SBP Slams the State of Education in Pakistan in Its Latest Report

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued a staff note for Quality and Effectiveness of Public Spending on Education in Pakistan.

Pakistan has seen its fair share of misery in the past several years; be it corruption, electricity shortage or terrorist attacks. However, the flawed educational system which is responsible for nurturing tens of millions of young minds deserves a special mention of its own.

Good governance with solid plans plays a fundamental role in the progress of a nation. However, SBP slams the parties which have led Pakistan and the existing system to fail over and over again.

The report discusses some key points.

  1. The current overall public spending only aims to fix short term problems.
  2. Significant portion of the money is being used to improve the infrastructure and not the system as whole.
  3. Lack of transparency and accountability in fund allocation.
  4. Governments tend not to invest in educational sector as it is not profitable enough.
  5. Defining quality of education and measuring it.

South and West Asian Government Expenditure on Education:

The reason behind lack of improvement in education sector in developing countries is that the governments do not benefit enough from investing in this sector. The report also states that there are cases where teachers and officials tend to support their welfare over the students. This results in a dilemma where education ministries cannot pin point as to how to improve the education systems.


Government’s Expenditure per Primary Student (US $):

It is evident that Pakistan is facing troubles mainly due to under-investment. Compared to other successful countries, Pakistan’s expenditure in this regard is shamefully low. China stands with 47 percent better investment compared to Pakistan, whereas Norway tops the charts.


Literacy Rate in the South and West Asia Regions:

Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is lagging behind almost all the countries in the region, according to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report which was conducted in 2015. In Maldives, according to projected youth literacy rate (15-24), the percentage will be 100 percent as compared to Pakistan’s 75%.


Another key thing the report also mentions is that,

“As per Human Development Report (2015), Pakistan still falls in Low Human Development category in education achievement based on the criteria defined for levels of literacy, enrollment and education quality.”

Early Grade Reading Assessment:

The report shows that, since the independence of Pakistan, the country has managed to increase the number of primary schools eighteen-fold and multiplied enrollment in schools sixteen times. Although it is an improvement, the achievements still haven’t overcome the challenges posed by the rising population and the lack of quality in the education sector.

A survey conducted in 38 rural districts in 2010 yielded the following discoveries:
  • 2nd grade: 66 percent of students cannot read a single word of Urdu.
  • 3rd grade: 44 percent of students are capable of reading sentences (level 1 text) in Urdu or their own language.
  • 4th grade: 39 percent of students can identify simple numbers (level 1 standard).


Pakistan, despite having the capacity for high gains due to a large population and unexplored segments, is still lagging behind. The emphasis of the education sector by the governments over the years has remained flawed and investment has been fairly low. Even after a span of 69 years, the country has been unable to provide good quality education with basic infrastructure. The expenditure on education needs to rise and a long term plan needs to be put in place lest we fail our younger generations completely.

Sports Analyst & Head of Sports Desk.

  • University education in Pakistan is now very costly… One trend that has started in public universities of getting admission on self finance basis is serious issue that has made the education very costly. In quid azam university the majority seats are on self finance and very few have been put province wise quota. That is really a tragic situation and a horrible thing. In all public universities at least education should be subsidized but not on self finance. one person who has money and even he takes very little marks but his admission is confirm but one who has more than 80 percent marks is not admission him….. very sad…

    • LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG before they reach university level, they are messed up.

      I have known many professors who complain constantly that when fresh new students start at their universities they have to teach them basics of Calculus, Trig, etc etc etc things that they should know in FSc. Forget about Language skills, they are even worse than math skills

      And Math is one subject where you don’t have to write essays or anything like that, just solve problems, be able to write proofs. Logical thinking.

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