Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pakistan's Total Education Spending Surpasses its Defense Budget

Pakistan's public spending on education has more than doubled since 2010 to reach $8.6 billion a year in 2017, rivaling defense spending of $8.7 billion. Private spending on education by parents is even higher than the public spending with the total adding up to nearly 6% of GDP. Pakistan has 1.7 million teachers, nearly three times the number of soldiers currently serving in the country's armed forces. Unfortunately, the education outcomes do not yet reflect the big increases in spending. Why is it? Let's examine this in some detail.

Pakistan Education Budget:

The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17,  representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.

Source: Dawn Newspaper

Private Education Spending in Pakistan:

2012 Data from UNESCO and the World Bank shows that the private spending on education is about twice as much as the monies budgeted by federal and provincial governments in Pakistan.

Private/Public Spending on Education in Selected Countries. Source: Economist

Education Outcomes:

UNESCO and World Bank data from 2013 shows that only 52% of Pakistani kids and 48% of Indian kids reached expected standard of reading after 4 years of school, according to the Economist Magazine. It also shows that 46% of Pakistani children dropped out of school before completing 4 years of education.
Reading Performance in Selected Countries. Source: Economist

Education and Literacy Rates:

Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Pakistan's Human Development: 

Human development index reports on Pakistan released by UNDP confirm the ESP 2015 human development trends.Pakistan’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.537— which is in the low human development category—positioning the country at 146 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2013, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.356 to 0.537, an increase of 50.7 percent or an average annual increase of about 1.25.

Pakistan HDI Components Trend 1980-2013 Source: Human Development Report 2014

Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent.

Going further back to the  decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP,  the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.

Bogus Teachers in Sindh:

In 2014, Sindh's provincial education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that "a large number of fake appointments were made in the education department during the previous tenure of the PPP government" when the ministry was headed by Khuhru's predecessor PPP's Peer Mazhar ul Haq. Khuhro was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying that "a large number of bogus appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff had been made beyond the sanctioned strength" and without completing legal formalities as laid down in the recruitment rules by former directors of school education Karachi in connivance with district officers during 2012–13.

Ghost Schools in Balochistan:

In 2016, Balochistan province's education minister Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal was quoted by Express Tribune newspaper as telling his provincial legislature that  “about 900 ghost schools have been detected with 300,000 fake registrations of students, and out of 60,000, 15,000 teachers’ records are unknown.”

Absentee Teachers in Punjab:

A 2013 study conducted in public schools in Bhawalnagar district of Punjab found that 27.5% of the teachers are absent from classrooms from 1 to 5 days a month while 3.75% are absent more than 10 days a month. The absentee rate in the district's private schools was significantly lower. Another study by an NGO Alif Ailan conducted in Gujaranwala and Narowal reported that "teacher absenteeism has been one of the key impediments to an effective and working education apparatus."

Political Patronage:

Pakistani civilian rule has been characterized by a system of political patronage that doles out money and jobs to political party supporters at the expense of the rest of the population. Public sector jobs, including those in education and health care sectors, are part of this patronage system that was described by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, the man credited with the development of United Nation's Human Development Index (HDI) as follows:

"...every time a new political government comes in they have to distribute huge amounts of state money and jobs as rewards to politicians who have supported them, and short term populist measures to try to convince the people that their election promises meant something, which leaves nothing for long-term development. As far as development is concerned, our system has all the worst features of oligarchy and democracy put together." 


Education spending in Pakistan has increased at an annual average rate of 17.5% since 2010. It has more than doubled since 2010 to reach $8.6 billion a year in 2017, rivaling defense spending of $8.7 billion. Private spending by parents is even higher than the public spending with the total adding up to nearly 6% of GDP. Pakistan has 1.7 million teachers, nearly three times the number of soldiers currently serving in the country's armed forces. However, the school enrollment and literacy rates have remained flat and the human development indices are stuck in neutral.  This is in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes from increased education spending seen during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. An examination of the causes shows that the corrupt system of political patronage tops the list. This system jeopardizes the future of the country by producing ghost teacher, ghost schools and absentee staff to siphon off the money allocated for children's education. Pakistani leaders need to reflect on this fact and try and protect education from the corrosive system of political patronage networks.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Reading and Math Performance in Pakistan vs India

Myths and Facts on Out-of-School Children

Who's Better For Pakistan's Human Development? Musharraf or Politicians? 

Corrosive Effects of Pakistan's System of Political Patronage

Development of Pakistan's Human Capital

Asian Tigers Brought Prosperity; Democracy Followed


Imad K. said...

You can spend as much money as you want but it will provide the desired outcome unless we change the education system/s. In Pakistan there are multiple education tracks, Urdu medium, English medium and then O/A levels. This needs to change immediately. Also the current education system promotes memorizing instead of thinking logically. This also needs to change. Finally the curriculum needs to be updated on an urgent basis, kids are still studying the same material that i had studied almost 20 years ago which was also what my parents had studied in their schooling days.

Riaz Haq said...

Imad: "You can spend as much money as you want but it will provide the desired outcome unless we change the education system/s."

The problem of absentee teachers and ghost schools has little to do with whatever system of education you pick; it has to do with corrupt political system of patronage run by the unscrupulous politicians who dole out jobs and other favors to their supporters.


Nadeem Khan said...

Spending more money will help. Control other issues population and law & order. We have enough talent but not ways to consume them. Stop picking on corruption - if that is the problem than it is not politicians - it is every Pakistani in the position of authority.

Riaz Haq said...

NK: "Stop picking on corruption - if that is the problem than it is not politicians - it is every Pakistani in the position of authority."

Who puts the "Pakistani in position of authority"? Is it not the politicians who do it as a favor for political support? Or for a bribe? And it's not just education but other sectors as well where jobs are doled out as patronage in exchange for political support.

Read the following parts of my post again:

Bogus Teachers in Sindh:

In 2014, Sindh's provincial education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that "a large number of fake appointments were made in the education department during the previous tenure of the PPP government" when the ministry was headed by Khuhru's predecessor PPP's Peer Mazhar ul Haq. Khuhro was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying that "a large number of bogus appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff had been made beyond the sanctioned strength" and without completing legal formalities as laid down in the recruitment rules by former directors of school education Karachi in connivance with district officers during 2012–13.

Ghost Schools in Balochistan:

In 2016, Balochistan province's education minister Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal was quoted by Express Tribune newspaper as telling his provincial legislature that “about 900 ghost schools have been detected with 300,000 fake registrations of students, and out of 60,000, 15,000 teachers’ records are unknown.”

Absentee Teachers in Punjab:

A 2013 study conducted in public schools in Bhawalnagar district of Punjab found that 27.5% of the teachers are absent from classrooms from 1 to 5 days a month while 3.75% are absent more than 10 days a month. The absentee rate in the district's private schools was significantly lower. Another study by an NGO Alif Ailan conducted in Gujaranwala and Narowal reported that "teacher absenteeism has been one of the key impediments to an effective and working education apparatus."

Political Patronage:

Pakistani civilian rule has been characterized by a system of political patronage that doles out money and jobs to political party supporters at the expense of the rest of the population. Public sector jobs, including those in education and health care sectors, are part of this patronage system that was described by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, the man credited with the development of United Nation's Human Development Index (HDI) as follows:

"...every time a new political government comes in they have to distribute huge amounts of state money and jobs as rewards to politicians who have supported them, and short term populist measures to try to convince the people that their election promises meant something, which leaves nothing for long-term development. As far as development is concerned, our system has all the worst features of oligarchy and democracy put together."

Riaz Haq said...

Should we double the education budget, or seek 100pc literacy?
Pakistan has doubled its budget in recent years, but enrollment has stagnated. As a result of the inefficient use of funds, access to quality education for children across the country stands compromised.


In recent years, the federal and provincial governments have undertaken numerous reforms with varying levels of success. Despite their efforts, a lot remains to be done to get kids into school and improve learning in the classrooms.

To address these educational challenges, the efficient and effective use of the available budget for education is key.

Note: The defence budget does not include military pensions, the cost of the nuclear programme (estimated at $747 million by the Stimson Center), or military operations in FATA.

Since 2010, education has been a provincial responsibility. Hence, Pakistan's education budget is derived by summing up the federal and individual provincial budgets.

Provinces have allocated 17pc to 24pc of their budgets for education in 2016-17. (The provincial budgets for 2017-18 will be released in the coming weeks).

The ‘current budget’ is for salaries and operational costs (non-salary), whereas the ‘development budget’ is for the construction and rehabilitation of schools. Recent history suggests that provinces tend to under spend on development and non-salary budgets, but overspend on salaries, so that they end up utilising most of the education budget.

Unesco recommends that countries disburse 15pc to 20pc of their budgets on education. The global average is 14pc. Compared to its total national budget, Pakistan spends 13pc.

In Pakistan's case, this spending amounts to 2.83pc of the GDP on education. According to Alif Ailaan, an additional Rs400 billion on education is needed this year to increase spending to 4pc of GDP, bringing the education budget to Rs1.2 trillion.

Cutting a federal programme or collecting more taxes may help Pakistan towards that target. Cutting a federal programme or collecting more taxes may help Pakistan towards that target, but the dilemma of solving the education crisis will persist.

While Pakistan has doubled its budget and brought it closer to military spending, enrollment rates have stagnated.

Parents will send their kids to a private school, charging a few hundred rupees a month, if they can afford it. Nearly 40pc of students in Pakistan go to private schools. Their parents spend as much as the government does on education and tuition. If we add what Pakistani parents spend on education, Pakistan’s education spending exceeds 4pc of the GDP.

Children are out of school in Pakistan because they get so little out of going to school. Teachers are either absent, or present, but not teaching.

The 2015 report of the independent Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) finds that only 44pc of third graders in rural schools (public and private) can read a sentence in Urdu. Of those who stay in school through fifth grade, only 55pc can read a story in Urdu.

It is a similar story for science at a grade four level. In 2006, 67pc of students scored below average in the National Education Assessment System (NEAS) assessment of fourth grade science. The situation further deteriorated in 2014, when the most recent iteration of the NEAS assessment divulged that 79pc of students had scored below average.

Riaz Haq said...

Should we double the education budget, or seek 100pc literacy?....Contd.
Pakistan has doubled its budget in recent years, but enrollment has stagnated. As a result of the inefficient use of funds, access to quality education for children across the country stands compromised.


The majority of children aged five to nine in Pakistan are in school. That’s 17 out of 22 million kids, according to the National Education Management System. Improving literacy and numeracy rates for them is our best shot at convincing the parents of Pakistan’s five million out-of-school children aged five to nine that school is worth it.

Private school teachers are paid $25 to $50 per month. Government school teachers are paid $150 to $1,000 per month, according to a paper by SAHE and Alif Ailaan. Government school teachers have more education and training than private school teachers.

In light of the difference in teachers' salaries, private schools spend less than half of what the government does per child. However, according to LEAPS, children who go to private schools are one and a half to two grades ahead of those in government schools, depending on the subject.

The danger of increasing the budget without a plan is that it could all go into salaries for non-performing teachers, as has happened in Sindh.

Sindh’s budget has octupled (increased by a factor of 8x) since 2010.

Meanwhile the salary budget has gone up 12 times.

Pakistan is also inefficient at spending money set aside for building schools. The “development budget” that is allocated for this purpose goes unspent year after year.

Pakistan is under-performing even at its current budget levels. The solution is not dramatic budget increases, but making sure the budget we have is translating into schools where children are learning.

Instead of asking the government to double the budget, we should ask them to double the efforts for improving quality of learning for children who have been in school for years.

nayyer ali said...

It would be ideal if the government was less corrupt and more functional, but as your chart shows most education spending is private. I would assume parents spending their own money would send their children to functional schools. Many of us overseas Pakistanis support NGOs providing private schools for poor kids, and we should do even more.
Culturally with rising education levels and use of smart phones the need for literacy becomes compelling for even the poor and the desire to get education for their children should increase. For girls the lack of separate girls schools and adequate toilet facilities also hinders enrollment.
While it is true that net primary enrollment has not improved, gross primary enrollment is actually over 90%. Net enrollment is the fraction of children in age 5-9 in primary schools, while gross is the actual number of students in primary school as a percent of 5-9 age group. The higher gross enrollment is a result of many kids going to primary school at a later age, which means that eventually they do attend. Pakistan has done pretty well at higher education and even secondary education compared to India, but it must provide a decent primary education to 100% of the population and keep them in school for at least 8 years, and not just 5.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's #Punjab province acts to improve #science content and correct #history in new revised school #textbooks. #education
by Pervez Hoodbhoy. https://www.dawn.com/news/1372660

The new books are cleanly printed on paper of decent quality, typographical errors are infrequent, and coloured cartoons show smiling girl children in class. Earlier textbooks typically showed docile boys facing grim-faced elderly teachers. My heart gladdened at suggested science experiments that are both interesting and doable. And, instead of beating the tired old drum of Muslim scientists from a thousand years ago, one now sees a genuine attempt to teach actual science — how plants grow and breathe, objects move, water makes droplets or freezes, etc.

On the history front one feels instant relief. Pakistan’s date of birth has thankfully been set at 1947 and away from 712 — the year Arab imperial conqueror Mohammed bin Qasim set foot in Sindh. Schoolbooks during Gen Ziaul Haq’s years contained this claim and no subsequent government dared to reset the clock. Astonishingly, one book frankly admits that Muslims had fought against other Muslims and ascribes the Mughal Empire’s downfall after Emperor Aurangzeb to his quarrelling sons rather than eternally scheming Hindu Rajputs.

But here’s the wonder of wonders: an Urdu translation of Quaid-i-Azam’s famous speech of Aug 11, 1947, has finally found its way into at least one social studies book! This declares that religion is a matter for the individual citizen and not of the state. The speech had hitherto been kept hidden for fear of polluting students’ minds and weakening the two-nation theory. Whether it will actually be covered in Matric examinations is difficult to say; if not then students and their teachers won’t take it seriously.

The older curriculum helped create a militant, intolerant mindset. A generation later, Pakistan saw jihad-obsessed youngsters emerging even from mainstream schools. Willing to kill and be killed, they are now everywhere and have to be crushed with Islamic-sounding operations like Zarb-i-Azb and Raddul Fasaad (for which great credit is claimed). Terrorist networks of students and teachers that target policemen, soldiers, and ordinary citizens have been discovered within many colleges and universities.

The eventual revamping of Punjab’s school textbooks owes to a belated realisation that thousands of Pakistani lives were needlessly lost to militancy fuelled by hate materials in textbooks. Many years will be needed for the new books to produce a more enlightened, less xenophobic generation. This welcome step needed to be taken sooner rather than later. I have no knowledge of the blacked-out province of Balochistan but Punjab’s bold move has not been matched by other provinces.

Sindh remains frozen. Its education ministry and the Sindh Textbook Board have long set the highest standards of laziness, depravity and stupidity. An earlier analysis of STB’s science books was published in this newspaper two years ago. It has had zero effect; matters are just as grim there today as then.

Those who rule Sindh continue to stifle education. Sindh could have outraced Punjab by taking advantage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment which frees the provinces from the federal diktat. Instead, secretaries of education in Sindh who worked to improve things were defeated and shunted out. Sindh’s misfortune has been the ideology-free money-grabbing PPP which oversees a system based upon patronage and unlimited corruption.

With KP’s cleaner administration one expected better. The earlier ANP government had considerably softened textbooks in KP. But after Imran Khan’s PTI entered into an alliance with the Jamaat-i-Islami (and now possibly with arch-conservative Maulana Samiul Haq), there was drastic backpedaling....

Anonymous said...

UNESCO data on education in Pakistan


Riaz Haq said...

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) ranks first among eight Pakistani territories with respect to the provision of quality education, according to the Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017 released by Alif Ailaan, an education campaign, on Thursday.

AJK is followed by Islamabad Capital Territory, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) ranks fifth on the list. Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have fallen to seventh and eighth positions, respectively, as Balochistan jumped two places from last year's rankings to sixth position.


According to Alif Ailaan, the education index covers retention from primary to middle and middle to high schools, learning among students and gender parity.

"The 2017 rankings show that while certain parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab have made marked improvements in school infrastructure, the pace of progress in Sindh, Balochistan and Fata remains a concern," the report noted.

It also highlighted that "authorities continue to prioritise school infrastructure at the expense of what happens in classrooms."

Soon after the report was released, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan tweeted: "Alif Ailaan has put out these amazing figures on District Education Rankings for 2017. Nine of the 10 top districts are from KP; only 1 from Punjab. In same survey for 2016, nine of top 10 were from Punjab; none from KP. A great achievement by PTI govt in KP in critical field of education."

However, seemingly validating the concern raised by Alif Ailaan, Khan chose to highlight the "primary school infrastructure scores" instead of overall education scores. Under the latter measure, only one KP district, Haripur — which is placed at the top of the rankings — is among the top 10. Five AJK districts and four districts from Punjab make up the remaining list.

According to the rankings, Faisalabad is Punjab's best performing district for the year while Karachi West (ranked 14 in the country) is the top-ranked district in Sindh.

In Balochistan, the provincial capital is top-ranked (ranked 45 in Pakistan) while Awaran is the worst performing district for the year. Awaran is also ranked at 137 in the country, two places above Sindh's lowest-ranked district for the metric, Sujawal.

"Strides to improve primary school infrastructure in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are demonstrated by the fact that their lowest ranked district is Shangla at 62," the report highlighted.

Punjab and KP also dominate the "middle school infrastructure scores", with two top districts for the metric being Malakand and Swabi, while the next eight are from Punjab.

The rankings also reveal that a lot of school-going children are out of schools because of a lack of schools above the primary level, confirming previous concerns by the campaign on education.

"For every four primary schools in Pakistan, there is only one school above primary level. This means that most children who pass Class 5 do not have schools to continue their education. The large out of school population of the country is a direct product of this failure."

The report said that the disparities between districts within a province reflect the "failure of programming at the provincial level."

In a stark reminder about the gender gap prevalent in the country, the report revealed "there are more than 55 districts in Pakistan where the total number of girls enrolled in high schools is less than one thousand."

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s lessons in school reform

What the world’s sixth most populous state can teach other developing countries


Pakistan has long been home to a flourishing market of low-cost private schools, as parents have given up on a dysfunctional state sector and opted instead to pay for a better alternative. In the province of Punjab alone the number of these schools has risen from 32,000 in 1990 to 60,000 by 2016. (England has just 24,000 schools, albeit much bigger ones.)

More recently, Pakistani policymakers have begun to use these private schools to provide state education. Today Pakistan has one of the largest school-voucher schemes in the world. It has outsourced the running of more government-funded schools than any other developing country. By the end of this year Punjab aims to have placed 10,000 public schools—about the number in all of California—in the hands of entrepreneurs or charities. Although other provinces cannot match the scope and pace of reforms in Punjab, which is home to 53% of Pakistanis, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are implementing some similar changes on a smaller scale.

The results are promising—and they hold lessons for reformers in other countries. One is that “public-private partnerships” can improve children’s results while costing the state less than running schools itself. A paper published in August by the World Bank found that a scheme to subsidise local entrepreneurs to open schools in 199 villages increased enrolment of six- to ten-year-olds by 30 percentage points and boosted test scores. Better schools also led parents to encourage their sons to become doctors not security guards, and their daughters to become teachers rather than housewives.

Other new research suggests that policymakers can also take simple steps to fix failures in the market for low-cost private schools. For example, providing better information for parents through standardised report cards, and making it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain loans to expand schools, have both been found to lead to a higher quality of education.

Another, related lesson is that simply spending more public money is not going to transform classrooms in poor countries. The bulk of spending on public education goes on teachers’ salaries, and if they cannot teach, the money is wasted. A revealing recent study looked at what happened between 2003 and 2007, when Punjab hired teachers on temporary contracts at 35% less pay. It found that the lower wages had no discernible impact on how well teachers taught.

Such results reflect what happens when teachers are hired corruptly, rather than for their teaching skills. Yet the final and most important lesson from Pakistan is that politicians can break the link between political patronage and the classroom. Under Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab’s chief minister, the province has hired new teachers on merit, not an official’s say-so. It uses data on enrolment and test scores to hold local officials to account at regular high-stakes meetings.

Shifting from “the politics of patronage” to “the politics of performance”, in the words of Sir Michael Barber, a former adviser to the British government who now works with the Punjabis, would transform public services in poor countries. Pakistan’s reforms have a long way to go. But they already have many lessons to teach the world.

Riaz Haq said...

CDWP approves eight higher education projects worth Rs28.9bn


The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved eight projects pertaining to higher education worth Rs28.9 billion for providing scholarships and strengthening of infrastructure and other facilities.

A mega project worth Rs20.9 billion for Overseas Scholarships (Phase-III) has been approved to send 2,000 Pakistani scholars to foreign universities for doctoral studies.

Other approved projects include establishment of College of Nursing and Community Medicine at Peoples University of Medical Sciences, Nawabshah, with a cost of Rs603 million, establishment of sub-campus of National Textile University at Karachi at a cost of Rs875.5 million, and establishment of Science Laboratory and Creative Art Centre, IBA University, Sukkur at a cost of Rs852.6 million.

Other projects include the development of academic and research facilities at the University of Kotli at a cost of Rs13389 million, the establishment of Women Campuses at Kohat and Bannu worth Rs1958 million and Institute of Science and Technology at Bahawalpur at a cost of Rs2290 million.

It is pertinent to mention that most of the development projects will be executed in less-developed areas such as Nawabshah, Sukkur, Kotli, Bahawalpur, Kohat and Bannu.

HEC, since its establishment in 2002, has been carrying out a comprehensive programme of higher education reforms and institution building and has adopted a holistic approach for expansion and improvement of the sector.

The ultimate goal of the whole effort is that access to quality higher education is increased and the academics, researchers and higher learning institutions play an effective role for developing a knowledge-based economy and identify and provide solutions for various challenges faced by Pakistani society.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sir and visitors on this blog of Mr.Riaz Haq Sahab,

This is to inform you that according to my recent search on internet, the literacy rate in Pakistan has decreased 2 percent since last few years. Pls check on Google search.

I have few questions.

Q.1 Is it true that literacy rate in Pakistan has fallen by 2 percent?

Q.2 How will this country have bright and secure future if the literacy of this country falls?

Q.3 The HDI(Human Development Index), highly depends on education and health of citisens living in a country, It is sad to know that in HDI index, Pakistan was ranked better than India before and during 2010, but after 2010, the ranking of Pakistan in HDI index has fallen and India is ranked better than Pakistan in HDI index.
Are their other factors which also improves the ranking of a country in HDI index?

Thank you


Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "The HDI(Human Development Index), highly depends on education and health of citisens living in a country"

I share your concern.

But I'm hopeful of a turn-around with recent focus and increases in funding for education.

Some of it is detailed in a recent piece in The Economist titled "Pakistan is home to the most frenetic education reforms in the world"


Here's a link to the education chapter (chapter 10) in 2016-17 economic survey of Pakistan:


Naveed S. said...

I encourage you to study the UWR (United We Reach) System. It is probably the best holistic approach to primary education. It takes care of improving curriculum, teacher training, teaching support, assessments, remedial, analytics, monitoring and is based on STEM and delivered to poor Govt/private school students.

I am part of the team that developed that System, we have invested $7-8m of our money to develop the system after researching literally 100’s of systems world wide.

We are giving that system to Pakistani (and eventually worldwide) kids for free and we continue to invest millions per year to improve it.

I led the software effort.
I mostly contributed to AI and data analytics part of it.

Overall team size is 125 people, 30 of those are teachers in silicon valley. 45 are software in Lahore, others are school Operation, Logistics, Business Development etc.

The goal is make a massive scale effort to improve Govt schools, poor private schools.

Tablets that we use are designed by us to be lowest cost in the world. Our 7 in tablet cost $27 and 10 in tablet is $57. We have a world class expert in LA chapter who helped us to lower these costs.

I encourage you to learn more about the System and not base your opinion on one article.

Article is written by a very young, bright rising star in pskistan. He worked in uwr for sometime.

Finally, we are charity hence all of us work for free for this organization to betterment of Pakistani kids. We dont make any money, so I don’t know why you got an idea of corruption.

Naveed S. said...

Another important point is transparency - in all of our schools, we know when classes start/end?, which teachers showed up ? what was taught?, who attended or missed ?, what was learned?, etc

We don’t have depend on Govt or any other agencies to collect and report data. We know the data!

This data will ensure that we/govt can no longer lie about the state of our education. Honestly accepting the facts is the only way we will improve.

In our existing schools, we get enormous of data per day. We analyze the data in our data center and give feedback to teachers, students, administrators, Govt and parents.
This has made a huge difference.

We have discovered facts - which are unknown to academic community, since such data collection has never been done even in USA.

For example, we have learned that 6 minute review of lesson plan by a teacher a day before the class can lead to 15-20% improvement in student SLOs. While conclusion is obvious, the statistical data and its range was not known (or published).

Since we know if a teacher has reviewed the lesson plan or not, we already know that students SLO performance will be low or high.

We have also discovered the impact of asking questions in an assessment in a certain order. If you ask the harder question first, as opposed to easier questions first, students perform differently.

We are also looking at gender, economic background, etc differences and are there any statistically significant trends.

Riaz Haq said...

From Economist:

Most Pakistani children who start school drop out by the age of nine; just 3% of those starting public school graduate from 12th grade, the final year. Girls from poor families are least likely to attend (see chart); Pakistan’s gap between girls’ and boys’ enrolment is, after Afghanistan’s, the widest in South Asia. Those in school learn little. Only about half of Pakistanis who complete five years of primary school are literate. In rural Pakistan just over two-fifths of third-grade students, typically aged 8 or 9, have enough grasp of arithmetic to subtract 25 from 54. Unsurprisingly, many parents have turned away from the system. There are roughly 68,000 private schools in Pakistan (about one-third of all schools), up from 49,000 in 2007. Private money currently pays for more of Pakistan’s education than the government does.

It is in part the spread of private options that has spurred politicians like Mr Sharif into action. The outsourcing of schools to entrepreneurs and charities is on the rise across the country. It is too early to judge the results of this massive shake up, but it seems better than the lamentable status quo. If this wholesale reform makes real inroads into the problems of enrolment, quality and discrimination against girls that bedevil Pakistan, it may prove a template for other countries similarly afflicted.

There are many reasons for the old system’s failure. From 2007-15 there were 867 attacks by Islamist terrorists on educational institutions, according to the Global Terrorism Database run by the University of Maryland. When it controlled the Swat river valley in the north of the country, the Pakistani Taliban closed hundreds of girls’ schools. When the army retook the area it occupied dozens of them itself.

Poverty also holds children back. Faced with a choice between having a child help in the fields or learn nothing at school, many parents rationally pick the former. The difference in enrolment between children of the richest and poorest fifth of households is greater in Pakistan than in all but two of the 96 developing countries recently analysed by the World Bank.

Yet poverty is not the decisive factor. Teaching is. Research by Jishnu Das of the World Bank and colleagues has found that the school a child in rural Pakistan attends is many times more important in explaining test scores than either the parents’ income or their level of literacy. In a paper published in 2016, Mr Das and Natalie Bau of the University of Toronto studied the performance of teachers in Punjab between 2003 and 2007 who were hired on temporary contracts. It turned out that their pupils did no worse than those taught by regular ones, despite the temporary teachers often being comparatively inexperienced and paid 35% less.


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Children #Literature Festival #CFL in #Lahore Makes #Education a Fun Activity


In January 2018, Lahore, the seat of government of Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, played host to the Children’s Literature Festival (CFL), a unique experiment in making education a fun activity. Thousands of children gathered on the scenic lawns of the historic Lahore Fort to hear stories, listen to music and songs, and watch plays and dances.

But this was not an entertainment event alone. It was more like a gigantic, unconventional school, and in many cases the children were their own teachers.

January’s festival was not entirely new for the people of Lahore. In 2011 a similar event—albeit one a bit more serious—was held on the Punjab Public Library grounds. In 2014 Lahore again played host to the CLF.

The CLF has come a long way over the course of its six-year journey. The session in January was the 45th held in Pakistan since 2011. So far, the CLF has reached a million children. It is now a registered company with six directors and a secretariat at the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (“Center for Education and Consciousness,” or ITA), the parent organization under which CLF was originally conceived. ITA provides secretarial and technical support to CLF so that the latter remains a lean organization with minimal overheads and maximum outreach. The CLF has gone all over Pakistan, from big cities to small towns. Over the years it has evolved and has crept into neighboring cities in India and Nepal as well.

Children participate in a puppet-making workshop at the Children’s Literature Festival. (Zubeida Mustafa)

How did it all begin? The United Nations recognizes education as a child’s right. Yet UNESCO estimates that 263 million children are out of school worldwide. Since education is linked closely to development and progress, the U.N. attached much importance to education when creating its Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) and Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030). The first blueprint sought universal primary education by 2015. The second has set the goal of quality education up to secondary level for all children by 2030. Pakistan never achieved the first. For that country, the second also appears to be beyond reach.

At present, almost 23 million children are believed to be out of school in Pakistan. It is not just lack of access that is a problem—the poor quality of education nullifies whatever small advantage is achieved in terms of enrollment. Both issues need to be addressed if the universalization of education is to be meaningful.

Of course, not all Pakistani children enrolled in school learn the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to promote lifelong learning. Some of the statistics released from time to time are dismal in the extreme.

Riaz Haq said...

Out-of-school children to get non-formal education


National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) will put millions of out of school children in non-formal schools to help them catch up with studies through accelerated learning in short span of three years, said the commission’s deputy director.

In this regard, NCHD has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ARC for a period of three-years under Education Above All Foundation’s programme Educate-A-Child (EAC). NCHD Director General Samina Waqar and ARC Deputy Chief of Party Daud Saqlain signed the agreement.

Over the next three years, ARC will work to provide quality primary education to 1,050,000 marginalised Out-Of-School-Children (OOSC) in Pakistan. This project is being supported by Qatar Foundation. The purpose of this memorandum of understanding is to outline the respective roles, responsibilities and liabilities of ARC (American Refugee Committee) and NCHD in the implementation of “provision of access to OOSC ” in 12 districts of Punjab and Balochistan.

Earlier chairing a meeting, Samina Waqar said NCHD was looking for technical partnerships for development of curriculum for non-formal education. The second meeting of Technical Committee for Development of Teaching- Learning Resources for Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) was held to finalise a list of potential writers for developing the accelerated learning courses for children of who did not get an opportunity to get enrolled in school.

Technical partnership for challenging task of development of Teaching Learning Resources for Non-Formal Education is prime concern of NCHD, this was observed by the experts in the second meeting of Technical Committee for development of Teaching- Learning Resources for Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP), at NCHD head quarter, the other day.

Experts of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and NCHD were trying to strategise a detailed course of action for development and review of draft ALP Teaching Learning Resource and to finalise a list of potential writers for developing the accelerated learning courses in light of their expertise.

The courses are being designed with an idea to impart, character building and social learning along with literacy skills for out of school children of nine years and above, who have missed school and did not get an opportunity to enrolled in school.

The NCHD DG said there were still 22.8 million children of 5-16 years of age who were out of school. Among these children there are 6.4 million of 10 to16 years, those who cannot be enrolled in government primary schools due to their age factor. She said NCHD was devising a three-year plan to enrol all these children in non-formal schools.

This Teaching Learning Resource which will be prepared by the joint efforts of National Training Institute of NCHD, AQAL-JICA and AIOU would be helpful to impart non-formal education to these 6.4 million children enabling them to catch up with studies in a limited span of time, as they would be able to pass primary exam, Samina said.

NCHD always welcomed the idea of joint ventures in gearing up with other stakeholders for eradicating illiteracy in the country, she added.

NCHD had remained very successful in these joint ventures and served the purpose effectively and efficiently as well, she said. “ARC and NCHD cooperation and collaboration in the field of education under Educate-A-Child is another milestone for us, I hope that we will succeed in this venture as well,” she further added.

JICA country representative Chiho Ohashi and Daud Saqlain appreciated the expertise and professional ability of NCHD experts.

Riaz Haq said...

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's finance minister announced a 10 percent increase in defense spending as part of a new federal budget as opposition politicians criticized his appointment to the post just hours earlier.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presented the 2018-2019 budget in the National Assembly on Friday. In his televised speech, Ismail said the budget also promises more funds for health, education and social programs.

Opposition politicians in parliament were outraged that Ismail was sworn in as a Cabinet minister hours before presenting the budget.

Ismail is not a member of parliament, but the government says the country's constitution allows it to elevate him to the position of minister.

Pakistan's economy has been hard hit by a drop in foreign investment due to militant violence and high poverty rates.


Riaz Haq said...

Given that this is PML-N's election year budget, with constituents and power players to appease, nearly all heads under current expenditures register marked increases from last year's budgeted amounts.

The government's interest obligations on both foreign and domestic debts are also higher — to Rs229bn and Rs1,391bn — representing increases of 73.5pc and 13pc respectively.

Pension payments register a whopping 37.9pc increase to Rs342bn, of which military pensions will account for Rs259.8bn (up 44.2pc from Rs180bn budgeted last year) while civil pensions will account for Rs82.2bn (up 21.2pc from Rs67.8bn last year).

Defence affairs and services are similarly up 19.6pc to Rs1,100bn from the budgeted Rs920.2bn last year, mostly due to a 19.6pc increase in defence services, which account for employee-related expenses, operating expenses, physical assets and civil works, will swallow up Rs1,098bn of the budget.

Separately, subsidies have also been jacked up 25.9pc.

For itself, the government has budgeted a 23pc increase for the running of the civil government. Salary disbursements will be 15.2pc higher to Rs242.7bn and non salary expenses will be jacked up 33.3pc.

Law courts have been given a 8.8pc increase in their budget, which now stands at Rs5.63bn. Meanwhile, the allocation for police has been bumped up by 21.5pc to Rs122.9bn from Rs101.1bn a year ago.

The federal health budget, on the other hand, has been bumped up by only 8.2pc to Rs13.89bn, of which hospital services will eat up Rs11.66bn.

The federal education budget has been enhanced by Rs6.9bn (7.1pc) to Rs97.4bn, with the increases mainly provisioned for provision of services from pre-primary through tertiary education. The tertiary education budget on its own has been increased by only 5.23pc.

Public Sector Development Programme
After being jacked up last year, the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) has been slashed by 20pc compared to last year's budgeted amount, falling to Rs800bn this year.

Although the government mentions the total federal PSDP will be equal to Rs1,030bn, the additional Rs230bn will not come out of the federal government's pockets, instead being provided by "self financing by corporations and authorities".

The allocation for the water division has been more than doubled to Rs79bn in 2018-19, with the announcement coming just days after the provinces and the federation agreed to a national water policy. The Clean Drinking Water for All programme, with a Rs12.5bn allocation in the current year's budget, has been scrapped completely.

The allocation for the National Highway Authority (NHA) has also been cut by a significant 34pc as major projects including the Karachi-Hyderabad and Sukkur-Multan motorway near completion. The power division also gets a Rs24bn cut, and is down to Rs36bn in the upcoming budget.

The provinces' share of PSDP has also been slashed by around 24pc to Rs850bn, bringing both the federal and provincial PSDP closer to revised spending in the current year of Rs750bn and Rs800bn, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Capital Administration and Development Division will get 2.6 times the current amount in the coming fiscal year. The Interior Division, which had a Rs15.7bn budget this year, will get an additional Rs8.3bn.

Among other divisions gaining generous bumps next year is the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the budget of which has been hiked by a whopping 88pc to Rs28.3bn.

A new allocation of Rs10bn has also been made for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) 10 Year Plan.

Meanwhile, the allocation for the housing and works division has been cut by almost half to Rs5.4bn. The budget for the national health services has also been reduced by 49pc from Rs48.7bn to Rs25bn.

Railways would also get Rs8.5bn less than the current year, which could be because of a reduction in its losses. However, it could also be because the division used only Rs22bn from this year's budget, leaving Rs20bn unspent.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s literacy rate stands at 58pc


Pakistan’s overall literacy rate remains static at 58 percent with literacy rate of males 70 percent and 48 percent of females, as due to the Population and Housing Census, the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement was not carried out for 2017-18.

Therefore, the Pakistan Economic Survey says that the figures for 2015-2016 should be considered for the current year as well.

According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, 2017-2018, the literacy rate for entire Pakistan, includes ten years old and above is 58 percent. The national net enrollment for primary level for overall Pakistanstood at 54 percent while Punjab leading the rest with 59 percent, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 53, Sindh by 48 percent and Balochistan 33 percent.

Similarly, the gross enrollment rate for Pakistan is 87 percent and again Punjab in the lead with 93 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 88 percent, Sindh 78 percent and Balochistan 60 percent. The gross enrollment for males is 94 percent and 78 percent for females.

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be 2.2 percent in financial year 2017 as compared to 2.3 percent of GDP in financial year 2016.

Likewise, the Economic Survey says that the education-related expenditure increased by 5.4 percent to Rs699.2 billion in financial year 2017 from Rs663.4 billion financial year 2016. It noted that the provincial governments also are spending sizeable amount of their annual development plans on education.

A total of 5.1 thousand higher secondary schools/inter colleges with 120.3 thousand teachers were functional in 2016-17. A decrease of 6.1 percent in higher secondary enrolment has been observed as it dropped to 1,594.9 thousand in 2016-17 against 1,698.0 thousand in 2015-16. It is estimated to increase by 9.8 percent i.e. from 1,594.9 thousand to 1750.6 thousand in 2017-18.

The overall education condition is based on key performance indicators such as enrolment rates, number of institutes and teachers which have experienced minor improvement. The total number of enrolments at national level during 2016-17 stood at 48.062 million as compared to 46.223 million during 2015-16. This shows a growth of 3.97 percent and it is estimated to further rise to 50.426 million during 2017-18.

The total number of institutes stood at 260.8 thousands during 2016-17 as compared to 252.8 thousands during last year and the number of institutes are estimated to increase to 267.7 thousands during 2017-18.

The total number of teachers during 2016-17 were 1.726 million compared to 1.630 million during last year showing an increase of 5.9 percent. This number of teachers is estimated to rise further to 1.808 million during the year 2017-18.

Riaz Haq said...

76% Pakistan youth drop out of education: UNDP


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan launched its National Human Development Report (NHDR) – Unleashing the potential of a Young Pakistan on Wednesday at a local hotel. The report reveals that 76.9 per cent youth in Pakistan leave education for financial reasons and hope for a second chance at education.

The NHDR report-2017 reveals that Pakistan currently has the largest generation of youth ever recorded in its history, making it one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan.

The study aims to understand Pakistan’s human development challenges and opportunities from the prism of youth. It focuses on how to improve human development outcomes by empowering young people, addressing the root causes of the obstacles, and by proposing innovative ways to surmount challenges.

The Pakistan NHDR 2017 has reached out to nearly 130,000 individuals across the country out of which 90 per cent were youth making it essentially a report “by the youth, for the youth”.

According to the report in Pakistan, 64 per cent of the total population is below the age of 30 and 29 per cent is between the ages of 15-29 years. Therefore, it presents a unique window of opportunity for the country and by investment in quality education, employment and meaningful engagements, primarily can help to empower youth.

“In Pakistan the current median age of 22.5 is expected to hover at around 31 years by 2050, beyond which, the window of opportunity will start to close for good,” anticipates the report.

The study further reveals that in Pakistan youth between the age of 15-29 years make up 41.6 per cent of the county’s total labour force. In addition, almost four million youth attain working age every year.

“In order to absorb this populace into job market…Pakistan needs to create 4.5 million new jobs over the next five years which indicates 0.9 million jobs annually,” suggests the report.

Human Development Index (HDI)

The NHDR highlights wide differences in the state of choices and opportunities available for people living in different cities/localities in Pakistan. Among major cities of the country, Islamabad has the highest HDI of 0.875, followed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir with an HDI 0.734; whereas Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) recorded the lowest HDI at 0.216.

On the other hand, Punjab has the highest HDI of 0.732 whereas Balochistan has the lowest HDI of 0.421. The other two provinces, Sindh and K-P perform relatively better and fall in the medium human development category.

With regards to the district-wise breakdown, the report reveals that out of the ten top performing districts, four belong to K-P, three to Punjab, and two to Sindh, whereas six of the ten worst performing districts belong to Sindh and four to Balochistan.


The report highlighting the current net enrollment growth rate of the country of 0.92 per cent predicts that it will take another 60 years to reach the target of zero out-of-school children.

It further states that a staggering 9.45 million children at the primary level were estimated to be out of school in 2015.

“Therefore to achieve this goal by 2030…Pakistan must increase its net enrollment ratio to a yearly growth of 3.8 per cent,” suggests the report.

The study reveals that Pakistan’s increased educational attainment levels have failed to reduce the socio-economic deprivation of a significant section of the population.

Youth vote

The report while quoting National Youth Perception Survey states that only 24 per cent of youth expressed to have trust in politicians. However, approximately 90 per cent male and 55 per cent female expressed their intention to vote in the 2018 general elections.


Riaz Haq said...

Privatization could fix Pakistan’s educational system
By Shi Lancha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/15 23:33:40


Education - especially primary and secondary schooling - is perhaps the most-discussed topic in Pakistan. Poor education has not only hindered the country's efforts to eradicate poverty and boost growth, but has also exacerbated issues like gender inequality, social conflicts and even terrorism. For an ethnically and socially diverse country like Pakistan, education carries heavy political significance for nation-building, as it builds common symbols and values.

Even though the provision of free and compulsory education for all children from 5-16 years old is mandated in the Constitution of Pakistan, the reality has long been lamentable, if not outright atrocious. A high drop-out rate in lower grades, a low graduation rate at higher grades, and the gender difference in enrollment which is even wider than that of Afghanistan have bedeviled education in Pakistan. For example, most Pakistani children drop out of school by the age of 9 and only 3 percent complete the 12th grade.

Despite the Pakistani government's commitment to both Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA), there were still more than 22.6 million children out of school in late 2016. More seriously, those in school suffered badly from teacher absenteeism and poor learning environments.

Poor education naturally leads to miserable student performance: Only about half of Pakistanis who complete five years of primary education are literate, and only just over 40 percent of third-graders from rural schools demonstrate passable arithmetic skills like subtraction and addition. Facing the likely scenario of their children learning nothing despite years in school, many parents decide to make the children help in the fields instead.

The Pakistani government, both at central and provincial levels, has undertaken major policy efforts to improve the coverage and quality of education. The education authority was devolved from the federal government to the provinces in 2010, and most provinces have more than doubled their education budgets since then. Impressively, in 2016 Pakistani provinces spent as much as 17 to 28 percent of their budgets on education agendas, whereas the global average was merely 14 percent.

However, despite growing financial resources and political capital being directed into the education system, the results remain largely uncertain. After all, given the fact that Pakistan's education problems are firmly rooted in the country's deeper social and political soil, it will not be easy to make progress.

What Pakistan needs is to spend better, not simply to spend more. The political element in education spending is so strong that increased budgets are often translated into jobs as political patronage, rather than yielding improvements in education. The logic is straightforward: Politicians hand out permanent teaching positions in exchange for their constituents' votes and loyalty, while these teachers function as the patron's political organizers.

In a sense, swelling the ranks of teachers appears to "kill two birds with one stone" for politicians: it appears to address educational problems, helping them to win over more supporters, and it buttresses their personal political base. It's no surprise that education departments have become the single largest employers in most provinces. Strikingly, Pakistan's educational sector is now as big as its armed forces, and the education budget of $8.6 billion in 2016 came second only to the $8.7 billion military bill.

As more and more over-paid teachers enter schools with patronage shielding them from any potential disciplinary proceedings, not only will existing issues like teacher absenteeism get worse, other much-needed social programs may also suffer from insufficient resources.

Riaz Haq said...

If you score more than 33% on Hans Rosling's basic facts quiz about the state of health and wealth in the world today, you know more about the world than a chimp

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/long-reads/hans-rosling-factfulness-statistics/

Excerpt of Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Page 201

This is risky but I am going to argue it anyway. I strongly believe that liberal democracy is the best way to run a country. People like me, who believe this, are often tempted to argue that democracy leads to, or its even a requirement for, other good things, like peace, social progress, health improvement, and economic growth. But here's the thing, and it is hard to accept: the evidence does not support this stance.

Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 (Rosling divides countries into 4 levels in terms of development, not the usual two categories of developed and developing) faster than any other country had ever done (without finding oil), al the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy.

Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It's better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like.


Ahmad F. said...

Any Econ 1A text book begins with a discussion of the trade-off between “guns and butter.”

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "Any Econ 1A text book begins with a discussion of the trade-off between “guns and butter.”

Does Econ 1A prescribe the right proportion of guns and butter? Is there a a one size fits all formula?

Does it tell you that the main cause of famine and hunger is the absence of security in many parts of the world?


The world produces far more food than needed to feed its entire population of 7.6 billion people today. Yet, there is hunger in many parts of the world with 800 million people going hungry globally. There are two main reasons for it: Affordability and Conflict. The true cost of a meal should be calculated in terms of the percentage of average daily income in each location. By this measure, food is most affordable in North America and Europe and most expensive in Africa. The continent of Africa suffers both the crises of war and affordability. People going hungry in parts of the Middle East, particularly Syria and Yemen, are also victims of ongoing conflicts.

Riaz Haq said...

#WorldBank to aid #Pakistan in creating new model for non-formal #education that combines #literacy, #labor #market skills, life #skills development for uneducated and illiterate children, youth and young adults in selected districts of #Punjab and #Sindh https://www.dawn.com/news/1555172

The government has been developing the new roadmap for the country’s education system under the new leadership since the summer of 2018. The education ministry at federal level and education departments at provincial levels have unanimously said that out-of-school children is one of the critical issues that needs to be addressed.

The proposed project will be built on the existing initiatives on out-of-school children, supported by development partners including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), USAID, and Unicef, and it will be implemented in collaborative efforts with these agencies.

Despite the urgency of the issues, the federal and provincial governments’ interventions on non-formal education is limited. Due to the daunting challenges in the public education, the government’ emphasis of educational development is on improving the public education systems.

While the governments mainly aim to address out-of-school children by increasing access to and retention in public education, there are still service delivery gaps which results in out-of-school children. The proposed interventions are to fill in the gaps.

The project is also aligned with the international agenda including the Susta­inable Development Goals (SDGs).

The government’s priority on addressing out-of-school children has been aligned with the SDG targets and is supported by the development partners.

The project will offer Accelerated Learning Programmes (ALPs) to out-of-school children at primary school age (age eight to 10 years) and secondary school age (age 10-16 years) through a non-formal education model with the aim to facilitate mainstreaming of those children to the formal school system.

In Pakistan, primary schools accept new students at age five to seven years, and children at age eight and above typically find it difficult to enter formal primary schools.

To support those who miss the entry to primary schools, the ALP primary (ALP-P) has been developed including curricula, corresponding teaching and learning materials, and systems for training and assessment.

The programme has been approved in Punjab and Sindh provinces under Literacy Department (LD) and School Education and Literacy Department (SELD) respectively.

The project will conduct a rapid survey of out-of-school children and conduct enrollment and awareness campaigns in the villages.

The programme allows children to complete five years of the primary education with approximate 1,250 hours of learning, which usually take 24 to 36 months depending on the set up of Non-Formal Education (NFE) service delivery. Students will be able to sit in the class fifth School Leaving Examination upon the completion of the program and officially obtain a class fifth certificate.

Riaz Haq said...

Certain lobby is on rampage at defence #Budget2020

There's hardly .1% difference btw Education & Defence for FY2019-20 of GDP

Last year education ( 2.5% of GDP)

Punjab: 383b
Sindh: 239b
KPK: 143b
Bln: 60b
HEC: 45b
Total: 947b

Defence: 1152b (Share of GDP: 2.6%)


Riaz Haq said...

#Sindh to raise #Education spending to 25.2% of provincial budget. A total of Rs244.5 billion for education, up from Rs212.4 bn for 2019-20. Rs300m has been allocated as Endowment Fund for NED University of #Engineering & #Technology #Karachi, #Pakistan https://www.dawn.com/news/1564176


Moreover, international donors also chip in with their share towards improving the quality of education in Sindh. The provincial government has adopted various key indicators for need assessments and performance evaluation of schools to help understand the needs and accordingly assign resources where needed. For FY 2020-21, Rs1bn has been allocated as grant in aid for Education Management Organization (EMO) for handing over management of various schools to EMOs.

“Moreover, we have allocated Rs6.6 billion for purchase of furniture and fixture, Rs6.1 billion for new activities with the help of international donor agencies, Rs2.3 billion for free textbooks, Rs1.8 billion for school management committee to meet the requirements of schools, Rs5 billion for repair and maintenance of school buildings, Rs480 million for an Emergent Need Fund for meeting new initiatives under Covid-19 and Rs663.4 million for educational assets of proscribed organisations of Sindh taken over by the government of Sindh,” the chief minister (Murad Aki Shah) said.

In school education, about the achievements in FY 2019-20, he said that they had profiled schools, provided essential facilities to 1,606 primary, elementary and high schools in 29 districts, carried out groundwork for making 15 English medium and six comprehensive schools operational under the PPP mode through EMOs.

In the next academic year, 10 more English medium and nine comprehensive high schools in nine districts are also going to be ungraded with all facilities of science/IT labs, libraries, etc. Also, there are plans for establishing 2,000 new early childhood care and education classrooms, training 2,500 early childhood education teachers and printing Rs4.93m sets of textbooks for all schools at taluka and district levels.

“In the next financial year 2020-21 we have set a number of targets under which we will provide requisite infrastructure, solar system, IT/science labs and auditoriums in 35 existing schools,” he added.

He also said that in the current FY 2019-20, Rs9.5bn was allocated for the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and that there has been no change in that amount.


There are a total of 146 boys’ colleges, 131 girls’ colleges and 50 co-education colleges in Sindh running under the administration of the college education department, whereas the total student enrolment is 436,980.

In order to manage college education in a Covid-19 perspective, the college education department is planning to launch a programme of distance learning by establishing computer labs, centralised teaching and utilising web services. For enhancing technology-based interventions in the college education department, Rs451m has been allocated in FY 2020-21.

Moreover, Rs300m has been allocated as Endowment Fund for NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi and Rs30m is kept as grant-in-aid for the Government College for Information Technology Guru Nagar, Hyderabad.

Universities and boards

In the current FY 2019-20, sufficient funds were disbursed to public-sector universities as grant-in-aid. Education boards were also provided funds to pay examination fee, which was required to be paid by students earlier. The establishment of the Benazir Bhutto Chair at Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur is expected to be completed in FY 2020-21.

In FY 2020-21 the allocation of Rs5bn is proposed for grant to universities, Rs2bn to educational boards and Rs1.2bn for scholarship to position holders/A1 graders in Sindh. Besides Rs392m is allocated for various cadet colleges while Rs259m is for various public schools. A further Rs50m is proposed for performance incentive under ‘Programme for Results’.

Riaz Haq said...

1. More than 4.5 million children are enrolled in Sindh's schools
2. 133,000 teachers have been appointed for 49,103 schools
3. In 26,260 schools, facility for drinking water is not available


More than 10,000 government schools are nonfunctional in Sindh, the Reform and Support of the Sindh Education and Literacy Department has revealed in a report.

Titled "Profiting for Government Schools," the report shows data from 2018-19 and has been released after a gap of two years. According to the report, there are more than 4.5 million children enrolled in the province's schools.

The report says that 133,000 teachers have been appointed for 49,103 schools, out of which only 36,659 schools are functional.

In 26,260 schools, there is no facility for drinking water, while 19,469 are without washrooms' facility. The report further revealed that more than 31,000 schools do not have electricity.

Moreover, 21,00-plus schools do not have boundary walls, while over 47,000 schools are deprived of lab facilities, while as many as 36,000 do not have playgrounds.

It is pertinent to mention here that a chunk of schools, more than 47,000, do not have libraries in them — a necessary facility for students' grooming.

The report said that 2,812,000 male and 1,749,140 female students were enrolled in the schools.

As many as 2,91,9862 students are enrolled in primary, 185,047 in middle, 140,032 in elementary, 918,706 in secondary, and 397,493 in higher secondary schools.

Meanwhile, out of the total 49,103 school buildings in the province, 14,998 are considered to be in satisfactory conditions, 8,426 are weary, while 14,977 need repairs.


25.2pc of revenue to be spent on education, says Murad

While presenting Sindh’s education budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 on Wednesday, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the budget of education sector, in a macro perspective, had been increased to Rs244.5 billion when compared with Rs212.4bn for 2019-20.

“Despite resource constraints we have allocated funds which is 25.2 per cent of our current revenue budget,” he said.

He said that education was one of the key priority areas for the government of Sindh. “We aim at improving access to equitable, inclusive and quality education for all to realise their fullest potential and contribute to the development of society and economy, thus creating a sense of nationhood, inculcating values of tolerance, social justice and democracy in students,” he said.

He explained that in order to manage education-related functions in an efficient manner, enhance the quality of education and provide better facilities at educational institutions, the department of education was divided into two departments — the school education and literacy department (SELD) and the college education department (CED) back in 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to spend $8.8 billion on #defense in FY 2021-22. The new #military budget will represent about 16% of total government expenditure, 3% of #GDP. #PakistanArmy gets nearly 48% of it, while the Pakistan Air Force (#PAF) 21% & #PakistanNavy 11%



The Pakistan government has announced a defence budget of PKR1.37 trillion (USD8.78 billion) for fiscal year (FY) 2021–22. The allocation is a 6.2% increase over the original 2020–21 defence expenditure of PKR1.29 trillion.

The new defence budget will represent about 16% of the government's total expenditure for 2021–22 and has been announced against the backdrop of Pakistan's improving economy. In 2020–21 the country's GDP is forecast to climb by nearly 4%, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The bulk of Pakistan's defence budget is allocated to Defence Services, with a small amount for Defence Administration. The largest expenditure in the former appropriation is employee-related expenses, which in 2021–22 receives PKR481.6 billion, a 1% year-on-year increase.

Defence Services also includes physical assets and operating expenses, which in 2021–22 receive PKR391.5 billion and PKR327.1 billion, increases of 9% and 8% respectively. Expenses for civil works is PKR169.7 billion, while Defence Administration receives PKR3.27 billion.

In terms of the armed services, the Pakistan Army will receive PKR651.5 billion in 2021–22 (or nearly 48% of the total), while the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy have been allocated PKR291.1 billion and PKR148.7 billion (or 21% and 11%) respectively. The majority of the remainder is allocated for defence-wide requirements.

In a separate appropriation, Pakistan's Defence Production Division, which supports the national defence industry, will receive PKR1.74 billion in 2021–22, an increase of nearly 11%.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan boosts #defense budget by nearly 6% in PKR to $7.19 billion in FY 2023. Official figure for #military expenditures amounts to about 2.2% of its gross domestic product — a drop from 2.45% of its #GDP compared to the fiscal 2021-2022 time frame.

Though mainly covering salary increases, some of the extra money is earmarked for infrastructure such as the continued development of Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara, the Navy’s main operational base, and a naval air base in Turbat.

Official figures state the 83 billion rupee (U.S. $412 million) increase pushes the defense budget up to nearly 1.45 trillion rupees (U.S. $7.19 billion). That implies the 2021 defense budget was about $7.49 billion.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Sweden-based think think, found that Pakistan’s military-related expenditures for 2021 came to $11.3 billion. However, the difference could come down to how the procurement budget is created.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Sweden-based think think, found that Pakistan’s military-related expenditures for 2021 came to $11.3 billion (including pensions). However, the difference could come down to how the procurement budget is created.

Amid the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism and the need to maintain a credible deterrent against India, the fate of Pakistan’s economy does not bode well, according to Pakistan expert Claude Rakisits, who teaches at the Australian National University.

“Pakistan’s economic situation is in dire straits. This makes it difficult for the government to buy new hardware or even plan ahead for new acquisitions,” he said.

Brian Cloughley, an analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, has tracked developments in Pakistan for decades, and he doubts the government’s fiscal approach will be different from previous ones that failed to address underlying issues, including the country’s elite effectively ruling for their own benefit, leading to Pakistan’s cycle of economic woes.

“It is likely, however, that there will be announcement of deferment of expenditure plans for at least some acquisitions, if only to try to convince the [World Bank and International Monetary Fund] that their present, fairly benevolent policy on Pakistan should be maintained,” he said.

But he also believes Pakistan can likely rely on its allies and other friendly nations to carry the load. “The Chinese and the Saudis will probably continue to support Pakistan’s military posture and plans, and the current — most serious — economic crisis will have little effect on the military overall.”

Rakisits agreed that Pakistan might rely on China, although Beijing will likely step in for its own benefit.

“China has a vital interest in ensuring that not only does Pakistan’s economic situation not get worse, which could threaten the overall stability of the country and the viability of its CPEC project, but that it is in a position to maintain its defense capability,” Rakisits said, referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is meant to improve infrastructure to strengthen trade between the two countries.

“Accordingly, It’s almost certain that Beijing will assist Pakistan financially in one way or another, especially in light of the West’s increased interest in selling military hardware to India,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

How Maqsad’s Mobile Education Can Help More Pakistani Students Learn


Maqsad aims to make education more accessible to 100 million Pakistani students through a learning platform delivered via a mobile app. The platform offers teaching and testing, and can respond to queries. It seeks to disrupt the country’s out-of-school education sector, which largely consists of expensive tuition services that most families can’t afford.


Growing up in Pakistan, high-school friends Rooshan Aziz and Taha Ahmed, the founders of edtech start-up Maqsad, were very conscious of their good fortune. Aziz struggled with dyslexia but his parents were able to afford after-school academic support that enabled him to complete his education. Ahmed, meanwhile, benefited from a series of academic scholarships that gave him a headstart in life.

Fast forward to the Covid-19 pandemic, Aziz and Ahmed were both working in London, and watched with horror as Pakistan tried to move to online learning, but found itself unable to scale up a technology platform capable of supporting large numbers of students. The crisis acted as an impetus to launch Maqsad, which is today announcing a $2.8 million funding round as it reaches 1 million users only six months after its launch.


“Maqsad offers an exceptional after-school learning experience for students at a fraction of the cost of existing alternatives,” Ahmed explains. “Our focus on student problems is at the core of our mission, and we’ve collected feedback from over 20,000 students and teachers across Pakistan to ensure learning outcomes are being achieved.”

Certainly, the company has grown remarkably quickly. Since its launch last year, the Maqsad app has been downloaded more than 1 million times and is consistently ranked as the number one education app in Pakistan on the Google Play Store. The app provides access to high-quality content developed by experienced teachers, but also uses artificial intelligence tools to offer personalised learning.

Aimed initially at students aged 15 to 19 – often preparing for board or university entrance exams – the platform aims to have real impact in a market where student-teacher ratios, at 44:1, are among the highest in the world. Maqsad – the name is the Urdu word for “purpose” – offers a freemium model, enabling students to access a range of features and services at little or no cost. Over time, it plans to offer more content aimed at younger students.

From an investment perspective, the business offers exposure to an education market that is worth $37 billion in Pakistan. While other technology-enabled providers are also targeting the market – including Abwaab and Nearpeer – Maqsad regards its primary competitors as the providers of physical tuition centres. These are unaffordable for many students, it points out, or simply inaccessible for those who do not live in urban locations where such centres are located.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan: Technology boosts education reform in remote areas


Education in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Sindh provinces has been hampered by natural disasters, poor infrastructure and remoteness, and further exacerbated by political, economic and security problems.
From WhatsApp groups to biometric fingerprint systems, innovative technology has helped with building and restoring schools and improving teacher retention in these remote regions.
Since 2014, GPE’s support has led to 53,000 previously out-of-school children enrolled in school in Balochistan, and the tracking of educational data in all 29 districts in Sindh.

Supported by a US$34 million GPE grant, the government of Balochistan set up digital profiles to record land transfers and follow school construction, supporting the completion of schools and allowing education officials to track progress.

Large-scale surveys gathered geospatial data, an innovative and cost-effective way to identify abandoned buildings that could be transformed into schools.

Balochistan also established criteria for the selection of school sites, ensuring no other school existed within a 1.5 km radius and that locations enabled at least 20 out-of-school children to attend. This resulted in schools being built in remote areas with the most need.

Since 2015, 700 schools with new or renovated buildings have been completed and more than 100 girls’ primary schools upgraded to secondary. With GPE support, education authorities began to track real-time data in 14,000 schools, including teacher attendance and enrollment.

This has helped with the allocation of funding to locations with the greatest need. Android apps also record the physical infrastructure of schools, providing timely information on the functionality of toilets, drinking water and electricity.

School monitoring using technology
Both provinces use tech solutions to support management and ensure accountability in the education system. In Balochistan, apps keep track of teacher attendance, recording when teachers are within a certain geo-radius of the school; they work offline in more remote areas, uploading information when there is network access.

Through a US$66 million GPE grant, the Sindh province used tech tools to ensure teachers were deployed to the areas where they were most needed. Fingerprint-based biometric and photograph systems supported by GPS coordinates are also able to track teaching hours.

Greater incentive and validation for teachers
In a significant boost to quality learning, GPE supported the recruitment and training of qualified teachers, with emphasis placed on hiring female teachers to increase girls’ enrollment. Since 2015, 1,200 teachers have been recruited in Balochistan after passing the national testing service exam.

Better teaching and consistently open schools have helped increase student enrollment, with over 56,000 more girls enrolling in public elementary, primary and middle schools in Sindh.

Riaz Haq said...

In Pakistan, Quality Education Requires A Different Approach—and More Investment


Our recent Human Capital Review highlights that quality education for all children in Pakistan will require a different approach and substantial financial efforts, estimated to be 5.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Low public spending on education, combined with limited effectiveness at producing positive student outcomes, such as universal school enrollments and effective learning, limits Pakistan’s citizens from more actively participating in economic and social activities and contributing to productivity and economic growth. The challenges –notably the large number of out-of-school children and high learning poverty–seem complex the costs of addressing them unsurmountable. Nevertheless, there are actions Pakistan can take to change this trajectory.

Pakistan’s education sector faces critical challenges, which are believed to have been deepened by COVID-19 and the 2022 Floods. These catastrophes have only added to the world’s second-highest population of out-of-school children, which was at 20.3 million before them. Even before the pandemic, Pakistan had 75% Learning Poverty, which means that prior to the floods it started with already a very high percentage of 10-year-olds that cannot read and understand a simple age-appropriate text. The most vulnerable are disproportionately affected by the sector’s challenges. For example, learning poverty is highest for the poorest, and the most impoverished children – mainly in rural areas – are more likely to be out of school.

A different approach would require using available information to better target education programs in order to maximize the impact of limited resources.

For example, conversations and analyses tend to group all out-of-school children into a single category. This severely limits the effectiveness of policy actions to reduce out-of-school children. Understanding the different characteristics of out-of-school children will help, and here are some of them:

The majority are girls. Before the pandemic, 37 percent of girls and 27 percent of boys aged 5–16 were not in school.
They are more likely to live in rural areas. About 35 percent—or 15 million-- rural children aged 5 to 16 were out of school, compared with 20 percent –or 4.4 million--of urban children. This gap has remained constant over the past two decades.
They tend to be older. More children are out after primary school. During the 2018/19 school year, 40 percent of secondary school-age children were out of school (40 compared to 25 percent of middle school-age children and 23 percent of primary school–age children.
The number and share of out-of-school children drastically differs across provinces. About 53 percent of all out-of-school children live in Punjab and 23 percent in Sindh. That is almost 14 million. However, Balochistan and Sindh show the country's highest provincial rates of out-of-school children.

Riaz Haq said...

In Pakistan, Quality Education Requires A Different Approach—and More Investment


A different approach not only targets out-of-school children more effectively, but also calls for a relentless focus on learning in everything the education sector does. The statistics in Pakistan are telling: 65 percent of students still need to achieve a minimum proficiency level in reading by the end of primary education (Learning Poverty Brief).

There are several barriers to learning. Research points to outdated teaching practices, lack of quality and availability of pedagogical material, difficulty transitioning from languages spoken at home to the language used in schools, and teacher shortages. In addition, poverty, undernutrition, lack of school readiness, and distance to school make learning more challenging for students.

A different approach and implementing programs for impact would require at least three elements. First, it requires policies and solutions tailored to the characteristics of distinct groups of out-of-school children to maximize impact. For example, bringing children who are in the 13-16 age range and who have never been in school to regular school does not answer their needs. Alternatively, providing these children with literacy, numeracy, and life skills would support their needs in life.

Second, it requires focusing on what works. There is plenty of evidence from Pakistan and elsewhere that highlight the policy options and programs that are the most cost-effective to increase enrollment and learning, but prioritizing which ones to implement is critical. Third, it will require increasing the efficiency and level of public expenditure, this can be achieved by targeting funding every year to where education outcomes are the lowest.

There are several tested and impactful approaches that Pakistan has used successfully and that can deliver results at a reasonable cost. These can be scaled to expand educational services for children in Pakistan.

A few examples here can have a real impact. First, public-private partnerships have worked in Punjab. They can be expanded to cover more children in other levels of the system, particularly middle school, but be better regulated. Second, public and community schools can be revamped and improved, ensuring teachers are present – including consideration of double shifts when appropriate in the public sector. Third, multigrade classrooms should take true multigrade approaches in terms of funding, planning, and pedagogical execution. Making multigrade more effective is necessary to make rural education affordable and impactful. Several countries have done it successfully, including Pakistan, in the past.

Finally, the Human Capital Review provides a back-of-the-envelope estimate of how much Pakistan would require to keep all children in school – with gains in quality: 5.4 percent of GDP. This is assuming increases in efficiency in the public sector of 20 percent, for example, by using more targeted programs, investing in cost-efficient programs, and minimizing the use of high-cost, low-impact programs such as laptop distribution with no underlying pedagogical strategy.

An increase in expenditure is necessary from the low base of 2.5 percent of GDP Pakistan currently spends on education. Expanding levels of education should go in parallel with a serious effort to increase the efficiency of public expenditure in access, quality, and equity. Just bringing children to school is not enough. They must learn the skills to contribute to their own lives, families, communities, and country.