The recent report published by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training titled Pakistan Education Statistics 2013-14 make for a grim reading. Despite lofty aims by the present Government on how the standard of education and enrollment figures are on the rise the report is in stark contrast to these claims. According to the report the primary school enrolment rate in the country has not seen much improvement in the last four years.
The most alarming bit about the report is the figure for high schools enrolment that has declined from 2,835,326 in 2012-13 to 2,318,840 students in 2013-14. According to the report 35 percent of schools in the country do not have the basic facility of clean drinking water, 31 percent schools don’t even have toilets and 41pc are without electricity. Out of the total 11.2 million male primary-school-age children in the country, 2.6 million are out of school, 53 per cent of them live in Punjab. Punjab is the province who has the Metro buses high on its agenda, after the 30 billion metro bus project in Lahore, the metro bus project was forced on the residents of Rawalpindi at the cost of nearly 50 billion. The project which was scheduled to be completed in January this year is still on going. The humongous and unnecessary expenditure on the metro bus project could have been used in the education sector where kids who are the future of the country are without even basic facilities like clean drinking water, electricity and sanitation. The Government seriously needs to rethink its strategy of launching mega projects that may have an impact on swaying voters in the elections but do little to improve the basic problems that the country faces.