PAKISTAN is a country which is counted among the 10 countries having the largest population. However, it is not something to be proud of because as population keeps increasing, so does our illiteracy rate.
The government of Pakistan cuts the budget of education and spends it on defence and buying luxuries for officials and bureaucrats. The ‘stated’ defence budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 is likely to be Rs495 billion, an increase of Rs53 billion or 12 per cent over the previous year’s ‘stated’ budget.
Sadly, the budget for education never goes above 3.5 per cent, which is pathetic. The budget for health is only 1.3 per cent.
Pakistan’s growth rate is only 2.4 per cent annually because of the low literacy rate. Since most of the population is not educated, they, therefore, do not have any jobs, as a result the growth rate is less and the dependency rate is high.
The poor cannot afford sending their children to school. Besides, they want their children to work as child labour so that they could add to the family’s income.
In Pakistan, the majority of women remains uneducated because of it being a patriarchal society where the male dominates the family and makes all the rules and regulations.
I request NGOs and the government to work towards education so that the literacy rate should increase many times over and Pakistan can achieve good economic growth and compete in the world.
I also request families to encourage their daughters to pursue education as much as possible and if not that, then at least until matriculation, so that they could be counted as literate and help in boosting Pakistan’s literacy rate.
SHAHZAD NISAR SHAIKH Karachi