8 signs Pakistan is slipping further into an education crisis

Updated May 25, 2016 03:10pm

A recent report by Alif Ailaan and SDPI shines a stark light on Pakistan's failing education system. The report titled "Pakistan District Rankings 2016" finds that Pakistan was unable to meet the Millennium Development Goals targets for universal primary school access.

The report further reiterates that education is nominally a provincial matter under the Constitution, and the private sector has an unmeasured but enormous impact on the education sector as a whole. Yet, both constitutionally and morally, education continues to be the government’s responsibility, starting from the Prime Minister of Pakistan down to the primary school teacher in a village in Awaran.

The document aims to call attention to the evidence of a deep and persistent national crisis; below are some of the highlights.

1. 41% of students drop out of primary school

2. More than half of Pakistan's women have never attended school

3. 35% of schools don't have toilets

The national infrastructure score has overall seen a decline, with only 52% of schools in the country having basic facilities.

Change in School Infrastructure Scores (compared to 2015)
Change in School Infrastructure Scores (compared to 2015)

4. Sindh and Balochistan's educational performance is consistently poor

Education Score (Primary School) - lowest to highest
Education Score (Primary School) - lowest to highest

The bottom half of the rankings has greater representation from Balochistan (29 out of the province’s 31 ranked districts), FATA (ten out of eleven ranked districts) and Sindh (18 out of 24 districts).

The top half of the rankings is dominated by districts from the Punjab (with 33 out of 36 districts), followed by AJK (all ten districts) and Gilgit-Baltistan (six out of seven ranked districts).

5. 76% of 5th graders in Sindh cannot read English

The reading material was meant for 2nd graders

6. Many schools only have one teacher

In Pakistan, nearly a third of primary schools are single-teacher schools

7. On average, students attend only four years of schooling in Balochistan

8. Balochistan has the lowest education score in Pakistan