Pakistan has a meagre literacy rate of only 62.3%, which is indeed very appalling, as it reflects that around 80 million people in the country are illiterate. It lags a lot behind the post-colonial countries such as India, Bangladesh, China, etc. on this parameter, let alone the other well-developed and affluent countries such as the USA, UK etc. The horrifyingly low literacy rate is, of course, very disheartening, but the dismal quality of education that this mere percentage of literate people bears is a bigger plausible concern for the country. The standard and quality of education have continuously dipped over the years instead of striding upward, which is quite apparent and seeable from the horrendous and heart-wrenching results of general to competitive examinations every year. The CSS exam, which inducts qualified candidates to the bureaucracy of the country, has a pitiful success ratio, that hovers around 2%. A large number of aspirants attempt this exam every year, but a mere figure of only 2%, more or less, manage to pull it off. Due to the fact that only a small percentage of candidates qualify for the exams, a good number of seats announced every year remain unoccupied, and over the years, they keep piling up. The announcement of a “Special CSS,” which is slated to take place this year, is a result of these vacancies, which go unfilled every year. It substantiates the conjecture that the quality of education has been falling in the country. Besides, the chilling result of teacher recruitment exams for over 46000 PST and JST jobs, which were conducted by STS IBA, is also a rational validation that the quality of education is pathetic and not at par in the country. Not just half or three-quarters, but 99% of candidates failed to pass the said exam, which is more than a good reason for the country to pay attention to its decaying education system. In the same way, two-to-threefold candidates usually fail in most of the exams every year, which leads to pondering upon the causes that hamper and dampen the success of students to qualify for competitive exams and get quality education. Although there are heaps of reasons that contribute to the woebegone quality of education in the country, all cannot be mentioned in this brief piece. Usually, these conspicuous causes arise not just from the students’ end, but also from the government’s and teachers’ end. Not just the students, but teachers also have a significant impact on the quality of education. Teachers who fail to fulfill their responsibilities, which include providing quality education, endanger students and undermine education. Also, they are sometimes, not impartial to all students and give undue special consideration to a few. To a large degree, students have themselves to blame for not being able to qualify for these exams and receive a quality education. They are very much distracted from their education and leaned towards many other useless activities such as using social media excessively, which they use mostly for nonacademic purposes and which swallows up a big chunk of their time, surfing the internet for meaningless activities, straying here and there purposelessly, etc. Most of the students don’t have a genuine interest in studying, but they are coerced by their parents. Also, the students tend to incline more towards cramming, which is rote learning, than building critical and analytical understanding, which is also an apparent reason why they go blank when they are asked to give their own opinions during competitive exams or in any other arena, and this practice also undermines the quality of education. Furthermore, students are more concerned with accumulating degrees than with receiving a high-quality education. They have this fallacy ingrained in them that with more degrees under their belts, they will be able to attract any good job easily, which is illogical. Yes, degrees matter, but not if they lack the requisite quality of education. There is a stupendous quote that affirms this: “Education is preeminently a matter of quality, not amount.” Not just the students, but teachers also have a significant impact on the quality of education. Teachers who fail to fulfill their responsibilities, which include providing quality education, endanger students and undermine education. Also, they are sometimes, not impartial to all students and give undue special consideration to a few. As a result, the students, who exhibit good performances, feel disheartened and discouraged, which is perilous for the quality of education. Further, able teachers lead to the decimation of quality education, but in Pakistan, most of them are incompetent. Subsequently, education is at the receiving end of its effects. Likewise, the government has also had an equal share in the deterioration of education quality in the country. It doesn’t have the proper and transparent mechanism to recruit able and well-knowledged teachers. Besides, it has not worked on the development of a conducive infrastructure and environment for learning. The poor infrastructure also hinders the smooth education processes. A paltry budget is allocated to the education sector every year, which is also a mammoth cause behind no improvement in the quality of education rather than its deterioration. Last year, only 1.77% of GDP was allotted to education at both the federal and provincial levels, which is extremely low. All these are the combined reasons why Pakistan has no university in the top 100 universities in the world. Surprisingly, it has only one university on the list of the top 500 universities worldwide, and that is “Quaid Azam University.” Furthermore, Pakistan has suffered more from the miscalculated and rash decisions of the government than anything else. Like the YouTube ban, which pushed the youth of Pakistan a lot behind the rest of the world, even India milked this opportunity well, but it was only us who had some other myopic objectives, that had no benefits but only inherent hazards. Similarly, India worked on uplifting the education sector as it built magnificent institutes such as IIM and IIT, while Pakistan was either busy fighting wars or ironing out internal issues. Precisely, the education sector has never been a key priority for any of the governments that have come to rule, until now. In a nutshell, Pakistan has suffered more due to education than anything else. It must pay due heed to this sector if it wants to steer itself out of the grim times, that have entangled it. Whatever the ailments which have been contracted, they have one plausible remedy, and that is education, as Charles Rangel once said, “A quality education grants us the ability to fight the war on ignorance and poverty.” The writer is pursuing an MBA at Sukkur IBA University.