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Part I Descriptive Section


Education For All Year 2000 Assessment has proved a significant, useful and productive exercise. Pakistan certainly benefitted from this global endeavor in the form of creation of comprehensive data base on Education For All.

We do realize that the subject assessment is not an end in itself rather a means to an end. In light of the findings of this report, we will reshuffle the priorities, revise the goals and targets of Education For All and re-examine the strategies and programmes with an objective to accelerate implementation process so as to achieve the targets of EFA at the earliest.

The government is looking forward to a richer participation of the private sector and effective involvement of local communities in educational development. Grand alliance of all principal actors of Education For All shall be evolved to achieve the long cherished goals of Education For All.

I am grateful to International Donor Agencies, Provincial Education Departments, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, NGOs, Private Sector and all others who have effectively contributed for achievement of EFA goals in Pakistan in general, and facilitated in the subject assessment in particular.


Islamabad the November 5, 1999.


  2. The subject report highlights demographic, socio-economic, administrative and educational structure of Pakistan; limelights national and international targets and commitments for Education For All; describes major actions taken and successful innovative programmes initiated; reviews achievements and effectiveness of these programmes; gives an overview of Education For All development since 1990; identifies main problems and issues confronting EFA in Pakistan; and reflects future policy prospects in basic education.

    The main policies and programmes on Education For All presently under implementation include; National Education Policy (1998-2010); Social Action Programme phase-II (1997-2002) and Pakistan 2010 programme. The goals and targets fixed in the area of primary education and literacy, include universal enrolment of primary school age children; 80% completion rate and 70% literacy rate by the year 2002-03.

    To achieve the targets of EFA a number of innovative programmes and strategies have been adopted which, interalia, are a Social Action Programme was launched in 1992-93 sharply focussing on accelerated development of educational facilities for basic education to promote access, making it more egalitarian and also intending to improve its quality. Besides, a large number of foreign aided primary education development projects/ programmes are under implementation. Steps have also been taken to eliminate gender and territorial disparities and promote Public Private Partnership; expand Teacher Training Network; decentralize management, introduce Legislation for Making Primary Education Compulsory; Teach English at Primary level, Develop integrated Textbooks for classes I-III and integrate Nazira Quran, Islamiayat and Arabic emphasizing character building. Besides, focus has also been laid on community mobilization for promotion of basic education. Development of minimum learning level (MLL) and assessment of basic competencies of children in Pakistan have been initiated. Packages of incentives, both for teachers and students have been developed and are presently under implementation to increase enrolment, improve retention and upgrade quality particularly among rural females.

    Female education has been assigned the top priority. A number of policy measures and programmes for basic education of females have been initiated which include introduction of mixed schools; provision of basic facilities and services in female primary schools in terms of boundary walls, lavatories, stipends, free books and uniforms and food; and reservation of 60% female seats in primary schools under SAP. Besides, in order to ensure availability of female teachers, 70% positions of primary school teachers have been reserved for females.

    Social and political mobilization and community involvement and participation is another priority area of EFA development programmes. The steps taken to achieve this objective interalia, are establishment of village education/ school management committees(SMC) in all the four provinces of the country; establishment and strengthening of Education Foundations at federal and provincial level; introduction of public private partnership schemes; involvement of NGOs and private sector for promotion of basic education; mobilization of communities and beneficiaries; and commitment of political parties to promote basic education followed by increased budget allocation for education.

    Investment in primary education (both development and recurring) has increased from Rs.9563 million in 1990-91 to Rs 38674 million in 1998-99. It is a record increase of 304% in a short period of 9 years. Increase in development budget is 231% (Rs 1179 million to 3904 million) and recurring budget 315% (Rs 8384 million to 34770 million). However, allocations for adult literacy had been quite insufficient.

    Gross intake rate in grade I is very encouraging i.e. 99.8 percent( total) and 83.3 percent (female). It indicates that if this percentage is a lit bit further improved and sustained, during next 5 years Pakistan will achieve the long cherished goal of universal access/enrolment Islamabad Capital Territory having 97% net enrolment ratio has already achieved the Universal Primary Education target.A record increase of 21% in overall gross participation rate at primary (1-V) level from 60% in 1990 to 81% in 1998 is a real achievement. Furthermore, there is no shortage of qualified and trained teachers at primary level. Almost 100 percent teachers are academically qualified and 80% professionally trained. An increase of 100% in primary schools from 81393 in 1990 to 163746 in 1998 indicate that educational facilities and services for primary education have expanded considerably.

    However, inspite of these achievements net enrolement /participation rate could not exceed 60% against the Jomtein target of 100% net enrolment by the years 2000.It shows that around 8 million children of 5-9 age group are never enrolled in school and half (50%) of those (12 million enrolled) may drop out before completing primary education. At this rate total number of out of school children may reach 14 (8+6) million by the year 2002.03. Pupil teacher ratio could not be improved . It is still 48. Early childhood care and development continues to be a neglected area. Despite serious problem of high illiteracy rate,only a few projects and programmes for eradication of illiteracy could be launched during nineties which do not commensurate with the great challenge and gigantic task of making literate a large number (42 million) of adult illiterates. Particularly provincial education departments could not make any breakthrough in this regrd. In 1998 adult literacy rate of Pakistan was 45 percent (Male 56.5% :Female 32.6%) against the Jomtein/National Education Policy 1992 target of 70%. Literacy gender parity index is 0.48 against 0.54 in 1990 which shows that high gender disparaties in adult literacy could not be eliminated

    Major issues and problems confronting basic education in Pakistan which are yet to be resolved, interalia, are; inadequate physical facilities and infrastructure in view of high population growth rate of 2.6 percent; resource constraint, low participation and high dropout rates; adult illiteracy, especially female illiteracy; disparities and imbalances in gender and area,( females, rural children and children in urban slums being the most disadvantaged segment of population); socio-cultural inhibitions and taboos (though removed considerably yet still existing) against female education; economic barriers, such as, poverty and high opportunity cost; insufficient political commitment, chronic problem of political instability; inconsistencies in education policies and programmes; lack of teachers competency, low motivation and commitment; partly non-relevance of curricula to the needs of the learners and the community; over centralization and inadequate level of local capacity to programme formulation, institutional management and evaluation; lack of integrated planning and coordination amongst organizations and institutions from different sectors of society; and Ineffective assessment, monitoring and evaluation system specially for quality improvement.

    Despite massive expansion and growth and private sector during this decade,reliable and valid data even about the basic and core indicators are not available. Same is the case of the children with special needs/handicap children. A comprehensive school census of private schools in Pakistan is the urgent need of the country for effective educational planning and development.

    Furthermore, public sector data/information on some of the EFA dimensions and indicators such as Early Childhood Care and Development, Training in Essential Skills and Education for Better Living are not available. This is because of the fact that very few formal, structured and regular programmes have been launched in these areas. Secondly, data/statistics on these programmes are not collected. However, informal and unstructured programmes in the said dimensions may exist but again statistics/information are never reported. Special efforts in terms of sample surveys, research studies and interviews etc. are needed to obtain recent, reliable and comprehensive data especially on those indicators and dimensions of EFA for which regular and time series data are not available.

  4. With an objective to ensure full and active participation of all EFA principal actors and to complete the Education For All the year 2000 Assessment effectively and on time, Ministry of Education appointed Joint Educational Adviser Primary and Non-formal Education Wing as National Coordinator and constituted 15-member EFA Assessment Group. The Group comprised of focal points from all the four provinces i.e. Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan, Federating Units i.e. Islamabad Capital Territory, Federally Administered Northern Areas and Tribal Areas; Azad Jammu and Kashmir; Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies such as Prime Ministers Literacy Commission (PMLC), Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM), Ministry of Special Education, Women Development and Social Welfare and Planning Division (See Annexure-I).

    Member of National Consultative Forum of UN sponsoring agencies i.e.UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP and World Bank which is overall responsible for national coordination were identified to consult with and associate them in this important national and global exercise/programme.

    As a third step a 2-day round-table meeting/workshop from 24-25 November,1998 was held in Islamabad Holiday Inn Hotel Islamabad in collaboration with UNESCO and other UN sponsoring agencies. The meeting was attended by members of EFA Assessment Group, National Consultative Forum, educationists/Officers of Ministry of Education and a consultant from UNESCO Office Bangkok. It was a fruitful meeting/workshop where in subject programme was introduced in detail, general awareness about the importance and significance of the programme created; General and Technical Guidelines to carry out the subject assessment explained; Problems and constraints especially regarding data collection on EFA core indicators discussed, a work plan to complete the subject assessment on time finalized; and outlines of the preliminary draft/status report were agreed upon/approved. In addition to that 11-member Technical Sub-Group comprising educational planners, statisticians and researchers drawn from the private sector, Provincial Education Departments, Federating units and Ministries/agencies at federal level was established on the recommendations of EFA Assessment Group. The prime responsibility assigned to technical Sub-Group was to collect, analyse and report the data on 18 core EFA indicators.

    A 3-day meeting of Technical Sub-group was held in Academy of Educational Planning and Management in March, 1998 for data collection, computation and consolidation. Based upon the data provided by the AEPAM, Education Management Information System of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Balochistan and some other sources such as Planning and Development Wing of Ministry of Education, Prime Minister Literacy Commission (PMLC), Federal Bureau of Statistics, Central Bureau of Education, Pakistan Census Organization Private Sector NGOs, and many others the country report has been prepared.

  6. General

    The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a State, comprising four provinces; Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan, and some federal units which include District Islamabad, Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Northern Areas (FANA). Almost half of the population of the country lives in the province of Punjab. Whereas, Balochistan is the largest province with regard to area having 43 percent of the area of the whole country. The population density of the country is estimated at 156 per square kilometer. Over 97 per cent of the population is Muslim. Pakistan, an area of 796,095 lying between latitude 24o and 37o North and longitude 62o and 75o East. The country borders Iran on the West, India in the East,Afghanistan in the north and north-west and the People's Republic of China in the north-west to north-east.


    According to the interim Census Report 1998, the population of Pakistan is 130.58 million, 88 millions living in rural areas and 32.58 millions residing in towns and cities. Annual growth rate is 2.6 percent. In 1951 the growth rate of population was 1.79 percent per annum which reached 3.69 percent during 1982-83. From this peak, a declining trend started and by 1998 annual increase dropped to 2.6 percent per annum Population explosion is one of the gigantic problems of the country and it is creating negative impact on developmental efforts to improve the economic conditions of Pakistan.

    Pakistan is basically an agrarian country and most of its population is engaged with agriculture related activities. Estimated on the basis of the existing population of 130.58 million and labour force participation rate of 27.46 percent, the total labour force comes to 36 million as on Ist March,1998. Since 1991-92, it is growing at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent. The unemployment rate is estimated at 5.37 percent during 1996-97. Agriculture is the largest source of employment. Per capita income is around US$ 490.

    Both the public and private sectors are involved in the health sector. The existing network of medical services consists of 830 hospitals, 4250 dispensaries, 4997 basic health units (BHUs) 864 maternity and child health centers (MCHs), 260 tuberculosis (T.B) centers, and 501 rural health centers. In the calendar year 1996, there was one doctor for 1773 persons; one dentist for 44,803 persons; and one nurse for 5,771 persons; one nurse for 3.8 hospital beds, and one hospital bed for 1514 persons.

    Crude birth rate has witnessed a declining trend since 1984. It has fallen from 42.7 per thousand in 1984-88 to 37.6 per thousand in 1994 for all areas. During 1996-97, it was estimated around 36.7 per thousand. Steep fall has been recorded in urban areas where it declined by 17.7 percent between 1984-88 to 1994.

    Expansion and improvement in medical science has led to decrease in CDR. (Crude Death Rate) These have declined from 10.9 per thousand in 1984-88 to 9.9 per thousand in 1994 for the whole of Pakistan. In 1996-97 the CDR is estimated around 9.0 per thousand population. The fall in urban areas is higher than in rural areas.

    The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was quite high in the past. The improved conditions of health services available in the country have considerably lowered the infant mortality rate. However, in remote areas of Pakistan, it is still high due to deficient health facilities. Nevertheless, in the whole of Pakistan IMR has declined from 112 per thousand in 1984-88 to 82 per thousand in 1996. The fall in urban areas is steeper than rural areas, due to increased awareness and better facilities.

    The age distribution data based on census and surveys conducted from 1981 to 1998 reveals that large segment of Pakistan's population is under 15 years of age. This indicates the prevalence of high fertility rate in Pakistan together with high dependency ratio. However, the ratio of population under 15 years of age has decreased in 1994 over 1989-93 by 0.3 percentage point which shows that productive population of the country is increasing.


    Pakistan has federal Set-up. At the center is the Federal Government which comprises several ministries and divisions. Each ministry or division is headed by a Secretary, who is in turn responsible to minister. The senior ministers make up the cabinet,which is headed by the Prime Minister. A similar pattern of administration exists at the provincial level. A large number of central ministries have their counterparts in the provinces which are known as departments. For the purpose of administration, the provinces are divided into 27 divisions. A division usually comprises several administrative districts. Districts are further divided into talukas or tehsils (sub-districts). Administration of education in the country is generally organized according to the above administrative units. This system of government is partly centralized, with Federal Ministries preparing policy statements for the sector; national sectoral plans within the framework of the national plan, appropriate guidelines, standards, and, targets, etc. National plans and annual budget are prepared in consultation with the planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance.


    The planning and coordination of major components of basic education i.e. primary education and literacy is the responsibility of the Primary,Non-Formal Science and Technical Education (PNSTE) Wing of Ministry of Education, whereas the implementing agencies are the Provincial Education Departments and Prime Minister's Literacy Commission and (NGOs). Learning achievement and training in essential skills(curricula, examination, evaluation, standard of education, learning/competency level, teacher training) are under the purview of the Curriculum Wing of Ministry of Education and the provincial line departments/organizations. Special Education and Social Welfare Division manages education for the handicapped and children with special needs. Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development approves and implements schemes in social sector development including basic education which are proposed and prepared by the members of the parliament. Women Division makes inputs in terms of transportation for schools etc.

    A provincial Education Department is headed by a Provincial Education Minister. The civil servant in charge of the department is the Provincial Education Secretary. The provinces are further divided into divisions for the purpose of administration. The head of the divisional office is called the Director. The hierarchy then runs down to the District Education Officer,Sub-district Education Officer, Supervisors or Assistant Sub divisional Education Officers. At grassroot (Union council level) Learning Coordinators (LCs) provide academic guidance as well as supervise the schools. The administrative structure is centralized though not to the extent that it was in the past. Decentralized structure of basic education management is one of the priorities of the Government. Under this strategy, Primary Education Directorates, Village Education Committees/School Management Committees have been set up in the provinces at grass root level. In the provinces of Balochistan and Punjab literacy programmes are run by Social Welfare Department.


    Elementary Education in Pakistan has two stages. The first stage is called Primary. It comprises classes I to V and enrolls students of age-group 5+ to 9+. Next is a three-year Middle stage consists of classes VI to VIII corresponding to age-group 10+ to 12+. Details about educational stges/structure in Pakistan from primary to higher education are at annexure-I.


    At the Federal level there exists Curriculum Wing. Curriculum Bureaux and Text-book Boards exist as separate institutions in the provinces. Their activities are coordinated by the Federal Curriculum Wing. The existing curricula for classes I to V revised and introduced progressively since 1974. Integrated Curricula for grade I-III has been recently introduced. The curricula in various disciplines were drafted by National Committee consisting of a majority of subject experts from the Universities and are highly content oriented.

    The medium of instruction at the Primary level is Urdu or provincial/local language. The courses offered are generally the same throughout Pakistan. Diversification of courses takes place after class VIII(age 13+).

    Text-books are produced by the Provincial Text-books Boards. The syllabi are common to all the provinces and to that extent the curriculum is centralized. However,the provinces are free to interpret the outline of a course in view of the conditions existing in that province. The Text-Book Boards develop books upto grade XII.


    Examinations are generally held annually, and are sole criterion to promote the students to higher classes or to retain them in the same class. However, recently a system of automatic promotion upto grade-III has been introduced in some schools. In the primary classes, examinations are conducted by the school concerned. However, at the end of the fifth year of the primary stage a public examination is held by the education department for promotion to the next grade and award of merit scholarship. Only outstanding students compete for winning merit scholarship. Similarly, the examination in Middle Schools are held by the concerned school for winning Merit scholarship but there is a public examination at the end of grade VIII conducted by the Education Department for award of scholarships. Public examinations are also held by the respective regions at the end of classes X & XII.

    Teacher Training

    Teacher training for primary education is conducted as one-year course after a schooling of 10 years in general education. Primary teacher training is provided in 71 Teacher Training Institutions(T.T.Is) having an average capacity of only 200 students per institution and a combined output of 14,000 per annum.

    Demographic, Socio-economic and Educational indicators of Pakistan are at Annexure-II.


    The World Conference on Education For All (Jomtien, March, 1990) prompted the Government of Pakistan to restate its policy, reshuffle its priorities and reset its goals and targets, specially in the area of Primary Education and Literacy to make them compatible with the goals and targets set in Jomtien. The main policy and plan documents formulated and approved by the Government of Pakistan as follow-up to the recommendations of Jomtien conference are the National Education Policy (NEP) 1992-2000, the Social Action Programme (SAP) and the Eighth Five Year Plan 1992/93 - 1997/98. Pakistan has recently revised education Policy and EFA goals and targets so as to honour national and international commitments and to meet to the challenges of the future. Currently the National Education Policy (1998-2010), Social Action Programme phase-II (1998-2002) and Ninth Five year Plan 1998-2003 are under implemention. Since, the said policy, programme and plan relate to the future, covering mostly the period beyond year 2000. Hence, they will be discussed in detail in part III of the report i.e prospects - Policy directions for the future.

    The major goals and targets set in these policy/plan documents covering different dimensions of Education For All are summarized below:-


    As a follow-up to the Jomtien Conference a gigantic endeavour and a giant leap taken towards EFA was the formulation of the National Education Policy in consultation with principal EFA actors both at the national and local levels. The main policy targets are as follows:

    Early Childhood Care and Development: There is a growing realization in Pakistan regarding importance and significance of early childhood education and training. Even then neither any clear cut policy nor qualtifiable goals and targets could be set in this area. In order to cater the educational/learning needs of 3-5 year age group children pre-primary education classes under different denominations such as Katchi Class, Nursury and Pre-nursury, Kindergarten I and II etc. are introduced and managed in some of the schools unofficially. 1992 Education policy is silent about pre-primary education. however, in the current education policy i.e. 1998 - 2010 a clear cut policy provision has been made saying that Katchi class will be introduced in formal schools but again no target/goals have been fixed.

    Primary Education

    Primary Education shall be made compulsory and free so as to achieve universal enrolment by the end of the decade. Special measures will be adopted for improving the quality of education. The minimum norm will be two-room primary schools with five teachers. In due course of time, primary education will be transformed into basic education (elementary education extending to class VIII). Education Foundations will be established in each Province, and at the Federal level, for development of education in the private sector. The main purpose of these foundations will be to facilitate and encourage the private educational institutions especially rural schools through giving them grants and loans to fill the gaps in their educational budget both recurring and development. The foundations may also open and operate the schools in remote and rural areas where needed. They will also implement public-private partnership scheme. The foundation will be governed by the Board of Governors where members will be taken both from public and private sector. Managing Director to be appointed by the government will be the administrative head of the foundation.


    A planned effort will be made to increase the literacy rate to 70% by the year 2002. The target for 1995 were set at 50%. The Provincial Governments, NGOs, Local Institutions shall be actively involved both in planning and implementation. Allocations for adult literacy programmes will be substantially enhanced at the Federal and Provincial levels.

    Learning Achievement

    Improvement in the quality of public instruction will receive high priority. Major changes will be introduced in curricula, textbooks, teaching methods and evaluation techniques. The training of teachers will emphasize the acquisition of practical skills. The teaching learning process will be strengthened through various types of inputs. A National Testing Service will be established for providing national level leadership in developing tests needed in educational settings.

    Training in Essential Skills

    Such changes will be introduced in education to enable the young to earn an honourable living for themselves and contribute to the development of the country. Through changes in the curricula, school education will be further vocationalized with such disciplines which could improve skill acquisition by the work force according to market needs. Semi-literate and school drop-outs will be given the opportunity of upgrading their skills through functional literacy and through distance education in the non-formal sector programmes.

    Education for Better Living

    The existing provision of Islamic education will form the basis for the development of new curricula. The religious education will be so directed as to enable students to imbibe high ethical and moral values encoded in the spirit of Islam, preparing them at the same time as members of a healthy, forward-looking and enlightened society.


    The Social Action Programme (SAP) was launched in 1992-93 to address the neglect of social development in a coordinated and concerted manner. Initially a 3-year SAP (92/93 to 95/96) was formulated which was later overtaken by the exercise carried out for the 8th Five Year Plan and a 5-year SAP (93-98) was formulated. The responsibility of implementation of SAP was given to the provincial governments with the involvement of the community, NGOs and the private sector.

    The SAP is a multi-structure programme which includes provision of clean drinking water, sanitation, population planning and primary education. In primary education, SAP aimed at establishing 55,000 primary schools mainly for females at a cost of Rs.46.64 billion spread over a period of five years. The programme meant the creation of 6.46 million new seats for children and raise the participation rate of girls from 53% to 82% by 1998.


    The main goals and targets of the Eighth Five Year Plan (1993-98) in Education For All were as follows :

    Universal access to primary education for all boys and girls of 5-9 year of age.

    Enactment and enforcement of legislation for compulsory primary schooling for all children of the relevant age group, wherever the primary school facilities become available at a reachable distance.

    Removing gender, and rural -urban imbalances.

    Qualitative improvements of physical infrastructures, curricula (by making the courses demand-oriented), textbooks, teacher training programmes, and examination system at all levels of education.

    Broadening of the resource base for financing of education through increased allocations and encouraging private sector's participation in provision of educational facilities at all levels.

    EFA Goals and Targets in quantitative terms set in Post Jomtein Educational Policies and Plans including in the Current Education Policy i.e 1998 -2010 are as follows:

    Table-I (not available)


    Academy of Educational Planning and Management/Provincial EMIS, Planning and Development Wing, Ministry of Education.

    The aforementioned national objectives, goals and targets especially in the areas of Primary Education and Literacy indicate that they are almost consistent and compatible with the goals and targets set in the Jomtien Conference. However, no quantifiable targets have been fixed in other dimensions of EFA such as Learning Achievement; Training in Essential Skills; and Education For Better Living.


    The main programmes, agreed strategy and plan of action to achieve the EFA goals and targets as reflected in the National Education Policy (1992), the Social Action Programme (SAP) and the Eighth Five Year Plan are as follows:

    Primary Education

    Enhancing girls primary education in terms of access and quality through opening 107,000 new primary and mosque schools; adding one room to 20,000 one-room schools; providing two-room each to 24,750 shelterless primary schools; and training and recuiting 265,000 school teachers. As well as, introducing mixed schools; female teachers in mixed schools; and provision of basic facilities.

    Improving the quality of Primary Education through enhancement in the non-salary budget and provision of classroom materials; improving the quality of text books and teachers.

    Fostering the private sector/NGOs and establishing Education Foundation.


    The literacy programmes shall be implemented through the Provincial Governments, NGOs and local organizations.

    Literacy programmes will be integrated with skill-based community development programmes.

    Post-literacy phase will be made an integral part of all literacy programmes.

    Greater attention will be focused on the deprived segments of society in rural areas and urban slums, with special emphasis on the female population.

    The strategy of achieving 100% literacy in selected areas will be carefully employed to produce the emulative effect.

    The potential of electronic and print media will be fully utilized for motivating the public at large for supporting literacy effort, and for delivering literacy programmes.

    Appropriate legislation will be enacted by the Provincial Governments on the pattern of the Literacy Act 1987, to provide incentives for acquiring literacy.

    Learning Achievement

    A new cycle of curriculum development will be initiated and a major effort will be directed towards improving the delivery of the curriculum.

    The linkages between curriculum development, textbook writing, teacher training and examinations will be reinforced.

    The teaching of languages will be improved in order to enhance communication skills.

    Textbooks shall be revised and updated to incorporate new knowledge.

    Education for Better Living

    Concepts dealing with environmental education, health education and population education shall be integrated into the relevant subject.

    Moral education based on Islamic values will be the main theme of the Islamic curricula.

    Second channel of TV will be used to disseminate information about the world view of Islam and Islamic values.


    The management of education in Pakistan is constitutionally the responsibility of the provincial departments of education and the levels of administration below them. The observation and implementation of national curricula and standards is under the purview of the Provincial Eduation Departments whereas, policy-making and planning of the overall development of the system is the responsibility of the Federal Government.

    Two other federal ministries are also involved in the management of education. The Ministry of Planning and Development has an Education Unit which reviews all educational development plans. The Ministry of Finance approves educational projects in the Annual Development Plans for federal funding by a grant or loan to the provincial governments.

    The Planning and Coordination of major components of EFA i.e. Primary Education and Literacy is the responsibility of the Primary, Non-Formal Education Science and technical Education (PNSTE) Wing, Ministry of Education. Whereas, the implementing agencies are the Provincial Education Departments for Primary Education, the Prime Minister's Literacy Commission and (NGOs). Learning achievement and training in essential skills (curricula, examination, evaluation, standard of education, learning competency skills, teacher training) are under the purview of the Curriculum Wing of the Ministry of Education and the Provincial line departments/organizations. Education for better living (media programmes on moral values, attitude, general awareness regarding environment, population welfare, hygiene and sanitation, health etc.) is coordinated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU). Matters related to Early Childhood Care and Development (ECD) are dealt by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Data/Statistics in EFA are corrected and consolidated by Academy of Educational Planning and management in collaboration with Provincial EMISs.

    Unfortunately there is no permanent Body, Commission or Committee to manage and coordinate EFA actions. Different dimension of EFA are dealt by different Ministries/Divisions and Organizations. As a result, the efforts for the achievement of EFA goals are sporadic, isolated and dis-organized. It is imperative and vital that a permanent Body/Forum for EFA should be constituted to promote well organized and integrated planning, management and coordination of EFA activities. In the proposed National Body effective representation to the Ministries/Divisions and Organizations involved (as reflected above) in EFA should be ensured.


    Basic Education services in Pakistan are primarily (above 90%) provided by the Government. The role of the private sector specially in defining and implementing the goals and strategies/plan of action for EFA is nominal. Currently, it appears that growth in private education, at all levels of schooling, is on the rise. Enrollments in private priamry schools increase at a higher rate as compared to public since 1990.

    An important characteristic of the primary education system in Pakistan is the opening of primary schools in the Mosques. A Mosque is a religious institution for the muslims. It is a traditional centre of learning for children and adults of the community. This potential institution has been revitalized in Pakistan. Mosque buildings (owned by the community) are utilized for the purpose of primary schooling. Maintenance and up keep of the mosque is the responsibility of the local community. However, the government also shares the expenditure by providing the salary to a trained teacher and an honorarium for the Imam of the Mosque. Contribution by the community is generally in kind by way of free labour and material particularly to construct school building. Presently, around 27000 Mosque schools are functioning in the rural areas of the country, providing basic education up to grade-III to around 1 million children.

    Madrassas are religious educational institutions located in almost all the parts of the country both in rural and urban areas. Statistics on these institutions are presently not available. Madrassas focus on Quranic education and Islamic Teachings. Some of these religious institutions give education in other than religious subjects and disciplines as well. Most of them are degree awarding institutions. However, at present there is no close link amongst madrassas (Deeni Madaris) and modern educational institutions. In order to integrate both the systems of education it has been envisaged in National Education Policy as follows:-

    "For uniform standards of Deeni Madrasah education through registration, standardization of curricula and examination system, equivalence of asnad, award of foreign scholarships, grant-in-aid and financial assistance by the government, a Deeni Madaris Board shall be established. All the willing Wafaqs/Tanzeem/Rabita and independent Madaris will be eligible for affiliation with this Board. A draft Act recently prepared by the ministry of Education in consultation with the Ministry of Religious Affairs shall be processed for legislation".

    However, a number of Non-Governmental Organizations, some of them well established, are also providing literacy and basic education to a limited segment of the population. But their coverage is nominal, in view of the overall literacy situation as well as basic education needs of the country. A mushroom growth of NGOs in 1990s has been observed. The services and contribution of some of these NGOs for educational development are appreciable.

    International donor agencies, including bilateral and multi-lateral agencies substantially raised their support for basic education in Pakistan. The major external sources of funding for the education sector in Pakistan are the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNICEF and UNDP. Quite a number of multilateral agencies also provide technical assistance, including: UNESCO, JICA, ILO, and most recently, the World Food Program (WFP). Bilateral donors, apart from USAID also include: the Netherlands; Britain, mainly through ODA; Germany, through GTZ and in other forms; Japan through substantial material and financial support; Canada through CIDA; France; OECD; and the Scandanavian countries. With in the education sector, major portion of assistance goes to primary education.




The present pattern of financing education in Pakistan needs much improvement. The requirements of the education sector are much higher than the level of availability of resources. Aa a proportion of GNP expenditure in education no considrable increase could be possible. On the average 2.12 percent of GNP is spent on education while many developed countries invest about six percent of GNP on education. In developing countries the corresponding figure is around four percent. Many countries of this region have enhanced their education budget to more than 3 percent of GNP. Amongst the SAARC countries Pakistan's investment in education sector is the lowest.


National Scenario

In Pakistan Politicians, educational planners, policy makers and financial managers have started realizing that investment in basic education yields high economic returns to the society. Furthermore, there are a multitude of externalities and benefits associated with primary education including positive effects on health, reduction in infant mortality rate and reduction in crime rates. This realization has been reflected in stepping up the levels of public sector allocations and expenditure on primary education. It is also evident from the steadily and constantly increasing percentage of allocations for basic education since 1990. Within the education sector, basic education has been assigned highest priority during the post Jomtein period. Budget allocations for basic education increased around 14% (from 43% to 57%), over a short period of nine years (1990-99), average being 48% of the total education budget. Intra sectoral allocation of resources in education is considerably improving overtime in favour of primary education. However, GNP allocations for basic education had been meager i.e. on the average 1.12% during nineties.

Total allocations for basic education including primary teacher education and literacy had been 203 billion rupees .It includes Rs 31.6 (15.5% of total) billion development budget and 172 (84.5% of total) billion recurring budget from 1990 to 1999. Average allocations per annum comes out to be 3.5 billion rupees development and 19 billion recurring. Further details may be seen in the following table:


Provincial Scenario

Total allocations for development of primary education during post Jomtein period (1990-99) had been Rs.29.5 billion which is certainly inadequate in view of needs and requirements of the country. Following is the Province-wise allocations; Punjab Rs.12.5 billion; Sindh 5.3; NWFP 8.5; Balochistan 2.3 and Federal 3.0. Year-wise allocations and other details are given in the following table:

Table-4 Province-wise Primary Education Development Budget/Allocations (Public Sector) Year wise since 1990 (not available)

Recurring allocations from 1990-99 come out to be 168.5 billion which is almost six times more than the development allocations during the same period. More than 95% of recurring budget is consumed on salaries of teachers and others leaving less than 5% for, A.V aids, teaching learning materials and such other necessities.

Province-wise break-up of recurring budget is given in the following table.

Table-5 Province wise primary Education Recurring Budget/Allocation (Public Sector) Year - Wise since 1990. (not available)


Adult Literacy could not be given the requisite and desired attention and focus in Pakistn. Neither in terms of programmes and projects nor budgetory resources and finances.

Following tables indicate that province as such do not allocate any budget for literacy. However, federal government have earmarked some budget for promotion of literacy and mas education with in federal areas and provinces but it is too meagre and insufficient in view of needs of the country.



Total allocations for literacy in recurring sector is only Rs.179 million over a period of nine years. Sindh is the only province who have allocated some budget i.e. Rs.23.88 million for adult literacy. In development sector total allocation during post Jomtein period is Rs.651.7 million. Major chunk of this allocation i.e. Rs.590 million is made under federal budget. The provinces of Sindh and Balochistan allocated Rs.41 million and Rs.13 million respectively. It is admitted fact that when you give minimum to the system you get minimum out of it.

Comparative analysis of Investment in

Basic Education 1990 and 1998

In 1990-91 Pakistan was investing total Rs. 9563 million on basic education i.e primary education, primary teacher education and adult literacy. Where as, in 1998-99 it jumped to Rs.38674 million with an over all increase of 304%. The highest budget increase in this regard has been in the province of sindh enhancing Which enhanced its budget form Rs. 1943 million to Rs. 9170 million (372% increase), followed by Punjab 333%; NWFP 291% and Baluchistan 164% increase as shown in the following table.

Table-8 Province-wise Total (Dev.+ Recurr) Budget for Primary Education including Teacher Education (Public Sector) in selected years (1990-91 and 1998-99) (not available)

Increase in development side had been lower i.e 231% as compared to recurring budget increase i.e 315%. However, in Punjab increase in development budget of basic education had been fairly high i.e. 733% followed by NWFP 652%. This is to be pointed out that development budget at federal level has decreased by 75% from 418 million in 1990-91 to 106 million in 1998-99. For details see the following tables:

Table 9 Province-wise Primary Education including Teacher Education Development Budget in selected years 1990-91 and 1998-99. (not available)

Table-10 Province-wise Primary Education including Teacher Education. Recurring Budget selected years 1990-91 and 1998-99 (not available)

It is to be highlighted that in adult literacy and mass education sector provincial allocations are almost negligible and are taining the status quo (as was in 1990-91) with the exception that the province of punjab has recently launched a crash literacy programme investing around ten million rupees. However, federal level allocations have increased from 61.76 million in 1990-91 in 155.8 million in 1998-99(152% increase) as shown in the following table.



Financial data/statistics given above are the budget allocations. Data about the actual expenditure are presently not available. However, it is presumed that utilization/actual expenditure in case of recurring budget is almost cent per cent with the exception that few sanction posts of teachers and supporting staff are not filled and budget earmarked for these posts may not be utilized which is not as such a considerable amount.

It is proven fact that in Pakistan especially in education sector including basic education what ever is allocated/ear marked is not fully released and what ever is released is not fully and effectively utilized. During the initial five year plans the said short fall was more than 50%. However, in later plans situation it has improved considerably.

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