Politics to Blame for Declining Educational Levels in Pakistan: Alif Ailaan Report

Pakistan’s education sector is in serious need of attention and care. This applies to the dilapidated state of Pakistani schools, lack of trained teachers, bureaucratic hurdles and  prevalent cultural attitudes in certain regions.

Alif Ailaan and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)’s report on the state of Pakistani education is damning to say the least. For starters, Pakistan has missed its Millennium Development Goals when it comes to education. The report also points to how uneven the makeup of Pakistan’s education sector is in – with 81pc of it catering to primary schooling.

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Districts and their Level of Primary Education (Source: Alif Ailaan)

This observation is in line with the recent report released internationally that lists Pakistan’s Higher Education levels as one of the weakest in the world. Does that mean that once a child finishes primary schooling, their opportunities to pursue higher studies become limited at best?

Observers point to political interests having played a role in this pathetic state of affairs.

“Politicians have stacked the public sector with low quality primary school teachers for decades – once hired, these primary school teachers needed schools. It is much harder to find and employ higher skill set teachers for middle and high schools.” – Mosharraf Zaidi, Alif Ailaan Head and Ex-Diplomat

Usually this happens because MNAs and MPAs consider primary schools an easier way to get approval for, instead of for secondary or higher schools. In fact, the minimum requirement for setting up a primary school is a headmaster who can double as a teacher, a peon, and a two-room building, according to an education official.

“The rankings highlight the systematic inequalities among the districts and the regions in Pakistan. The state of education in the districts of South Punjab, Balochistan and Fata is worse than some of the sub-Saharan African countries, while the districts of North Punjab emulate developed countries like Canada”. – UNDP Country Director Marc-Andre Franche

Points to Ponder from Alif Ailaan Report

Pakistan’s education score has declined by 4 points overall. This is all the more alarming because the score was consistently showing improvements in the previous years.

The education score is the culmination of various factors such as access to schools, quality of education and premises, enrollment, retention rates, attendance and more.

When it came to cities, Islamabad had the best indicators where retention scores were concerned, Retention here basically means the number of children who kept to their studies from class 1 to class 5. But Balochistan’s performance was the poorest in this regard, with a retention score of below 40pc.

Pakistan has the most out-of-school children (24 million) in the world, a figure second only to Nigeria’s

Rawalpindi, which used to top the rankings for primary schools in the previous years, shockingly slipped down to 6th position out of 8th this year.

Overall, politics has played a huge role in the declining quality of education in Pakistan this year. Many elected representatives’ performance in this regard can be seen below:

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Alif Ailaan’s District Education Rankings 2016 make for an in-depth and interesting reading about what has brought about the decline in education levels throughout the country. To address the country’s education emergency, all stakeholders are required to come together and work until its too late.

You can check out Ailf Ailaan report here.

Samir heads the sponsored content department at ProPakistani. He also looks after the LIfe section.


  • Farhan

    There is no quick fix and building more schools won’t help! Sending children to school will be last thing on any families mind if they have to worry about other basic things everyday like roof, food, water! Overall improvements that reach the lower levels should auto improve this!

    But then again that would require common sense. Glad atleast PTI is doing it the hard way by fixing existing schools instead of doing the Punjab’s gimmicks of just launching new projects instead of revamping the huge number of Government Schools!

    And Madrassas in most rural places outnumber schools! Slow reforms of that would also be great achievement but no government is going to do that.

  • Akbar

    Pmln have made significant achievement during short period of time they launched metro for students giving laptop’s, tablets to students and list goes on. Pmln is fulfilling dream of Quaid e Azam which was education for all nation. Keep up the good work.

    • Farhan

      So the government should buy around 50 million tablets and distribute among kids and they’ll be educated? Your even better then Rana Mashood, you should be the education Minister!

    • Arsalan Shah

      I never knew Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah used offshore accounts to store money in Panama :D LOL
      Hell, Quaid never even promised a metro, or laptops. He saw Pakistan as fair, just and united. Today we’re all Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans, Chakwalis, Gujratis, Lahoris, Rajas, Chaudharys, etc etc etc. Quaid wanted no corruption, and he wanetd a fair legal system and definitely honest police.

    • Arsalan Shah

      I never knew Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah used offshore accounts to store money in Panama :D LOL

      Quaid never even promised a metro, or laptops. He saw Pakistan as fair, just and united. Today we’re all Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans -No Unity. Quaid wanted no corruption, and he wanted a fair legal system and definitely honest police.

  • Zohaib

    Although the matter needs attention and should be resolved in priority but really Shame on this photographer who made the children topless for a fu….. photo and just to make the issue more hoter

  • Fauxen

    Still don’t understand how politics is making education in Pakistan worse.

  • Arsalan Shah

    Jiyayyyyyyyyy Bhutto!!! Marayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Awam. Qaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim Ali Shah sahab woh wahid shaks, jo CM ho kar, minister ho kar, sab se zyada times elect ho kar (7 times) phir bhi figure itna neechay gaya hai, or agay bhi jaye ga. PPP murdabad.