Learning limbo

This letter addresses the re­cently released Pakistan Ed­ucation Statistics 2021-2022 re­port, compiled by the Pakistan Institute of Education, which highlights considerable deficien­cies in terms of enrolment and ed­ucational infrastructure.

The most disturbing finding per­tains to out-of-school children; the report states that over 26 million youngsters fall within this catego­ry. As a percentage, this comes to 39%, affecting nearly 40% of chil­dren in the country. To put things in perspective, almost 40% of chil­dren in Pakistan today have no chance of acquiring a basic educa­tion, leading to a life of exploitation and poverty in adulthood.

However, the status of educa­tional infrastructure is no less dis­tressing. In an age where young minds are being introduced to AI and robotics, only 15% of schools in Balochistan have electricity. Oth­er problems include the lack of toi­lets in schools. These infrastruc­tural issues need to be dealt with. According to the report, the teach­er-student ratio in primary schools is 1:39 which shows the dire need to hire more teachers.

Pakistan will never be able to change course unless it succeeds in educating all its children, and that too with the tools needed to compete in the global economy, not simply regurgitating ideology or outdated lessons. The mainstream parties vying to rule Pakistan must vow to address these educational deficiencies and start the transfor­mative process that can make us a member of the league of nations that values knowledge.



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