ASER Reveals the Sad State of Education in Pakistan

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 has published details regarding its recent survey of educational facilities in Pakistan.

The report paints a horrible picture of the education quality that is being imparted in schools all over the country. It is based on the survey of 5,540 schools from 144 rural districts across the country.

The Findings of the Survey

Launched by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), ASER 2016 reveals that Pakistan’s education system has serious problems and is certainly not up to the mark.

Some of the shocking findings of the survey include:

  • 48% of grade 5 students in rural areas are unable to read Urdu stories.
  • 54% students could not read English sentences.
  • 52% students are not able to perform a simple two-digit arithmetic division.
  • 19% of children aged 6-16 years are not studying in schools which is the same as the last year, while the remaining 81% are not learning much either.
  • Pakistan has over 22 million children who’re out of school, second worst numbers after Nigeria.
  • 50% schools in the capital don’t have facilities like water or even boundary walls whereas more than 25% schools don’t have a usable toilet.
  • Only 36% girls could read sentences in Urdu, Sindhi, and Pushto, whereas for boys it was 43%.
  • Only 33% girls were able to read words in English whereas 40% boys could do the same.
  • When asked to perform a subtraction question, only 36% of girls and 44% of boys could solve it.
  • 48% students could not read Pashto and Sindhi stories in their relevant provinces.
  • In government schools, 13% of teachers and 17% of students were absent on the day of the survey.
  • 40% of the schools don’t have access to water, 46% don’t have a useable toilet, while 35% don’t have boundary walls

The Views

Senior Program Officer, Nargis Sultana, said that the government needs to be held accountable for the mismanagement of schools, and added that:

“Education should not just be amongst the priorities of the government, it should be the top priority”

Joint Education Adviser at the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training spoke at the launch of ASE report 2016, saying that it will prove helpful for future policy making.

Mosharraf Zaidi, an education campaigner, said:

“Due to the pressure exerted by civil society and NGOs, the government has started to take steps to improve the education sector, but there was much left to be desired.”

You can read the full report with some very interesting insights here.

  • When Malala says something about education in Pakistan, some of us will
    immediately change the subject away from education. Same when Sharmeed
    Obaid Chinoy makes some film about victims of acid attacks.

    When there’s some terrorist attack in Paris, liberals will put the flag of France in their Facebook profile pic.

    the annual federal budget season, farmers will travel all the way to
    Islamabad to protest outside Parliament to ensure their interests are
    not disturbed.

    Those not protesting like the farmers, such as car
    factory owners churning out the same overpriced 80’s classic Mehrans
    year after year, will be working behind the scenes to ensure their
    economic privileges are not disturbed.

    Everyone in the political
    or economic stage is working as hard as possible to defend and expand
    their piece of the political and economic pie.

    But have we ever
    seen any teachers, educators, politicians, lobbyists or citizens
    agitating outside parliament to fight for more funds and governmental
    attention for the tens of million of children, the future backbone of
    the nation, lacking educational opportunities. Which politician will
    give voice to this silent constituency of the 20 million children out of
    school? The self-appointed defenders of Namoos-e-Risalat will hardly be
    heard expressing concern about this violation of our Prophet’s ﷺ

    Who will stage sit-ins outside Parliament, machinate
    behind the scenes, change profile pictures or rant on social media about
    the greatest long-term threat to Pakistan? How many hours will the talk
    shows on our news-entertainment complex devote to this issue? When will
    we stop comparing the number of nuclear missiles versus India, and see
    that they have fewer number of children out of school despite a 6x
    bigger population in that age group?

    After 70 years of
    independence, it is now starting to look like a major effort and
    achievement by the civil-military-feudal rulers of Pakistan to keep the
    actual literacy rate below 40%.

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