Education is a tool that can determine the course of one’s life. We can touch the apex of success in every arena of our life with the help of education. It can polish the potential of young students and enable them to serve in various fields. Schools are the institutions that key to better prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead in real life . The subjects are young children who are quite energetic and zealous to do something innovative with their abilities.

A former student recalls how teachers provided important skills that made the pupil survive the demands of life, he writes a letter to teachers.

Dear Sirs/Madams/Teachers,

It’s been well over a decade since I last saw any of you. “Good riddance,” were the words I uttered the last time I walked out of the university. And boy, was I wrong. You see, no matter how much I rejoice getting rid of your monstrous assignments, mind-bending quizzes, petrifying shaming during presentations and your stern refusal to give in to my pleas for improved grades; I really, really miss you.

I want that monstrosity back, I want to return to that mind bending-ness, I crave for that shaming and I want to be on my knees, pleading, again. They say you value things the most once they are taken away from you, and I think the saying has caught up with me too.

So, without further ado, I’ll say it straight. Dear Teachers, I thank you for the love, I thank you for the guidance and I thank you for the advice. But more importantly, I thank you for the grind. I thank you for the ordeal, and I thank you for the agony.

I am really grateful for all those assignments, for without a go at them, I wouldn’t have survived a day in the real world. My mind wouldn’t have learned to sustain burdens and my nerves would have crumbled every time I thought of submissions.

Dear Sir, I am grateful for those unannounced quizzes, for without them I wouldn’t have learned to contain unforeseen catastrophes. I couldn’t have risen to the occasion each time an unanticipated threat arose and I couldn’t have learned to utilize resources to the best of my benefit.

Dear Madam, I thank you for that humiliation in that presentation, for without it I would never have known that a beating once in a while is alright. I would never have learned the way to rein in emotions or to take one on the chin and move on. It taught me setbacks were okay.

Dear Miss, I am grateful for the backbreaking projects, for it is there where I learnt not to fear the unknown. Without them, I couldn’t have learned to be brave and I would never have known the satisfaction of making a dedicated attempt. Without you, I would never have known instinct, I wouldn’t have learned to trust intuition.

Dear Teacher, I thank you for those grueling exams. It was during those that I learnt crucial survival skills like concentration, time management, pressure handling and maintaining mental calm under stress.

Dear Professor, I am extremely humbled by your critique, for without it I wouldn’t have tried to be better. I could never have known what ‘digging deeper’ meant and would never have endeavored to do more than I could. I would have remained ordinary, but for you.

Over these past few years, I have become increasingly grateful for your teachings, humility, forbearance and commitment. Grateful that you bore with me, cared to instruct me despite my antics and remained generous despite my callousness. I wish I realized your greatness back then. I wish I could tell you in person.

Thank you, teachers. To you, I owe my world.

Other than letter to my teachers, you can also read: Hasan Al-Banna’s letter to a Muslim student

With close to 42% of the population still remaining illiterate, Pakistan is observing the International Literacy Day today rather somberly. Despite country’s urban areas becoming thriving centers of education, the overall stats for literacy remain far from ideal.

Pakistan Economic Survey for 2016-17 puts the percentage of country’s literate population at 58, accounting for individuals of age 10 years and above. The survey said Pakistan had a literate male population of 70%, while the percentage for females fell well short of 50.

At the provincial level, Punjab leads the table with a literate population of 62%, followed by Sindh with 55%, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 53% and Balochistan with a 41% literate population.

Widespread poverty, rampant corruption in the education system and lack of access to schools in many areas are usually to blame for the dismal situation. Only Afghanistan fares worse than Pakistan among South Asian states, led by Maldives with a close to perfect literacy rate of 99%.


According to the federal Education Ministry’s National Plan of Action (NPA) 2013-2016, Pakistan was amongst nine countries that had the largest numbers of primary-age group out-of-school children. One of the key findings the plan’s MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) was that there was a need to raise resource allocation to the sector to 4% percent of GDP from the existent 1.7%. The recommendation has received little attention to date.

The MAF also aimed at “enrolment of maximum number of out-of-school children in primary classes”, “in-school retention of all enrolled children and completion of their primary education” and “improvement in quality of primary education”. According to NPA 2013 report available online, the number of primary-aged (of 5-9 years) out-of-school children in Pakistan was 6.7 million in 2011-2012, with a male to female ratio of 44% and 56%. The NPA planned to address the issue aggressively, setting a target of enrolling 5.1 million out-of-school children during 2013-16 period, or 76% of the out-of-school population of primary age group at that time.

However, the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report said 5.6 million primary-aged children still remained out of schools across Pakistan. If the GEM report is taken as is and the out-of-school children population considered as was in 2011-2012 – although highly unlikely – the NPA managed an enrollment of only 16%, or 60% below target.

With statistics like above, it is no surprise the country will only ‘observe’ the International Literacy Day, for there is really nothing to celebrate on that account.