Sir: Over the decades, Pakistan has developed significantly in certain areas while others have remained neglected. This development was mainly brought about in the province of Punjab; brought about by Shahbaz Sharif’s building of numerous bridges, roads and public transport systems. However, the one sector in which Pakistan, as a country, refuses to develop in is education.The literacy rates vary regionally, particularly by gender. In tribal areas, female literacy stands at 9.5 percent while Azad Jammu and Kashmir has a literacy rate of 74 percent. Moreover, despite having ninety-two million English speakers in the country, Pakistan still has the lowest literacy rates in the world. One of the main reasons for this is gender discrimination, where women are forced to choose housework over education.Aside from gender disparity, the population that seems to be better off in the education department is not much better off either. Our education system encourages rote learning over conceptual understanding. A picturesque work is preferred over the material written in answers and marks are deducted if a margin line is drawn slanted. Big and underlined headings are to be used in order to achieve good marks. Numerous headings and lengthy answers are better than concise but correct.A survey conducted by Farzana Chaudhary revealed how a large number of examiners marking exams from grade eleven and twelve had studied till grade nine themselves. Furthermore, our educational system has not been updated for almost fifty years, making the Pakistani education system the oldest educational system in the world.In conclusion, I request the educational minister to update the syllabus — for a start. Every step taken can be beneficial for the country.KAINAT FATIMALahore Cantt Published in Daily Times, July 12th 2018.