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.
- The current overall public spending only aims to fix short term problems.
- Significant portion of the money is being used to improve the infrastructure and not the system as whole.
- Lack of transparency and accountability in fund allocation.
- Governments tend not to invest in educational sector as it is not profitable enough.
- 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.
- 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).