Pakistan’s education system faces enormous challenges

* Minister says a huge number of children are out of school in the country while many more leave school before 10th year of education

Pakistan’s education system faces enormous challenges

ISLAMABAD: Federal Education Minister Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman has admitted that education sector of Pakistan is facing worst challenges including enormous number of children out of school and many children left education before 10th year of education.

Despite some improvements of infrastructure and other basic educational facilities in the public sector educational institutions, much more yet to do to enhance education in the country, the minister said while addressing the National Convention of Parents jointly organized by Rural Support Program Network (RSPN) and Alif Ailaan on Monday.

The minister maintained that only 28 per cent children enrolled in grade 1 and 24.02 million children are still out of school. The alarming figure comes at the level of primary education where 69 per cent dropouts take place in the first 5 years of schooling, he said.

The minister claimed that despite some improvements in the public sector educational institutions, much more yet to do to enhance education in the country. "44 per cent of schools across the country do not have electricity, 34 per cent do not have clean drinking water, 30 per cent do not have boundary walls and 28 per cent do not have bathroom facilities", Baligh admitted.

He, however, said that in a positive development, school preservation has increased from 25 per cent to 28 per cent, while primary level enrolment also has little increased from 15.5 to 15.8 million kids.

Large number of leading development and education experts participated in the convention and shared their knowledge and experiences with the participants. The experts were of the view that the country's education system can be revived and revolutionized by applying community based support mechanism based on the 'community driven development'. Well reputed public sector schools can play pivotal role for improved enrolment rate.

On this occasion, Department for International Development (DFID) Deputy Country Head Judith Herbertson said that all the children deserve to be treated equally especially in terms of access to education. She said that Pakistan's future depends on educated youth and it seems very inspiring that instead of limited resources and weak infrastructure. The country (Pakistan) has much more talents.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks the Chairman RSPN Shoaib Sultan Khan said that the community mobilization is very important to success in social development.

Alif Ailaan's campaign Director Mosharraf Zaidi highlighted the need of community's and parent's contribution for uplifting the country education system.

According to the details, 'The Parents', 'Ittehad' are community based networks working for improvement of educational standards at the schools level, by engaging the district administration.