The Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) 2021-22 shows major improvement in literacy, enrollment of education sector but stressed the need of crucial role by private sector.

The chapter 10 of the PES discussed the education sector of the country states; “Pakistan’s literacy, enrolment and other educational indicators have been improving over the last couple of years but the required reforms and improvement in the education sector cannot be achieved without the active participation of private sector”.

Pre-Primary Education

Pre-Primary education is the basic component of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Prep classes are for children between 3 to 5 years of age. At national level, a rise of 6.1 percent in pre-primary enrolment (13.5 million) in 2019-20 over 2018-19 (12.7 million) has been observed and it is further estimated to increase by 6.4 percent to 14.4 million in 2020-21.

Primary Education

In 2019-20, there were a total of 183.9 thousand functional primary schools with 507.6 thousand corresponding teachers recorded in the country. An increase of 4.2 percent in primary enrolment is witnessed as the total enrolled students increased to 24.6 million in 2019-20 against 23.6 million in 2018-19. However, it is projected to further increase to 25.7 million in 2020-21 (4.4 percent)

Middle Education

During 2019-20, the total number of middle institutes stood at 48.3 thousand with 466.4 thousand employed teachers in the country. An increase of 3.9 percent in middle enrolment is observed. The total enrolled students reached 7.9 million in 2019-20 against 7.6 million in 2018-19 and it is projected to increase by 4.0 percent (from 7.9 million to 8.3 million) in 2020-21.

High School Education

During the 2019-20, a total of 32.0 thousand secondary schools were functional, with a total number of 582.3 thousand teachers recorded in the country. An increase of 6.2 percent in secondary school enrolment is observed at the national level as the total enrolment increased to 4.2 million in 2019-20 against 4.0 million in 2018-19. However, it is estimated to further increase by 6.5 percent (i.e., from 4.2 million to 4.5 million) during 2020-21.

Inter Colleges

During 2019-20, 6.0 thousand higher secondary schools/inter colleges with 136.7 thousand teachers were functional at national level. The overall enrolment of students in higher secondary education witnessed an increase of 8.8 percent in 2019-20. The enrolment registered during 2019-20 was 2.33 million as compared to 2.14 million in 2018-19. For 2020-21, it is projected to reach 2.55 million.

Technical & Vocational Education

During 2019-20, 3.8 thousand technical and vocational institutes with 18.6 thousand teachers were functional at the national level. The enrolment increased to 0.46 million in 2019-20 from 0.43 million compared to 2018-19. However, it is estimated to increase by 7.7 percent (i.e., from 0.46 million to 0.50 million) in 2020-21.

Degree Colleges

An enrolment of 0.76 million students is expected during 2020-21 in degree colleges as against the enrolment of 0.74 million in 2019-20. A total of 3,320 degree colleges with 64,293 teachers were functional during 2019-20.

Universities

There are 218 universities with 58.0 thousand teachers in both public and private sectors functional in 2019-20. The overall enrolment of students in higher education institutions (universities) increased to 1.91 million in 2019-20 from 1.86 million in 2018-19. The enrolment is expected to increase from 1.91 million in 2019-20 to 1.96 million (i.e., 2.8 percent) in 2020-21.

Overall Assessment

The overall education situation based on the key indicators, such as enrolments, number of institutions and teachers, has shown a significant improvement. The total number of enrolments during 2019-20 was recorded at 55.7 million as compared to 53.1 million during 2018-19, which shows an increase of 4.9 percent. It is estimated to increase to 58.5 million during 2020-21. The number of institutions recorded at 277.5 thousand during 2019-20 as compared to 271.8 thousand during 2018-19. However, the number of institutions is estimated to increase to 283.7 thousand in 2020-21. Similarly, there were 1.83 million teachers in 2019-20 as compared to 1.79 million last year. The number of teachers is estimated to increase to 1.89 million during 2020-21.

Literacy rate

During 2021-22, PSLM Survey was not conducted due to upcoming Population and Housing Census 2022. Therefore, the figures for the latest available survey regarding GER and NER may be considered for the analysis. However, according to Labour Force Survey 2020-21, literacy rate trends show 62.8 percent in 2020-21 (as compared to 62.4 percent in 2018-19), more in males (from 73.0 percent to 73.4 percent) than females (from 51.5 percent to 51.9 percent). Area-wise analysis suggests literacy increase in both rural (53.7 percent to 54.0 percent) and urban (76.1 percent to 77.3 percent). Literacy rate gone up in all provinces, Punjab (66.1 percent to 66.3 percent), Sindh (61.6 percent to 61.8 percent), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (52.4 percent to 55.1 percent) and Balochistan (53.9 percent to 54.5 percent).

Expenditure on Education

Cumulative education expenditures by federal and provincial governments in FY2021 remained at 1.77 percent of GDP (revised estimates). Expenditures on education-related expenditures during FY2021 witnessed an increase of 9.7 percent, reaching Rs 988 billion from Rs 901 billion.

The role of provincial governments

FY2022 The provincial governments have prioritized education sector and intervened to provide missing facilities, improvement of the physical infrastructure, establishment of IT/Science labs, up-gradation of girls and boys primary schools to middle, high and secondary levels, construction of new boys’ and girls’ schools and colleges, provision of scholarship through endowment funds and other scholarship schemes.

Punjab

During FY2022, an amount of Rs 54.3 billion was allocated by the Government of Punjab for 110 on-going and 405 new development projects of education sector. Out of which Rs 35.5 billion was allocated for school education, Rs 15.1 billion for higher education, Rs 0.8 billion for special education and Rs 2.9 billion for literacy and non-formal education.

Sindh

During FY2022, the Sindh government dedicated Rs 30.3 billion for 225 on-going and 283 new development projects of education sector. Out of which an amount of Rs 18.3 billion was allocated for school education, Rs 4.0 billion for college education, Rs 0.8 billion for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Rs 1.2 billion for Sindh TEVTA and Rs 6.0 billion for Universities & Boards.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allocated Rs 24.6 billion in FY2022 for 172 on-going and 39 new development projects. Out of which, an amount of Rs 4.3 billion was allocated for primary education, Rs 12.1 billion for secondary education, Rs 1.2 billion for elementary & secondary education and Rs 7.0 billion for higher education. This amount is 94 percent higher than last year’s allocation.

Balochistan

The Balochistan government allocated Rs 31.4 billion for FY2022 for 510 on-going and 380 new development projects. Out of the total allocation, an amount of Rs 2.3 billion was allocated for primary education, Rs 1.9 billion for middle education, Rs 8.6 billion for secondary education, Rs 8.5 billion for college education, Rs 9.5 billion for university education, Rs 0.2 billion for general education and 0.4 billion for technical education.

Related: KPK shows the highest literacy growth rate in PES 2021-22
Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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