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Public Current Expenditure on Primary Education (a) as a percentage of GNP; and (b) per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per Capita.

Public Current Expenditure on Primary education increased from Rs.8181 million in 1990-91 to Rs.28675 million in 1997-98 having 250% increase (3.5 times). Whereas, increase in GNP during the same period has been 162.7% (2.6 times). In percentage terms public current expenditure on primary education as percentage of GNP increased from 0.78% in 1990-91 to 1.04% in 1997-98 having 33% cumulative increase over a period of 8 years.



(Rs. in million)


Current Exp. on Primary Education GNP Percentage Current Expenditure on Primary Education GNP Percentage
8181 1044508 0.78% 28675 2744444 1.04

Source:Planning & Development Wing Ministry of Educatiion.

Public current expenditure on primary education per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per capita increased from 6% in 1990-91 to 8.22% in 1997-98. It comes out to be around 2.2% increase in 7 year as shown in the following table:


Public current expenditure in Primary Education per pupil, as percentage of GNP per capita (Rs. in Million)

  1990-91 1997-98



on Primary Education




GNP Total population Per pupil expenditure as % of GNP per capita Public Current expenditure on Primary Education Primary level Enrolment GNP Total population Per pupil expenditure as % of GNP per capita
8181 14 mill 1044508 108.7 mill 6% 28675 16.6 mill 2744444 130.58 mill 8.22%

Source: 1Academy of Educational Planning and Management

2Planning & Development Wing Ministry of Education


Public expenditure on Primary Education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education.

Financial Needs for Universal Access/

Enrolment in Primary Education

Detailed statistics/data and information on indicator 8 have been given in Section I, sub-section 5 "Investment in EFA since 1990".

Number of out of school children (children who never enrolled) is 8.3 million . Unit cost (Per student recurring expenditure) is around Rs.1800 perannum. In order to enrole and also graduate (complete primary education) these children in 5 years the additional estimated cost is around Rs.74.7 billion. Province wise details are as given below:-


Estimated Additional Expenditure Required To Achieve UPE Target




(5-9) Popu

lation (million)

Net Enrolment (million) Out of School children (million) Per Student Per Annum Exp. Per Student 5 year Expen


Total Additional Estimated Expen


needs (Rs.million)


Pakistan 20.46 12.12 8.34 Rs.1800 Rs.9000 9000x8=


Punjab 11.05 6.72 4.33 " " 38970
Sindh 4.68 2.49 2.19 " " 19710
NWFP 2.98 1.94 1.04 " " 9360
Balochistan 1.14 0.53 0.61 " " 5490
FATA 0.37 0.25 0.12 " " 1080
FANA 0.15 0.075 0.075 " " 675
ICT 0.10 0.097 0.003 " " 27

Source: i.Population Census organization 1998.

ii. AEPAM and Provincial EMIS.

Primary Education Teachers

Total number of teachers both in public and private schools are 0.344 million against 0.120 million (35%) female teachers. Highest percentage of female teachers is in Islamabad Capital Territory i.e. 73% followed by Punjab 43%. Balochistan, FATA and FANA are the areas where female literacy rate is very low. Hence, adequate number of qualified female teachers are not available. Resultantly, ratio of female teachers in these areas is very low i.e. 24%, 27% and 28% respectively. Same is the case in the interior of Sindh having only 28% female teachers. Number of teachers working in rural schools of the country is 0.268 million (78%).

During the present decade overall number of teachers has increased 10% against 7% female. The highest increase in percentage terms is FATA 100%, Balochistan 50% and NWFP 45%. In Punjab and Sindh increase in number of female teachers is 8% and 6%. Percentage of rural area teachers have decreased in all the provinces. It shows that more teachers have transfered/shifted to urban areas due to better facilites and better socio-econonomic conditions in urban area.


Number of Primary School Teachers by region and sex 1990-91 and 19997-98

(in million)

 Province/Areas 1990-91 1997-98 Change (%)
  Total Female Rural Total Female Rural Total Female Rural
Pakistan 0.308 0.08


81% 0.34 0.12 (35%) 78% 10 7 -3
Punjab 0.146 0.05 (35%) 88% 0.16 0.69 (43%) 86% 9.6 8 -2
Sindh 0.10 0.02 (22%) 70% 0.098 0.027 (28%) 61% -2 6 -9
NWFP 0.04 0.009 (23%) 86% 0.058 0.017 (29%) 86% 45 6 0
Balochistan 0.01 0.001 (10%) 66% 0.015 0.004 (24%) N.A 50 14 -
FATA 0.006 0.001 (17%) 100% 0.008 0.002 (27%) N.A 33 10 -
FANA 0.001 0.0001 (10%) 91% 0.002 0.0005 (25%) N.A 100 15 -
ICT N.A N.A N.A 0.003 0.002 (67%) N.A - - -

Source:i.Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM).

ii.EMIS Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan.


Percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications.

In Pakistan, at the present, minimum required qualifications for primary school teachers is Secondary School Certificate (grade 10). However, in the current National Education Policy basic qualification has been recommended to enhance to Higher Secondary School Certificate level (Grade-12). There is no shortage of qualified personnels in Pakistan especially in case of male teachers. Even in case of female teachers academically qualified teachers are available except in some rural and remote areas of the country. To fill up this gap qualified female teachers from urban areas are posted who are reluctant to work in these remote areas because of many socio-economic and cultural problems.

Overall 99% teachers both male and female at primary level possess minimum required academic qualifications. Recruitment rules of teachers do not allow recruitment of primary school teachers below matric except in very few cases where qualified teachers are not available. FATA is one of such remote, disadvantaged and difficult regions where 18% teachers are below matric.


Number of Primary School Teachers (Public and Private)

and percentage with required academic qualifications 1997-98



No. of teachers (Public & Private)

Percentage with Academic Qualifications (Public)

Percentage with Required Professional Qualifications (Public)

  Total Femlae Total Female Total Female
Pakistan 343678 120389 (35%) 99 99 87 85
Punjab 160564 68659 (43%) 100 100 80 82
Sindh 98310 27072 (28%) 99 98 92 91
NWFP 57561 16597(29%) 100 100 96 91
Balochistan 14851 3532 (24%) 99 98 99 98
FATA 8199 2214 (27%) 82 87 92 75
FANA 1639 457(28%) 93 95 48 25
ICT 2554 1858(73%) 99 98 95 98

Source:i. Academy of Educationall Planning and Management (AEPAM).

ii. EMIS Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan.


Percentage of primary school teachers who are certified to teach according to national standards.

One year teacher training course in teacher training colleges after matric is pre-requisite to be certified to teach at primary level in public school. However, teachers are also trained through distant learning by Allama Iqbal Open University. Teacher training institutions/centres have also been opended in private sector such as Ali Institute Lahore and Teacher Resource Centre Karachi. Academic qualifications, pre-requisite for admission in these private institutions varies from matric to master level.

There is no shortage of trained teachers in Pakistan except in case of rural female teachers especially in remote and disadvantaged areas of the country. In such areas untrained female teacher are allowed to be employed temporarily with the condition that in order to be inducted as a regular/permanent teacher they have to under go the training either through the formal system or distant learning.

Overall 87% teachers at Primary level in Pakistan are professionally trained. Lowest percentage of trained teachers (total 48% and female 25%) is in Federally Adminitered Northern Area (FANA) followed by Punjab.

Most of the teachers working in private schools are academically better qualified than public school teachers but professionally untrained. Despite of it quality of private schools as compared to majority of public schools is better. One of the main factors is better management and supervision of private sector schools.


Pupil - Teacher Ratio (PTR)

The official pupil/teacher ratio is 40:1 for both rural and urban areas. Whereas, the actual over all PTR is 48:1. At present, a typical primary school is officially envisaged as a two teacher school for approximately 80 children. In practice, the pupil/teacher ratio may vary a great deal having over 80 students per teacher in urban Sindh and less than 10 students per teacher in some rural school. In NWFP, this ratio varies across districts as well as between rural and urban regions, with 50 pupils per teacher in some districts to less than 15 pupils per teacher in others. In most rural boys schools the ratio is closed to 40:1 but in urban boys schools it could be as low as 7:1 and as high as 72:1. Overall, the pupil/teacher ratio for girls is higher than for boys. The pupil/teacher ratio in private schools is believed to be rational and uniform.

Statistics on teachers teaching multigrade classes are not available, but it is estimated that at least 70 percent of rural schools have multigrade classes. The governments policy of sanctioning teachers vacancies on the basis of number of children rather than the number of classes indicates that the multigrade situation is officially accepted. Multigrade situations are uncommon in private school in general.

Although, there is no official policy on the required number of pupil/teacher contact hours, but all teachers, including the nominated head are involved in teaching for most of the four or five hour school day.

Teacher absentisim is reported to be high in remote rural primary schools and higher in girls schools. In these regions, local teachers are not available and non local teachers either remain absent or endeavor to have themselves transferred. A higher percentage of teachers with a few years of experience applies for transfers. This is because they accept posting in remote areas far from their residence at the time of initial appointment and later apply for transfer to either urban schools or schools located near their family homes.

National level pupil teacher ratio has increased from 37 to 49 overall and 43 to 54 in case of females during last eight years 1990 - 1998. In the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan pupil teacher ratio has improved during the said period. However, in the rest of the areas the same has increased

In most of the provinces and areas of the country PTR in case of female teachers is higher than the male. At present it ranges between 23 in Sindh to 59 in FANA (Overall/total) Case of females it ranges between 24 in FATA to 67 in FANA.


Province - Wise Pupil Teacher Ratios

at Primary level selected years

1990-91 and 1997-98



1990-91 1997-98 Change (%)
  Total Female Total Female Total Female
Pakistan 37 43 49 54 +12 +11
Punjab 45 51 37 37 -8 -14
Sindh 27 32 23 29 -3 -3
NWFP 34 30 34 43 0 +13
Balochistan 51 69 40 59 -9 -10
FATA 28 16 38 24 +10 +8
FANA 41 65 59 67 +18 +2
ICT - - 39 18    

Source:- i.Academy of Educational Planning and Management.

ii. EMIS, Punjab, sindh, NWFP and Balochistan

iii. Central Bureau of Education.


Repetition rates/by grades

Pakistan is actively considering the policy of automatic promotion upto grade 3 so as to reduce dropouts. This scheme /policy provision has been/being implemented in few schools/areas. Some parents and teachers have serious reservations against this scheme on the grounds that it will further deteriorate quality of education

Repetition rates are higher in intial grades of primary education that is grade I and II and lower in higher grades i.e grade IV and V. Female repetition rates are higher than the male. Overall (I-V) repetition rate is 31%. It ranges between 29% the lowest in Sindh, to 72%, the highest in Baluchistan.


Province and grade-wise Repetition rates 1997-1998


 Region Gr.I Gr.II Gr.III Gr.IV Gr.V Total Gr.I-V
  Total Female Total Female Total Female Total Female Total Female Total Female
Pakistan 9.2 8.2 6.6 6.4 5.9 6.2 5.8 6 3.9 3.9 31 39
Pubjab 7.7 7.6 6.5 6.7 6.1 6.9 6.4 6.8 4.3 4.9 31 33
Sindh 9 7.1 7.1 5.5 5.5 4.4 5.1 4.2 2.7 1.8 29 23
NWFP 11.1 10.1 4.9 4.6 4.6 0.4 4 3.9 2.1 1.6 32 21
Balochistan 27.9 17.4 12.4 14.2 11.5 12.9 10.8 11.7 8.9 9.3 72 66
Islamabad 10.1 9.7 10.5 9.7 9.8 9.2 10.2 9.8 8.8 9.7 50 48
FATA 10.6 26.4 6.1 8.5 5.2 7.3 4.6 6.1 5.4 5.7 32 54
FANA 7.3 5.1 7.3 6 7.3 6.6 10.8 8.3 10.6 7 43 33

Source:- i.Academy of Educational Planning and Management.

ii. EMIS, Punjab, sindh, NWFP and Balochistan

iii. Central Bureau of Education.


Survival rate to grade 5(percentage of a pupil cohart actually reaching grade 5)

Provisions of facilities such as school places and enrolling pupils is only one aspect of primary education. Unless the children are able to stay through the primary education cycle and acquire with functional effectiveness the basic skills of literacy and numeracy and understanding and reasoning they would not have accomplished the first decisive step in education. This means that drop out and repetition with the associated human and financial wastage need to be minimised and the quality of primary education reflecting the learning gains of the learners enhanced.




 Region Total Female
Pakistan 50 44
Pubjab 42 35
Sindh 51 56
NWFP 72 60
Balochistan 58 65
Islamabad 93 92
FATA 50 25
FANA 70 47

Source:- i. Academy of Educational Planning and Management.

ii. EMIS, Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan

Causes and Factors of Dropout at Primary level

According to the research findings high dropouts and low participation at primary level may be attributed to the following factors:-


Low level of economic development of the country.

Low per capita income of the people

Inadequate provision of physical facilities in schools.

Shortage of funds.

Poor standards of health and nutrition.

Costly text-books/exercise books.

In-adequacy of audio-visual aids.

Poor condition of school buildings.

poor motivational level of parents to send children to schools.


Punitive measures adopted by the teachers and loss of self-respect .

Non-conducive atmospher of shelterless schools.

Heavy load of school bag.

Practice of forcing children to repeat classes.

Induction of formal education from the very first day in school.

Learning problems of children.

Unattractive/unfamiliar environment of the school.

Over-crowded classes.


Scattered pattern of population in large parts of the country.

Long distances of schools from homes.

Natural calamities in the hilly areas.

Poor communication facilities.


Lax supervision and weak administration.

In-different attitude of administrative and supervisory personnel towards teaching community.

Teacher absentism.

Undue political interference.


Curriculum not in harmony with the needs and abilities of children.

Lack of relevance of curriculum to the needs of the community .

Poor quality of Education.

Rigid system of examinations.

Non-availability of text-books in time.

No immediate return of education making the poor parents consider it a futile exercise.

Rigid formal system of education at the level of class I.


Shortage of teachers.

Hesitation of female teachers to go to schools located in remote areas.

Inadequate /improper residential facilities especially in far flung areas compelling them to remain absent from school to attend to family problems.

Low morale of primary school teachers and their harsh treatment towards pupils.

Sub-standard student-teacher ratio.

Inadequate knowledge of the child psychology.

As per findings of research study titled "The Causes of Low Enrolement and High Dropouts carried out under Primary Education Project-III, dinistry of Education in 1994 the causes of high dropout have been rank ordered and prioritized as gien below:-

Internal Reasons for High Drop-out

Lack of facilities in schools

Defective textbooks and curriculum which is beyond the comprehension level of students

(iii) Harsh attitude of the teacher

External Reasons for High Drop-out

Parent's poverty

Parent's lack of understanding of value education

(iii) Opportunity cost to the parents by sending the child to school

Negative and adverse effect of these factors is very high which is evident from the high drop out percentage.In Pakistan half of the children who enrol in grade-I dropout before completing primary education. Overall male survival rate is higher i.e 56% than the female i.e 44%. Islamabad Capital Territory has the highest survival rate. (Total 93%, Female 92%). Pubjab has the lowest survival rate. Female survival rate is between 25% in FATA to 92% in Islamabad Capital Territory.


Co-efficient of efficiency (ideal number of pupil years needed for a pupil cohort to complete the primary cycle expressed as a percentage of the achieved number of pupil years)

Overall co-efficient of efficiency is 68 percent(female 65 percent). Internal efficiency of system in Islamabad is the highest i.e 86% both in case of total as well as female. Baluchistan with 60 percent coefficient of efficiency (overall/total) and FATA with 37 percent with respect to female are the lowest in the country followed by Punjab (Total 64 percent; female 59 percent)


Provincwise Coefficient Of Efficiency

(Primary Cycle) 1997-98

 Region Total Female
Pakistan 68 65
Pubjab 64 59
Sindh 70 74
NWFP 79 71
Balochistan 60 68
Islamabad 86 86
FATA 63 37
FANA 79 69

Source:- i.Academy of Educational Planning and Management.

ii. EMIS, Punjab, sindh, NWFP and Balochistan

6.3 Learning Achievement and Outcome


Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencis.

In the past there had been a trade off between quantity (access) and quality of Primary Education. Now the emphasis is shifting from increasing access to improving the quality of education, in particular improving the quality of students learning, teacher competencies and school effectiveness.

In Pakistan there is a dearth of information on the outcomes of education, particularly on the quality of students learning. There is a need for feedback on the nature of student achievement, the relevance of these achievements to the life skills and the world of work.

It has observed that the first systematic attempt to assess learning in Pakistani primary schools on an on-going basis using the results in a well-planned manner was made by the Northwest Educational Assesment Programme (NEAP) of the NWFP Directorate of Primary Education. The main objective of NEAP is to develop, collect and report on student achievement in primary schools in NWFP and to use these achievement indicators to examine the quality and appropriateness of the curriculum, textbooks, and instructional methodology, with a view to remedying weaknesses indentified. NEAP has been administering Grade 3 and 5 Science, Maths, and Urdu/Pushto tests to a representative sample of children in primary schools drawn from every district of NWFP annually since 1992-923. It provides feedback to supervisory staff on the quality of teaching and learning in the schools in their districts. Information form NEAP has been used to prepare district based in-service teacher and supervisor training materials and programmes. District mean scores are provided to District Education Officers(DEOs) and national and provincial assembly members to motivate them to make efforts to improve academic achievement in their own district.

Recently some national research studies based on standardized achievement tests, few case studies and surveys for monitoring learning achievement at primary level have been conducted.

The main research studies conducted since 1994-95 are as follows:-

i. Assessment of Basic Competencies of Children in Pakistan known as ABC study.

ii. National Study on Measuring Learning Achievements at primary level in Pakistan.

iii. Education For All Participatory Research (comparative analysis of Public, Private and NGOs schools).

iv. Towards Assessment of Grade 3 Learner Achievement - case study.

v. Levels of Pupil Achievement in Primary Schools of Punjab, Pakistan - case study.

A brief introduction of these studies focussing on results/findings, analysis and overall trend has been reflected in this section.


National Institute of Psychology Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad conducted a research study on basic Competencies of students in 1995 through a sample of students representing male/female, rural/urban and in school/out of school. Findings of the said research are quoted below to have an overall view of learning assessment and outcome at primary level.


Specific Competencies and Percentages of Competent Children

Competencies Percentage of Children being Competent

Life Skills Knowledge... 26.1

Rote Reading... 63.7

Reading with Comprehension... 26.8

Writing from Dictation... 61.7

Writing Letter... 18.1

Numeracy and Arithmatic... 69.6

Mental Arithmetic... 67.7

Reading of Holy Qur'an... 44.2

Source: National Institute of Psychology Quad-i-Azam University 1995

Above table shows that the competency of writing a letter is the lowest (18.1%) in Pakistani children. This is not an unexpected finding because it involves some originality while most of education in Pakistani schools emphasizes rote memorization and mechanical reproduction. That is why we see many children doing fine in Numeracy and Arithmetic (69.6%), Rote Readings (63.7%), and Writing from Dictation (61.7%). The ratio of children on Mental Arithmetic is also fairly high. Dependency on rote learning is further substantiated by the fact that there are only 26.8 percent children who can read with comprehension while in contrast to this 63.7 percent children can do rote reading.

Competency of Reading Holy Qur'an is acquired by 44.20% of children. With the consideration that irrespective of basic education, teaching of the reading of Holy Qur'an has a strong religious and cultural value. The ratio of children who can read selected verses of Holy Qur'an is not very high. Although it also mostly involves rote reading, its ratio is much less than 63.7 percent of Rote Reading. Competency in the component of life skills knowledge (26.1%) is better than that of writing letter.

In order to see the relationship between education and development of basic competencies following table presents percentages of children with different competencies in different classes. This analysis is based upon only those children who are currently in-school.


Grade-wise and component-wise learning competencies.


  Competencies Classes
  1 2 3 4 5
Life Skills Knowledge 8.11 7.04 17.40 27.00 29.40
Rote Reading 32.40 36.60 68.70 84.70 90.90
Readings with Comprehension 2.70 7.04 15.90 22.90 33.50
Writing from Dictation 0.00 23.90 59.00 81.80 88.50
Writing Letter 0.00 0.00 2.05 6.69 17.40*
Numeracy & Arithmetic 19.90 32.40 66.70 86.90 91.90
Mental Arithmetic 8.11 16.90 17.90 40.80 52.70
Reading Holy Qur'an 6.67 8.82 7.69 40.00 67.90

Source: National Institute of Psychology Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 1995

Above figures show a strong relationship between basic competencies and school education. With one exception of Life Skills Knowledge in class 1 and 2, there is a consistent increase in the ratio of competencies with higher classes. However the pace of this increase is not constant through all the classes in all the competencies. A fairly high level start, 32.40 percent, is in rote reading which reaches to 90.90 percent in class-V. On the other extreme is Writing Letter which only starts in class-III with 2.05% and reaches to the peak in class 5 but only in 17.40 percent of children. Reading with Comprehension follows the pattern of Writing Letter but starts earlier and peaks in class-V with 33.50 percent of children. Mental Arithmatic and Reading of Holy Qur'an sharply picks up in class-IV and peaks up in class-V with 52.70 percent and 67.90 percent of children respectively. In contrast to this, Life Skills Knowledge follows rather a smoother increase but does not go beyond 29.40 percent in class-V.

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