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One Pakistan News

Published Date: Jun 21, 2013

Pakistan District Education Rankings released

Alif
Ailaan and Sustainable Development Policy Institute Thursday released the first
ever Pakistan District Education Rankings, an in-depth assessment of the state
of education in the country. While the results are not heartening, they
highlight specific issues in the quality of education and the availability of
facilities district by district.

The
new government has a massive task of tackling the education emergency facing
Pakistan. It is a matter of great shame for us that 25 million children are out
of school. Strong political will is needed to change this. We not only need to
focus on increasing enrolment but also ensure that quality is not neglected. My
government is preparing a plan for accelerated delivery of education for
all,  said Baligh ur Rahman, State Minister for Education while speaking
at the occasion.

This
ground-breaking study, conducted in association with the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI), shows how widely education standards vary
across the country. One of the goals of the report is to serve as a benchmark
against which the performance of politicians, administrators and education
providers can be assessed. It will also provide a baseline against which future
progress or deterioration can be measured.

The
big picture in education is stark and demands urgent action,  said
Mosharraf Zaidi, Team Leader, Alif Ailaan.  With this report we hope to
generate informed public debate about Pakistan s education emergency.

The
report dispels commonly held perceptions, such as the idea that providing
infrastructure and facilities will automatically improve the overall quality of
education. In fact this is not the case, as demonstrated by the findings for
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), which ranks highest in terms of the quality of
education but lowest in terms of school infrastructure.

Similarly,
it is surprising that no district in Sindh makes it in the top fifty, not even
Karachi. Meanwhile, Punjab takes the top position in the overall provincial
rankings while Balochistan is  the worst performing province.  The
bottom line here is that very few districts are performing as Pakistani parents
would want them to. This should be a wake-up call for the government. We need
to see a dramatic improvement in education, if we are not to lose the next
generation to illiteracy and poverty,  said the principal author of the
report, Asif Saeed Memon, of SDPI.

An
interactive  Education and Budget  map, the first of its kind in
Pakistan, was also launched at  the event. Available on the Alif Ailaan
website, the map allows users to access key education statistics for each
district and to send a letter to elected representatives in each constituency,
pressing them to play their role in ending Pakistan s education emergency. To
reinforce the message, Alif Ailaan will also post a copy of each letter sent
through the map directly to the MNA or MPA in question.