To put it bluntly, education sector dismal: Pakistani daily

November 1st, 2010 - 1:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Nov 1 (IANS) Pakistan’s education sector requires serious attention, a leading Pakistan daily said while labelling the situation “quite dismal”.

The Dawn said in an editorial that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s admission that the nationalisation of schools and colleges in the early 1970s by the Pakistan Peoples Party founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was a mistake is likely to revive debate on the issue.

“In real terms, the policy has effectively been rolled back over the past couple of decades and now private schools and colleges proliferate across the country.

“But the prime minister’s assertion is nevertheless important for two reasons: one, because reflection on policy issues is a much-needed quality that political parties rarely display; and two, because the wider state of education in Pakistan continues to remain dismal and requires serious attention.”

It said that the wave of nationalisation across the country under Z.A. Bhutto “occurred in the context of an international lurch towards left-wing politics. It was fashionable, it was simplistic and it proved thoroughly ill-advised”.

While observing that the objective behind nationalising the education sector was laudable, the editorial said “it ended up destroying quality institutions while creating a new avenue for corruption”.

Expressing concern over the state of education in Pakistan, it said: “…to put it bluntly, (it is) quite dismal”.

The State Bank’s latest annual report says that the country remains behind regional countries in the education sector.

“The report highlights a familiar litany of problems afflicting the sector: low female and rural literacy, low primary completion rate, high pupil-teacher ratio, inefficient budgetary allocation, limited physical infrastructure and lack of trained teachers.”

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