Inefficiencies In Education Sector Of Pakistan Politics Essay

“Without education it is complete darkness and with education it is light. Education is a matter of life and death to our nation. The world is moving so fast that if you do not educate yourselves you will be not only completely left behind, but will be finished up. No sacrifice of time or personal comfort should be regarded too great for the advancement of the cause of education.”- Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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The vital role of education in nation-building has concisely yet accurately been summed up in a portion of Jinnah’s speech quoted above. Following this, we see that in a developing country like Pakistan, the importance of education just cannot be emphasized enough because a strong educational system in the country can potentially have large scale benefits for the entire nation. Education is a key tool needed to develop skilled human capital and achieve socio-economic growth, both at the macro and micro level. At the macro level, good education leads to skilled labour and therefore, sustainable growth of the economy and at the micro level, educations leads to a more aware society and better employment opportunities with higher incomes.

After a cursory look at the current educational profile of Pakistan, several basic issues that compromise the educational efficiency of the system can be pointed out. Firstly we see that the impact of any educational reform or policy does not trickle down to the very poor class of the country, female literacy is a persistent problem and the rural population remains largely uneducated. Secondly, there are serious institutional problems in the education sector, especially with fragmented governance. Thirdly, there is constant political interference in school and colleges, thereby leading to reduced school/college autonomy and independent decision making on their part. Additionally, there is an extremely inefficient managerial capacity and an obvious lack of dedication/motivation of the employed teachers who are paid minimum salaries and don’t have an incentive to do better. As a result of this, there is a high dropout rate.

The issues with Pakistan’s education sector don’t just end here. While the public education sector remains poorly funded, the private sector is unregulated and hence extremely costly for the poor, uneducated section of the population. The public school curriculum remains poorly structured and there is a large scale lack of physical infrastructure e.g proper school buildings etc. While all these problems are extremely significant in their own, what’s an even bigger problem is the accessibility of schools to children in the rural areas who remain deprived of education because even the nearest school is simply too far. Therefore, in order to maximize the educational output and the quality of education that is being provided in Pakistan, these issues need to be addressed in a systematic manner.

An efficient educational system, especially in developing countries, is imperative for the growth of the nation, for molding societies, changing mindsets and creating awareness amongst individuals. Sadly, in the case of Pakistan, the public educational sector suffers from serious inefficiencies and children who lack the resources to afford private education are forced to attend either public schools or the other more upsetting alternative; madrassas.

In Pakistan, the state is supposed to provide free primary education as per the constitution but sadly, education has actually never really been a top priority for the state and as a consequence of an inefficient public sector, parents have found alternatives. For example, according to the World Bank, 1 percent students leave public schools to attend madrassas because of the privileges they offer, for example, food and lodging in addition to religious education.

This topic is extremely relevant because currently, Pakistan is labeled as a terrorist country and madrassas are popularly known to be a breeding ground for terrorists. Therefore, it’s important for us to determine whether or not the public education sector has anything to do with the popularity of madrassas and whether or not the rise in terrorism can be solely attributed to madrassa education.

Having said this, there is a need for the government to look into this pressing issue and at least the need for educational reforms. According to the UNICEF, budgetary allocations for education need to be increased by four percent. While concentrating on primary education, the government should regularize the private schools to control their fees. The most important step is to end corruption in public education departments. In addition to these few things, a lot more needs to be done that will be discussed later in my thesis.

Therefore, keeping this in mind, the topic is extremely pertinent because it establishes the need for educational reforms in Pakistan and hence its relevance cannot be questioned.

This brings us to an analysis of the historical perspective on education in Pakistan, which will enable us to see what all has been done till now and whether it has proven to be fruitful or not in terms of educational performance/output. While analyzing the educational sector of Pakistan, one needs to realize that there are primarily three types of schools; firstly the private (elite) institutions meant for the higher income group; secondly, the public (government) schools that cater to the lower income groups of the population and thirdly the Madrassah, which is also known as the mosque or the religious school.

As far as private schools are concerned, they are more of a necessity than anything else for the current Pakistani society, primarily because the government has failed to fulfill its responsibility to provide education of good quality for its population. Sadly, a significant number of parents, including those belonging to the lower income groups, are inclined towards sending their children to more expensive, private schools in order to enable their children to become competitive with the rest, by receiving better quality education.

In addition to this, budget allocation for education has always remained an issue in Pakistan It is understandable that Pakistan, being a struggling economy, has budgetary constraints but even then; its allocation for education is much lower than it should be. The Pakistani government only allocates around 3% of its total yearly budget to education. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO), countries that are under-developed should allocate almost 4 % of their annual GDP towards education. As an example, Chad can be quoted, which is amongst the poorest countries in the world and yet allocated close to 6% for education in its most recent budget.

The quality of education being imparted in public schools in addition to their overall condition is deteriorating day by day. There is an increasing number of public schools that are merely “ghost schools,” that are only present on paper and use up resources but don’t actually exist. The education departments of all four provinces are paying the salaries of thousands of teachers that are apparently employees of these ‘ghost’ schools and this corrupt practice is a major drain on the education funds of the country. In reality, these teachers don’t teach since these schools don’t even exist. They only show up every month to collect their pay cheques.

According to a survey carried out in 1998 in Sindh and Punjab, there were around 700 secondary and primary ghost schools and 18,000 “ghost” teachers in Punjab, and in Sindh there were 340 ghost schools and 7,000 ghost teachers.

Currently, the Pakistani government claims that the country has a 47% literacy rate. However, the authenticity of this is highly in doubt since independent analysts and organizations have estimated it to be around 20%.

Now, with this as the prevailing situation of the education sector of Pakistan, it is seen that 4% of all students actually attend madrassas, with their curriculum highly questionable and their teaching process also objectionable. This is issue is extremely upsetting, not just for the Pakistani population but also for the international community which has its security at risk since these madrassas are known to create militants, just like we saw the Taliban were created by these madrassas.

1.2 Educational Inputs, Educational outcomes and the Millennium Development Goals on Education for Pakistan
1.3 A critical review of Educational efficiencies in Pakistan

Education plays a crucial role in the formation of human capital. It leads to a sustainable economic development by raising the productivity and efficiency of individuals. However, the situation of Pakistan is not very encouraging as there are a variety of factors which lead to a decline in the following sector. These factors include:

The low level of primary school enrolment

Extensive inequalities between the regions of a country and between both genders

Lack of skilled and competent teachers

Absence of suitable teaching materials

Schools of insufficient physical infrastructure

Poor performance in the education sector results from lack of investment in this sector.

Public expenditure on education in recent years is 2.2 percent. Moreover, the allocation of government funds is restricted to higher education so that the upper income class receives benefits of public subsidies. Brain drain is a result of the educational inefficiencies in Pakistan and the consequences are that of a large public loss.

In Pakistan, both primary and secondary education is facing a downward trend. There are a variety of other inefficiencies that Education Sector in Pakistan suffers. These include poor efficiency standards of program implementation, poor funding or financial input, and poor management standards, supervision and teaching. Consequently, Pakistan has the lowest literacy rate even among countries of similar resources and similar social and economic setups.

Efforts have been made to reduce the inefficiencies in the education sector but these efforts are not sufficient. The increase in supply of educational infrastructure or the elimination of the supply side constraints can play a vital role in increasing literacy and education of the people. The allocation of budget in the development of the education sector has been considerably low. The quality of teachers appointed is also critical in case of Pakistan. The minimum qualification requirement is that of matriculation which is significantly low. Training programs should be provided to the government teachers. In case of private schools as well the quality of teachers is to be improved.

Education offers the base for socio-economic development. The main reason why poor countries do not grow is lack of education. In spite the present government in Pakistan has taken immediate measures to improve the quality and quantity of education, the quality of education is on a declining path. The quality of teachers also plays a significant role in the improvement of education sector. The education sector of Pakistan is facing new challenges and yet needs to be developed further more.

1.4 Educational Dualism, social gaps and the Class conflict
1.5 Islamization in Pakistan, religious education and the Madrassa Culture

Islamization can be described as the imposition of an Islamist social and political style on a society with a more mixed understanding of Islam. In Pakistan islamization was brought by Zia ul Haq in 1970s. Much of the turmoil in the present situation can be dated back to the late 1970s, when General Zia Ul Haq’s rise to power and his subsequent “Islamization” plan led to the most important events i.e. the large scale Islamic Revolution that took place in Iran and secondly the Russian invasion of Pakistan’s neighbor Afghanistan.

In Pakistan education is acquired through two mediums. It can be obtain through religious education or private/government schools. Religious education is acquired in Madrassas where individuals are taught bu Ullema. Madaris largely educate children who are neglected by the national educational system. Around 20 million populations do not attend school. The poor can mostly not afford the cost of uniforms, books, supplies, and transportation expenses. Many children are forced to leave school due to poor education standards. Moreover, the absenteeism of teachers is also very high. There are a variety of other problems being faced by the public education system.

The role of Madrassas or religious institution has changed in Pakistan over time. The madrassas have been altered from a place to preserve Islamic teachings and knowledge from the influence of the west and the colonial politics to a place that is used for the purpose of mobilization by political forces.

Government mistreatment of religious activists after the creation of Pakistan, for example uninformed arrest and imprisonment and bans on political parties and various religious associations, has continued the mutual feeling of doubts between religious schools and governments. However, it was only since the 1980s that these mosque schools promoted organized forms of violence against the state or other forces. The change in the role of the madrassah is therefore fairly recent.

Madrassa is a place where Quran is recited; however, the meaning of this place has changed. It is now used for other political purposes. Parents send their children to madaris for a variety of reasons. Many madaris are free; provide children with a place to sleep and meals as well as books and instruction. The most obvious reason for sending one’s child to a madrassah is often overlooked.

1.6 The nature, diversity & complexity of terrorism in Pakistan
1.7 Keywords and Definitions

Gross Enrollment Rate (GER): The number of children attending primary school (irrespective of

age) divided by the number of children who ought to be attending.

Net Enrollment Rate (NER): The number of children enrolled in primary school of primary school age (5-9 years) divided by the number of children in the age group for that level of education.

Gender Parity Index (GPI): The ratio of females’ enrollment to males’ enrollment.

Educational Quality: The standard of overall education being imparted.

Educational Reforms: An education reform is a plan, program, or movement which attempts to bring about some positive change in education, usually within a given nation, province, or community. It is a plan or movement which attempts to bring about a systematic change in educational theory or practice across a community or society. (WordIQ)

Educational Policy: The ongoing strategy being followed by the government pertaining to education

Terrorism: The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear. (Wordweb-Princeton)


Educational Input:

Educational Output:

1.8 Study Objectives

Chapter 2
2.1 Educational Achievements & Educational efficiencies: A cross country evidence on performance gaps and lags

The article by Nicholas Stern, basically states that the path of removing all sort of institutional inefficiencies and reduction of poverty rate through the process of investing in the education sector to represent that the educational efficiencies play a vital role in not only in increase in literary rate but also reducing most of the problems faced by the developing countries. Moreover it states that India’s high growth was possible because of the reform program which enhanced the competitiveness and openness along with increasing the investment at both national and state level. Further on India also took steps of expansion of education, including education for girls increasing literacy levels significantly.

This article highlighted that government and institutions played a major in effecting the expected productivity returns from the investment as they influence the levels of difficulty in registering and start of firms, export and import movement of goods through customs and also paying taxes in a transparent manner. In the case of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, surveys showed that the poor governance and unnecessary bureaucratic have been major obstruction to investment and growth ultimately effecting the educational sector.

The difference in quality of types of infrastructure, which include plant, power, port, telecommunication, road, and railway etc play crucial part in educational development. Lack of infrastructure had lead to higher cost of implementation of educational facilities and reduction in productivity due to high literacy rate. Moreover the role of Small and medium-size enterprise (SME) sector provides funds to rural areas where most of the poor people reside therefore increasing their standard of living and ultimately leading the awareness about education and low illiteracy rate. Deregulation, reduced corruption and improved governance are some of the important factor to help in allocation of resources. Further on, on the government end, the regulations on the private sector need to be eased and efficient which would not only reduce the burden on the private sector but also encourage competitiveness and efficiency in the institutions.

In the case of Pakistan, a sustained growth can be achieved by improving the quality of the labor force through the improvement in the educational sector and also reducing the gender education gap to yield maximum payoffs. Although the current situation is unsatisfactory and there is a long way to go but it can achieved through well-defined educational policies and reforms to be implanted in institutions to stimulate innovation, intensify human capital base of Pakistan and enhance the quality of schooling. Initiatives have been taken by the nongovernmental agencies and local communities in working together with the government to raise the education standard especially girls in the poor rural areas. In conclusion improving educational standards would lead to reduction in problems of malnutrition, infant and child mortality and disease prevalence causing a sustained economic growth.

2.2 An overview of Educational policies and reforms in developing and developed countries

the importance of education in the developing world can be judged from the fact that eight out of the ten of the worlds children live in the developing world. there are a lot of problems being faced by the education system of the developing world and the educational policies have a lot to do with it. Educational reforms are required when the policies that have put into place are not working to achieve what they had set out to achieve. The reform are taken essentially to make do a number of things, namely improving the administration and content in terms of the access, quality and relevance.

Primarily the educational reforms taken in the developing world has been to increase the enrollment to the schools as well as reducing the disparity of the gender. The policies in the developing world have been geared towards the integrating the children socially as they often belong to varying multicultural backgrounds. This being said however many of the developing countries have faced acute shortage of trained workers and therefore have focused their attention more towards after basic education rather than focusing on the important part of the educational process i.e. Basic education.poverty is one of the major factors in the developing world and there fore the educational policies has thus far been a major contributor in the policy making process.

A major reform in the policy came after the World conference on Education for all which was held in thailand in 1990. this policy was aimed towards striking a balance between the economic, social and culture of the countries in question. After the conference a lot of changes were witnessed throughout the developing world. It was pointed out that a balance was required in terms of basic and post basic education. There was also a lot of stress put on upon the micro level reforms. One major change in the policy that was witnessed soon after was that the national and local governments were increasingly given more authority in terms administration and finances.

Another major reform was seen after the World Education Forum which was held in Senegal in 2000. This year saw something different as the civil society raised their voices and asked the donor countries to provide more aid as well as forcing a change in the policy adopted by the governments.

After strict actions taken by the donor countries in the year 2002, significant changes and improvements to the policy have been made since then in the developing world. A lot of improvements in the education system were witnessed where a lot of Asian countries improved their educational policies dramatically and focused on providing a well rounded education for all people of all classes regardless of their social standing or ethnicity.

The situation has been much different in the developed world where the policies and the reforms were geared towards a totally different education system. In the developed world the primary focuses has been college education in the recent years as this is where the developed world feels that most can be gained. There has been a lot of public funding for schools as the importance of a good education have been witnessed. Recently however there has been a shift in spending more towards human capital development and many changes in the policies have been made in order to incorporate this into the educational system.

The policy that the developed nations followed was based on the idea of quality. Now quality in education was based upon the productivity and growth. Quality however, is something very tricky to achieve and in trying to pursue this some reforms have been made in the recent years in the United States and the rest of the developing world. This change in policy has seen as providing more resources to the schools in question and reforms have been made in this regard. The recent years as seen through amendments in policy a more child supportive education where the class sizes have dropped and the expenditures of the students have risen. The policy in most of the developed world has been decentralized and this has worked to their advantage where the education level has risen dramatically over the last 40 years.

The recent amendments in the educational policy in the developed countries has been due the change in the way the governments view education and the requirements for jobs. There has been a higher focus on getting the highest level of education and so the policy is such that it gives the maximum number of resources to the students pursuing higher education.

2.3 Data Instruments and Indicators of assessing Educational quality and efficiencies
2.4 Educational Dualism, social gaps and social distortions: Origin and evolution of Madrassa Culture

2.5 The theory and dynamics of terrorism

2.5.1 Failure of the confidence building measures between India & Pakistan

India and Pakistan have been primarily viewed as rivals since the inception of both nations in 1947. There have been numerous attempts at trying confidence building measures (CBM) to diffuse the tension between the nuclear armed nations. CBM’s are steps taken by the governments of both sides in order to build an atmosphere of trust and confidence and leading to reducing in the tension witnessed by both countries. CBM’s may be of varying types, military, cultural and on a diplomatic level. There have been numerous tries and CBM’s working but have always failed due to a number of different reasons. The first reason is of water which is a big area of dispute and an are where conflict arises and measures to control it are often ignored. The next thing for the failure of the CBM’s is the war on terror, there is a air of mistrust after the Mumbai terror attacks and as a result a fallout has been witnessed In the most recent CBM’s. The Indian side feels that they have been taken advantage of where the Pakistan side is mistrusting of India’s role in Afghanistan and the resulting terror attacks in Pakistan.

2.5.2 Balance of terrorism between India & Pakistan & Proxy wars

The dynamics of terrorism and its definition have had a total revamp in the years after September 11th 2001. Terrorism is seen in a more intolerant light in the recent years. This had led to a sort of blame game between India and Pakistan as they have blamed each other for inciting terrorism in their respective countries. India has repeated blamed Pakistan for waging proxy wars and supporting cross border terrorism and after 9/11 India had a stable platform on to which the idea was pushed forward. The main issue for India has been Kashmir where the Indian state says that there is state approved terrorism in Kashmir.

Pakistan on the hand blames India of doing the same in Baluchistan and is very vary of India’s presence in Afghanistan. Pakistan believes that India is the won that has started the proxy wars and feels compelled to blame India for inciting terrorism within the state. Therefore the main problem is both countries blaming each other and not making much effort in trying to remove the conflict issues. This issue of terrorism is affecting both countries more so Pakistan internally and externally and therefore requires immediate attention in order to move towards a peaceful resolution.

2.5.3 Geopolitics of International relations, the Russia-Afghanistan war and the role of Pakistan

The soviet influence in Afghanistan has increased dramatically after the coup. The Americans enlisted the help of Pakistan in order to win the cold war. Pakistan was the place where the “Islamic Resistance” took place from. The state allowed thousands of “Mujaheddin” to make cross border raids into the Soviet controlled Afghanistan. Pakistan was very careful in providing hidden help to the Mujaheddin and played an integral role in the war. The state of Pakistan was the one that trained the jihads and encouraged Muslim fighters from all over the world to come and participate in the war against the non believers. Al tough Pakistan was successful defeating USSR there were a number of spill over effects that are still plaguing Pakistan to this moment. Now the mujaheddin that once the ISI itself trained have become a huge problem for the state and have caused havoc in the country en citing terrorist activities. The tables have quite literally turned and it is now Pakistan which is facing the problems that had caused the downfall of the Soviet Union.

2.5.4 The War economy of Pakistan and the Madrassa culture

In the offset of the war on terror the military has been forced to tone down many policies that fostered extremism. Madrassas are schools which provide free religious education and are mostly schools for the poor and the needy. A huge number of children in Pakistan over one and a half million children attend the madrassas and get religious education from them. The madrassa culture has been instilled into Pakistan’s culture for centuries now and that is why this is so deep rooted. Slowly it has built its way up to something that is an integral part of the culture and the education system of Pakistan.

All of the education provided in the madrassas is free and therefore begs the question of what are the sources of funds for these religious schools. The people at the madrassas say that the local community supports them and that all the money comes from charity but there are people who say that it was funded by the state and now is the funding comes from various secretive sources including the Indian government. This has now made the madrassas into something of an economic entity and therefore a lot more is at stake than previously presumed so.

2.5.5 The 9/11 incidence, US invasion in Afghanistan and the war against terrorism

The attack on the twin towers on September the 11th 2001 was one that changed the course of history forever for all the world combined. No place was left that was not affected by the incident. After the attack the US took stern action and attacked Afghanistan iss ue of finding Osama, the person behind the terrorist attack. This lead to a huge war break out in Afghanistan where American forces invaded Afghanistan and hunted for Taliban. This war against terrorism was something that America felt very strongly about and wanted all its allies to join in .

Pakistan became the front line state for the war against terrorism and one of Americas strongest allies in the war. This was due to the geographical position that Pakistan was in and Pakistan shifted all of its military towards the Afghanistan border with the intention of eradicating all sources of terrorism in the area. This had profound affects on all aspects of Pakistan including political and financial and the result was a full war that Pakistan is continuing to fight against terrorists.

2.5.6 Rebound effect of military operations and the rise of terrorism

The military operation carried out by the armed forces of Pakistan was done to eradicate terrorism and win the war on terror. This however is completely opposite of what was actually achieved through the war. The main problem was that the people of Pakistan did not think of this as their war but thought that Pakistan was just fighting Americas war in order to please them. This resulted in negative sentiment for the government and on top of that the several hundreds of innocent civilians killed each month either by drone strikes from the US or from the Pakistani military it bred negative sentiment amongst the uneducated people who took matter into their own hands and then ensued a string a terrorist attacks that shook the core of the country. the recent years has witnesses a tremendous rise in the inbred terrorists and suicide bombings and this has a direct correaltion to the increase in the miltiary operation and the perceived stance of the miltiary.

Chapter III: Methodology & Analytical Choices
3.1 Framework of Analysis

Employment in services (% of total employment) 3.1.1. Theoretical Framework

Educational Reforms (Dummy variable)

Expenditure on Public Education – % GDP

Transition ratio (secondary enrolment to primary enrolment)

Annual Madrassa Enrollment

Pupil-teacher ratio, primary

GDP per capita growth (annual %)

Literacy rate

Government Effectiveness

Political stability and absence of violence

Unemployment, total (% of total labor force)

Expenditure on Health – % GDP

Total victims of terrorist activities

GDP per capita growth (annual %)

GINI coefficient

Poverty headcount ratio at $1.25 a day (PPP) (% of population)

PPP conversion factor, private consumption (LCU per international $)

3.1.2. Theoretical justification

I will now move on to explain how theoretically speaking; the chosen independent variables are relevant to the scope of this study. Two models have been developed, as shown above and each model has different explanatory variable, which I will explain one by one.

To begin with, the first model aims to shows the impact of policy reform failure on annual madrassa enrolment in the country. The theoretical link here is that the failure of educational reforms compromises the ed