In a recent Op Ed titled "Preparing the Population for a Modern Economy" published by Pakistan's Express Tribune, Pakistani economist Shahid Burki wrote as follows:
"Pakistan does well in one critical area — the drop-out rate in tertiary education. Those who complete tertiary education in Pakistan account for a larger proportion of persons who enter school at this level. The proportion is much higher for girls, another surprising finding for Pakistan."
|Source: Global Education Digest|
Upon closer examination of Barro-Lee data on "Educational Attainment for Total Population, 1950-2010", it is clear that Pakistani students stay in schools and colleges longer to graduate at higher rates than Indian students at all levels--primary, secondary and tertiary. While India's completion rate at all levels is a dismal 22.9%, the comparable completion rate in Pakistan is 45.7%.
Here is a summary of Barro-Lee's 2010 data in percentage of 15+ age group students who have enrolled in and-or completed primary, secondary and tertiary education:
It shows the following:
1. India's overall schooling rate of 67.4% exceeds Pakistan's 61.9% in 15 and over age group.
2. Pakistan's primary schooling rate of 21.8% is slightly higher than India's 20.9% of 15+ age group
3. India has a big edge with its secondary enrollment of 40.7% over Pakistan's 34.6%, but India's completion rate at this level is a dismal 0.9% versus Pakistan's 22.5% of the population of 15+ age group.
4. India's tertiary education enrollment rate of 5.8% is higher than Pakistan's 5.5%, but Pakistan's college and university graduation rate of 3.9% is higher than India's 3.1% of 15+ age group.
5. Pakistan's combined graduation rate at all three levels is 45.7% versus India's 22.9% among the population age group of 15 years or older.
Barro-Lee data also shows that the percentage of 15+ age group with no schooling has gone down in both nations in the last decade, particularly in Pakistan where it dropped dramatically by a whopping 22% from 60.2% in 2000 to 38% in 2010. In India, this percentage with no schooling dropped from 43% to 32.7% of 15+ age group.
The Aug 23 & 30, 2010 issue of Newsweek had a cover story titled "The Best Country in he World is...". It ranked top 100 nations of he world based on education, health, quality of life, economy and politics. On education, Newsweek ranked Pakistan 86 and India 88 among 100 nations it included.
Clearly, both India and Pakistan have made significant progress on the education front in the last few decades. However, the Barro-Lee dataset confirms that the two South Asian nations still have a long way to go to catch up with the nations of East Asia and the industrialized world.
India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010
Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee
Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan
Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital
Intellectual Wealth of Nations
Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence
Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices