Where is foreign aid going?

Daily Times, July 22, 2005
"50% state-run schools have no basic facilities"
By Irfan Ghauri

ISLAMABAD: Of 135,365 state-run primary schools across the country, 50 percent have no drinking water, lavatories and boundary walls while 73 percent have no electricity, said a study report on the state of children’s education in Pakistan.

Save the Children UK, Pakistan Programme Office conducted the study. The report said that 30 percent middle schools were without water and washrooms while 40 percent were without electricity and boundary walls. Teacher absenteeism was a key factor behind low enrolment and a high dropout rate.

The study suggested that gender disparity in terms of access to basic education was still wide enough and Pakistan was unlikely to meet the millennium development goals. The data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that during 2001-2003, female enrolment increased by nine percent compared to 4.48 male enrolment, female enrolment for middle classes increased by 6.59 percent compared to 2.73 percent male enrolment.

The economic survey data showed that during 2001-2004, combined private primary enrolment increased by 6.36 percent for girls and 3.56 percent for boys.

Pakistan had a net primary enrolment ratio of 76 percent for males and 57 percent for females during 1998-2002. This amounts to a total of 12 million children in schools out of a total population of 20 million from 5 to 9 years old, based on a rough assessment and given the fact that only 20 percent births are registered in Pakistan. According to government targets, total primary enrolment should be 19.5 million by 2010.

According to various estimates there was a 50 to 70 percent dropout in the first five years of schooling.

Between 2001 and 2003, primary enrolment increased by 6.33 percent, middle by 4.22 percent and secondary by 2.12 percent. The economic survey data reports 17.41 million combined public and private primary enrolments. Interviews and field surveys confirmed an increase in the enrolment trend in recent years, especially among girls, report added.

Incentive packages for private sector, targeting rural areas has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of the private educational institutions. The last private school survey (FBS 2001) found a total of 36,096 private schools in Pakistan. The private sector investment in education was 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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