoting a larger share to education.
2) Non-uniformity of Syllabus: As mentioned above there is diversity in the syllabus offered to the students. This is also a defect in the education system. The competition among students is not equal. Those with English background excel. This causes un-employment and inferiority complex among students.
3) Poverty and Child labor: Unfortunately, the per capita income of Pakistanis is 139th in the world. This situation forces the families to put their children in child labor. The children from the very small age cannot reach to schools and hence results in illiteracy.
4) Lack of Infrastructure: Many government schools are colleges are lacking the adequate infrastructure. Students cannot learn maximum knowledge. The laboratories are deficient in necessary equipment to perform experiments.
5) Social Mind set and Feudalism: The feudalism is major hindrance in the development of education system in Pakistan. The land lord does not want his tenants to be educated. He does not support educational activities in his area. Students are discouraged to go to the schools. This situation prevails in less developed rural areas.
6) Nepotism and Lack of motivation: If teachers are not hired on merit then how can the educational setup improve? Teachers lack proper training and motivation to teach the students. The facilities offered to them are not satisfactory. This results in unwillingness to impart skills among the students.
I have mentioned some of the major issues. These problems and flaws can be corrected with positive initiatives and management. Give your views about the education system in Pakistan in the comments section.