According to media reports, Pakistan’s federal government has announced that the families of more than 3 million poor children in Pakistan will receive cash stipends if their children go to school as a tribute to a schoolgirl shot by the Taleban. The announcement was made to mark “Malala Day” which was celebrated around the world. Pakistan is celebrating “Malala Day” with the hope that government will provide equal education opportunities for everyone.
The government has also launched a four-year literacy program under which more than three million children of poor families especially girls will get free education in Pakistan. Unfortunately, despite declining graph of education system in the country, the government is just taking cosmetics steps to fool people. The real state of education is far from ideal in Pakistan. Recent statistics show grim picture of education sector in Pakistan.
According to UNESCO some 7 million children in Pakistan are out of primary schools in which 60 percent are girls. Only 20 percent of girls have completed primary level schooling in rural areas of Pakistan. Literacy rate of girls in northern Pakistan is only 6 percent. Despite all of these challenges Pakistan spends less of its national budget on education than other small South Asian countries like Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.
As a matter of fact several Western and the UN-funded schools are just alive on papers and have no physical presence. Ghost schools and ghost teachers are true reality of Pakistan’s education sector. — Khawaja Umer Farooq