State of education improving in Pakistan: survey

Out-of-school children drop to 17 percent in 2018 as compared to 19 percent in 2016


Zaigham Naqvi February 20, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 released here on Tuesday, 83 percent children aged between 6 and 16 years are enrolled in schools as compared to 81 percent in 2016.

The survey was conducted by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in joint cooperation of civil society and partner bodies including Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD), Community Research and Development Organization (CRDO), Community Motivation and Development Organization (CMDO), Development Alternatives, Hamza Development Foundation, Society for Human Development and EHED Foundation.

According to the report, 11,000 volunteers visited 154 districts (new districts added in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan) in 4,527 villages.
The ASER gathered information from 89,966 households and assessed 260,069 children aged between 3 to 16 years.

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For the year 2018, the ASER rural survey took into account 196,253 children between 5 to 16 years of age and assessed their competence in local languages (Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto), English, and Arithmetic. The report aimed to see progress or lack thereof with respect to Article 25A of the constitution making education a fundamental right for children between 5 to 16 years of age since 2010 and tracking advancement towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, assessing learning at the lower primary level.

According to the report, proportion of out-of-school children had decreased to 17 percent in 2018 as compared 19 percent in 2016.
The report said that nationally there was a constant gender gap in out-of-school children. More girls than boys have either not been enrolled or have dropped out of school.

Early childhood education was also assessed in the report. It stated that from 2014, the enrolment recorded at 39 percent declined to 37 percent in 2015, 36 in 2016 and rose to 37 percent in 2018 again in rural areas of the country.

The report said that quality of education has improved as compared to the past. The statistics show that 56pc of class five children could read a class two-level story in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto compared to 52pc in 2016.

In English, 52pc of class five children could read sentences of class two-level compared to 46pc in 2016. For Arithmetic, 53pc of class five children could do two-digit division as compared to 48pc in 2016.
For language (Urdu), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) with 78pc, Information and Communication Technologies-Islamabad 75pc, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 58pc and Punjab with 69pc have taken the lead.

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For English, AJK with 92pc, Gilgit-Baltistan 63pc, Punjab 65, and KP 55pc were found to be the best in terms of assessment results whereas in Arithmetic too AJK secured 73pc, GB 63pc, Punjab 60pc and KP with 69pc were on the top. The survey also explained that boys were outperforming girls in educational and numerical skills with 47pc able to read at least sentences in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto as compared to 43pc of the latter.

The ASER rural figures also showed that teachers overall attendance in government schools stood at 87pc as compared to 89 percent in private schools on the day of the survey.
The private school teachers were reported to have better qualifications. As many as 42pc teachers in private schools are graduates compared to 36pc in government schools.

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