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     January  02,  2016




There is a learning crisis in developing countries where children are either poorly educated or denied in education all together. some countries invest more in their armed forces than in the classrooms and educational institutes. Pakistan is one of those developing countries where education sector is facing alot of issues. We all know that additional schooling can lead to higher income, which helps in feeding the child and the overall economy but the authorities of our country are more concerned with other sectors like the military, politics etc. Education is the fundamental human right and is the best tool for tackling poverty and other issues, if we look at what are the actual problems of learning crisis than we see that the it is among the underdeveloped or rural areas where allot of kids are getting into schools but there is still a problem of a number of marginalized groups who are not actually getting a learning opportunity. These are the kids who live in conflicted areas, almost half of the kids who are out of schools in Pakistan live in areas affected by armed conflict , war and violence. These are the kids who are rural, who are very poor and often times these are girls.

Secondly, hundreds or millions of kids are in schools in Pakistan today but there is a shocking data according to which Out of the total 11.2 million male primary-school-age children in the country, 2.6 million are out of school, this shows that there are million of kids who are struggling to get education or learn the most foundational skills. For example there is an incredible data that children in Pakistan who are at grade 7 (they are in lower secondary school) can barely reach grade 10 or higher secondary. This goes around the globe in almost all developing countries, so the kids are not learning the foundational skills needed. Another issue relevant to this problem is many of the children are not getting education that prepare them for the jobs of today anf tomorrow, the kids who end up being able to the master foundational skills , progress on to higher education such as secondary schools and colleges, where they are not learning the relevant skills that they need for their own lives and for job opportunities. They are being trained in an old way of education that was more suited to a colonial area that trained government employees and bureaucrats but infact that is not where the job growth is, Job growth is in private sectors, enterprise where you need a critical thinking, team work and all sort of transferable skills that kids are not acquiring.

The next issue in learning process worth mentioning here is the education of girls, there is a very high demand for education , it is just that there is a range of pressures on the family and girls get the last straw. There are families who are really very poor so one copying mechanism that they have is to marry their girls off, that gives them a little bit of resources that frees up some of their burden. This is a strategy that many of the families who are desperately poor choose, and often time it is frankly the lack of interest of families to offer all their children education and additionally just a range of copying mechanism that leads the girls at the bottom.

Spending more on the security is the next hurdle in learning process. Pakistan is a country that is facing a serious challenge of terrorism today, which is becoming a huge hurdle for allocation of resources in education sector. Pakistan is a country that donít even spend nearly enough on education, we spend more on other things like  security and other sectors. There is no hard and fast rule but we do see that most of the countries around the globe puts around 4% of their GDP towards education, these are the countries who are quiet successful. But in our country we spend hardly 2% of our GDP on education. Pakistan was last measured at 2.49 in 2013, according to the World Bank. the attention of our authorities needs to be grabbed towards this issue but unfortunately we are not trying to solve it which is for sure a big issue for our young generation going to be the future leaders.

A solid base of a country needs good, numerous critical thinking and life and labour skills, brcause that really is a long term sustainable path out of poverty and destitution for our country which certainly exastabates the political conflicts going on. At the end what we actually need to do is, take the idea of learning as the end goal rather than access as the bend goal which is what we have been doing till now, and seriously change the way we use our resources, invest more in childhood gaining sort of foundational skills and transitioning to relevant secondary education with relevant curriculum. These things just with the existing resources would make a big difference in future

Samrana Ayub


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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