ISLAMABAD: Even as the country continues to struggle with a massive out-of-school population, the government said there was some good news with enrolment at pre-primary rising by 16.8 per cent in 2016-17.
This was disclosed in the Economic Survey of Pakistan for 2017-18, released by the Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail on Thursday. The survey, though, included figures for 2016-17 since a survey could not be completed in 2017-18 owing to the census activity.
The survey said that enrollment in pre-primary level had risen to 11.44 million in 2016-17, compared to 9.792 million in 2015-16.
The enrollment level is estimated to increase by a further by 7.8 per cent to 12.33 million in 2017-18.
On the other hand, in primary education from classes I-V, a total of 169.6 million primary schools had 475.2 million teachers teaching in it in 2016-17.
An increase of 0.6 per cent in primary enrollment was witnessed, taking it to 21.69 million in 2016-17 against 21.551 million in 2015-16. The primary enrollment is estimated to further increase to 22.521 million in 2017-18, the report added.
However, enrollment gender tilt was still in favour of boys, especially at the primary level, with the national average of boys at 56 and girls at 51 for 2015-16. It was stark in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with ratios of 58 and 47, while Balochistan had ratios of 38 and 26. Punjab had a closer ratio of 60 and 58, while Sindh had ratios of 52 and 44.
“Reduction of regional and gender disparity in human development is necessary to improve social indicators,” the survey noted, adding that the government intends to create a knowledge based society for accelerating the on-going development process.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2018.