THE COUNTRY’S top 15 districts in terms of school infrastructure include 12 from KP and only three from Punjab. — Table courtesy Alif Ailaan
THE COUNTRY’S top 15 districts in terms of school infrastructure include 12 from KP and only three from Punjab. — Table courtesy Alif Ailaan

ISLAMABAD: Improvements in school infrastructure have been observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, but the pace of progress in Sindh, Balochistan and Fata is still a major concern, according to the fifth annual District Education Rankings launched by Alif Ailaan on Thursday.

The report says that some progress has been noticed in the federal capital, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Data from official sources, as well as the Annual Status of Education Report (Aser) was used to rank educational performance in various districts.

Though all political parties across the country have been particularly focusing on the education sector, the report states that improvements are limited to infrastructure improvements in primary schools.

District rankings show all political parties focused on education sector, but improvements limited to primary schools’ infrastructure

Middle, high and higher secondary schools are not been given due attention, it says. For every four primary schools in Pakistan, there is only one school above the primary level, which means that most children who pass class five do not have schools to continue their education and the large number of out-of-school children is a direct result of this.

The report shows that the gender gap in education is persistent and a large number of girls do not get education after the primary level. In some 55 districts of Pakistan, the total number of girls enrolled in high school is less than 1,000.

The ‘education score’ has been calculated taking into account learning levels, gender parity and retention. AJK is ranked highest in education score followed by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Sindh and Fata are at the bottom.

Eight of the top 10 districts in terms of gender parity are from Punjab and of the bottom 10, five are from Balochistan. Four districts from Sindh and five from Punjab are in the top 10 performers in terms of retention while six districts from Fata and two from KP are in the bottom 10.

Primary school infrastructure

KP ranks the highest in terms of primary school infrastructure followed by Punjab and ICT, while AJK is at the bottom of the list.

Of the top 10 districts for electricity availability, eight are from KP and of the bottom 10, five are from AJK and 10 from Balochistan.

Of the top 10 districts with highest score for drinking water availability in schools, five are from the Punjab and five from KP. Of the bottom 10, five are from AJK and three from Sindh.

The top 10 districts for toilet availability include six from KP and four from Punjab. The bottom 10 districts include eight from Balochistan.

Six districts from KP and four from the Punjab are included in the top 10 districts for boundary wall availability. The bottom 10 districts include five from AJK and three from Balochistan.

Middle school infrastructure scores

Punjab leads the infrastructure scores for middle schools, followed by KP and then ICT. Balochistan and AJK are at the bottom of the table with the lowest scores.

A total of 12 districts have scored 100pc on electricity availability. These include 11 from the Punjab and ICT. The bottom 10 districts include seven from Balochistan.

Of the 36 districts in the Punjab, 33 scored 100 pc for water availability in middle schools and 28 districts from Punjab and four from KP have perfect scores for toilet availability in middle schools. The bottom 10 districts for toilet availability score include five from Balochistan and four from Fata.

As many as 31 districts have the perfect score for provision of boundary walls. These include 19 districts from Punjab, 10 from KP with one each from Balochistan and Fata.

Beyond primary readiness scores

According to the report, ICT ranks highest in the beyond primary readiness scores followed by Punjab and GB. Balochistan and Fata are at the bottom of the provincial rankings in this category. The top 10 districts include five from GB, four from Punjab and ICT. The bottom 10 districts include three from Sindh, six from Balochistan and one from GB.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2017