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National Education Policy 1992 while assessing future needs and demands of the country particularly in primary education and adult literacy provided the very basis for future policy prospects in EFA. Further, it serves as conceptual framework for future EFA strategies and programmes which needs to be reviewed first:

Review of 1992 Education Policy (Conceptual framework)

the purpose of education is to create a sizeable population of such educated men and women who could understand the world well enough and are able to bring about a change leading to adequate health and education services, a better environment, and elimination of ignorance and deprivation-limitations- which continue to strangulate the developing societies. The Policy, therefore, adhering to the principles of equity, quality and efficiency place added emphasis on the education of the people, who are under privileged and live in misery. They will not only be required to achieve skills in reading, writing and arithmetic, but also would be enabled to understand the factors which have historically contributed to their unsavoury place in society. Consequently, (basic education for all shall be pursued not merely as a sectoral target, but as an integral part of human development plan. The ultimate aim is to eliminate `disparity.

considering the low literacy rates and low participation at the primary level, the sub-sectors retain a high place on the priority list of educational development. The dilemma is essentially due to limitations of finance; the costs involved are almost prohibitive. Yet, the policy places equal emphasis on universal primary education and adult education. However, it proposes to attract private finance by shifting most of the adult education programmes to non-governmental organizations to be supported through `incentive' grants.

only a limited progress has been made in reducing rural-urban educational disparities. If anything, the disparities have accentuated in terms of access to quality institutions. The policy proposes a strategy to remove the inequalities by providing more schools in rural areas.

women education continues to be a difficult area to tackle. Social, cultural and economic factors have put off the women participation rates. For improvement of female education, innovative approaches, both in the formal and non-formal sectors, are clearly warranted. The Policy, recognizing the difficulties attendant upon this vital issue, proposes to make a shift in the hitherto used approaches in the education of females both in the formal and non-formal sectors. Accordingly, increased access of females to general and vocational education through a wider spread of educational facilities, use of a mix of non-formal and distance education modes based on new education technology, expansion of the non-governmental sector through financial incentives, and motivation campaigns through print and broadcast media, among others, are the measures which will form the basis of new Policy parameters.

the curriculum plays a pivotal role in the process of education. The development of curriculum is a dynamic process which assumes its best shape if it is leavened with professional inputs both in content and design. The knowledge explosion demands an equally rapid turnover of curricula and textbooks. The policy considers the curriculum as a central covenant of educational development, and calls for sweeping reforms such as (a) starting a new cycle of curriculum development at all levels of education by professionals who are trained in the science of curriculum development; (b) bringing about cognitive compatibility between one level of curriculum and the next; (c) eliminating unnecessary overcrowding of subjects in curricula, and (d) allowing the production of textbooks in the private sector with the possibility of different books to be prescribed by different institutions.


In order to stand up to the future challenges, fulfill the needs and demands of the country and also to honour international commitment in EFA, Education Policy 1992 was revised in the form of National Education Policy (1998-2010). Similarly, Social Action programme Phase-I was replaced by Social Action Programme Phase-II and 8th Five Year Plan by 9th Plan. In addition to that Pakistan 2010 programme also focuses on basic education for all.

11.1 Guiding Principles for Future Policy in EFA

Based upon these policy prospects and framework the following guiding principles for future policy in EFA particularly basic education have been evolved:

Forging a link between basic education and development strategies;

Improvement and enhancement of the relevance of training programmes for teachers;

Modernization of Planning and Management;

Shifting the focus of the Curricula from disciplines to basic Learning Needs;

Building new alliances for basic education and increasing the roles of the traditionally less involved actors in basic education;

Strengthening the participatory dimension in the provision of basic education;

Diversification of the financial resource base of basic education;

Introduction of the pre-school programmes as part of the efforts to improve the achievement of pupils at the primary school level;

Implementation of special programmes aimed at the indigenous sectors in the rural areas;

Modernization of the concepts and programmes of literacy which are to be anchored on integrated literacy education.

Maximization of the roles of the family, schools, community, non-governmental organizations and the media in the provision of basic education;

According higher priority in the provision of basic education to the out-of-school children, illiterate adults, those who have relapsed into illiteracy; females, rural population, inhabitants of settlements, tribesmen, nomads special children;


In both its first and second phase the SAP education sector programme has placed greatest emphasis on improving the quantity and quality of priamry schooling. In particular its objective was to rapidly increase the proportion of children attending priamry school, and also make efforts to improve the quality of education. In particular, children of poor households, girls and rural areas were identified as requiring special attention under the programme.

"The strategy involves a range of measures designed to:

-improve the efficiency;

-increase access to schools; and

-improve the quality of schooling;

Against the expectation of increased political commitment to the provision of public education services, these objectives were transformed into three areas of focus for education sector programmes in the different provinces and regions of the country. These include:

-improving the implementation of education sector programmes,

-improving planning, and

-improving the level of effort required to implement the programme.

11.3 National Education Policy (1998-2010)

The current primary education policy has been based on agreed themes and strategies of Social Action Programme (SAPP-II) such as improving the quality, expanding access for out of school children, especially disadvantaged groups, improving management and supervisory services, capacity building, institutional development and financial sustainability.

Salient Features of National Education Policy

Salient characteristics of the current education policy in primary education include:


i.Enactment for compulsory primary education.

ii.90% enrolment at primary level by the year 2002-3 and 105 percent by 2010.

iii.Retention/completion of primary education cycle upto 90 percent students (both boys and girls) by the year 2010.

Achievement of minimum level of learning by 90 percent primary class students by the year 2010.

Policy Provision

Quality of elementary education shall be improved.

Access to elementary education shall be increased through effective and optimum utilization of existing facilities and services as well as provision of new facilities and services.

Character-building oriented towards humanism, tolerance, and moral-building-up on Islamic lines at elementary level shall be assigned top priority.

Teachers' competence shall be improved and the relevance of training programmes for teachers shall be ensured.

Katchi class at primary level shall be introduced as a part of the effort to improve the achievement of pupils.

The role of the family, school, community, non-governmental organizations and the media in the provision of elementary education shall be maximized.

Disparities and imbalances of all types shall be eliminated so as to promote equity.

High priority shall be accorded to the provision of elementary education to the out-of-school children.

Financial resoruce base of elementary education shall be diversified.

Non-formal system shall be adopted as complementary to formal system.

A monitoring system shall be developed to obtain timely and reliable information on enrolment, retention, completion and achievement. In addition, qualitative monitoring of achievement shall be introduced.

Management and supervision shall be improved through greater decentalization and accountability.

Implementation Strategy

Policy goals and objectives shall be achieved through the following programmes and strategies.

Revise regulations and create stronger and more transparent personnel management mechanisms to promote merit-based hiring.

Assign teachers to schools on the basis of empirical need and reduce transfer rate by recruiting local teachers for local schools.

Revise, strengthen and enforce attendance and leave regulations and strict action to check teachers' absenteeism.

Revamp in-service training for existing teachers, and over a period of five years all primary school teachers shall be provided with in-service training opportunities, and then institutionalize in-service on a 3 years cycle.

Raise the entry qualification for Primary Teacher Certificate from Secondary School Certificate to Higher Secondary School Certificate gradually.

Reform pre-service teacher training, and inlcude the revision of the curricula, revamping textbooks, and instructional materials in the training programmes.

Institute a clear career structure for teachers at the primary and middle levels that includes promotion possibilities, revise and enforce the standards of professional behaviour.

Ensure a better distribution and optimum utilization of teachers.

Institutionalize the incentives and accountability system for teachers to improve their performance.

Relaxation of qualification where no female teacher is available.

Relaxation of age limit for females to facilitate entry into the profession.

Substantial increase in the non-salary recurrent expenditures on texts, basic school supplies, and learning materials; and improving procurement and distribution mechanisms.

Ensure an adequate supply of basic textbooks and learning materials' availability at the start of the school year, and free of charge for the poor children.

Develop a new and more logical, demanding, and challenging curricula taking into account the provincial differences; involve the stakeholders in the process which should precede updating of textbooks and revamping of teacher training.

The span of Primary education including katchi class shall be six years duration.

Construction of new schools and classrooms where objective demographic criteria indicate their urgent need.

Area/District based targets and Programmes shall be developed for the promotion of elementary education and literacy which may be supervised by District Education Authority.

An incentive tied approach may be adopted for the communities, villages and areas proportionate to their degree of accomplishment and success in elementary education.

Enactment and enforcement of free and compulsory Primary Education Act, in a phased manner.

Building work shall be given priority to the existing school:(a) build rooms for shelterless schools; (b) replace dilapidated schools;(c) add new classrooms in overcrowded schools; (d)repair inadequate schools; and (e) construct facilities (water supply, boundary walls, toilets of suitable design).

Complete major repairs wherever it is needed, in cooperation with Village Education Committees.

Deploy larger number of Learning Coordinators and Supervisory Staffs, retrain the existing staff, and certify that the graduates meet the minimum standards.

Train DEOs, ADEOs and LCs in management and VEC organization so as to improve the quality of administration of teaching in the schools.

Bring about a coherent system of elementary education (Grades 1-8) by putting together government primary and middle schools.

Decentralize selection management functions in elementary education towards the district, the school, through the community, while helping communities and local bodies organize their efforts more effectively.

Work on National assessment capacity by laying down a set of procedures to monitor the aggregate performance at grade four level;

Revise Monitoring the evaluation systems that will enable provincial officials to assess school-level performance and study the associated reasons for their success and failure.

School-level assessment capacity for teachers to measure accurately the student learning.

Reform the current examination system administered at the end of elementary school.


Salient policy provision for literacy in the current National Education Policy, interalia, are :

The policy of democratization of education, through the expansion of elementary education both through formal and non-formal methods, and expanded programmes of adult education, literacy and functional literacy programmes, as a basic requirement for economic development, modernization of social structure and for providing equality of opportunity for all citizens.

Pakistan's international commitment to double the rate of Literacy by the year 2000 cannot be accomplished without achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE). This will be achieved by complementing the formal primary school system by a strong Non-Formal Basic Education initiative.

A massive Non-Formal Basic Education Programme, on a war footing, will be launched to provide access economically and expeditiously to all the (5-9 years old) children that are at present out-of-school. The 10-14 year old adolescents and youth who have missed primary education will be given a second chance through a crash condensed course to enable them to complete primary education cycle in 2-3 years time.

The Asian Development Bank sponsored pilot project for 15-25 year old rural women on successful completion will be replicated nationwide.

Attainment of literacy, social and occupational skill training programmes will equip the beneficiaries with appropriate income generating skills to ensure socio-economic development of Pakistan. Educated unemployed adults will also be able to benefit from these skill training programmes.

Additional strategies, such as the tested Quranic Literacy Programme and other methods in collaboration with the other sectors, will be used to achieve universal literacy.

A Literacy Fund will be created to finance the literacy movement in the country.

The current literacy rate will be raised to 55% during the first five years of the policy and 70% by the year 2010.


The goals of the programme interalia are; Universalization of primary eduction raising enrollment levels in higher education, improving quality at all levels, especially at higher levels, linkig technical and vocational education with the market, strengthening and improving the quality of rural health services, poverty eradication, and ending discrimination against women. The long term purpose is to create a culture that demands high quality services delivery, either through the market or through state agencies.

The instruments would be the improvement of the regulatory framework to encourage private sector investment in education and health, involvement of the local population in supervising the provision of these services, involving community development organizations in poverty eradication and social service delivery, entrusting primary education and health services in urban areas to local institutions, and initiating a programme for the transfr of rural services to these institutions in due course.


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