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The Nation

Published Date: Jun 21, 2013

Punjab tops Pakistan district Education Rankings

Out
of a maximum education score of 100, only six districts have been rated in the
80s and none in the 90s with Poonch the highest-ranking district in the country
scoring 82.94, according to a district education ranking.

There
are only a few districts where the education system seems to be working
effectively and of the six highest scoring districts in the education rankings,
four are in Punjab, one is in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the other is
Islamabad Capital Territory. Just 98 out of 145 districts score above 50,
suggesting that the overall standard of education across the country is average
at best. Across the country, the majority of districts score between 40 and 70
points in the education index. 
The education index that measures the quality of education, using four
indicators: access to education, attainment levels (surviving until the 5th
grade), achievement levels (reading and math ability) and gender parity has
rated top ten districts as: Poonch, Islamabad, Chakwal, Sialkot, Rawalpindi,
Jhelum, Narowal, Lahore, Hunza Nagar, and Haripur.

The
schools index that measures the quality of infrastructure and facilities, using
five indicators: electricity, water, toilets, boundary walls and the condition
of the building rates Islamabad number one while other districts follow as:
Vehari, Gujrat, Lodhran, Mandi Bahauddin, Bannu, Lahore, Toba Tek Singh,
Charsadda, and Chakwal.   

The
Pakistan District Education Rankings 2013, an in-depth assessment of the state
of education in the country that focuses on primary education, not secondary or
tertiary was launched Thursday by Alif Ailaan. The study, conducted in
association with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), shows how
widely education standards vary across the country.

Surprisingly,
there are no districts from Sindh in the top 50 and it ranks low in the
education rankings despite the fact that Sindh’s school facilities are better
than most other provinces. Karachi, the highest-ranked district in the
province, is at number 56 nationwide. Meanwhile, Punjab takes the top position
in the overall provincial rankings while Balochistan is the worst performing province.
The education index rate provinces and territories as: AJK with score 77.96,
Punjab 68. 78, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) 67.45, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK) 63.79,
Sindh 51.67, FATA 47.42, and Balochistan 46.70.  School index rate
provinces and territories as:  Punjab scoring 83.47, Sindh 66.70, KPK
66.18,  FATA 35.17, Balochistan 26.61, G-B 26.22 and AJK 23. 60.

The
study shows that within Punjab, the northern districts perform the best,
followed by central Punjab, while southern Punjab lags far behind. The
highest-ranking district in southern Punjab is Bahawalnagar, which is ranked
20th out of 36 districts in the province. Southern Punjab does well in the
school index, with Lodhran and Vehari in the top 10.

Within
KPK, the districts of Abbottabad and Haripur rank the highest in the education
index while Balochistan fares the poorest overall, 14 of its 30 districts score
above 50 in the education index.  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 AJK, which ranks highest in terms of
the quality of education but lowest in terms of school infrastructure.

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.
""The big picture in education is stark and demands urgent action,"
said Mosharraf Zaidi, Team Leader, Alif Ailaan. Federal Minister for Education
and Training and Standards for Higher Education Baligh ur Rahman, Asif Saeed
Memon of SDPI, Dr. Baela Raza Jamil of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi and Ahmed Ali of
(I-SAPS) also spoke on the state of education and available resources and
political will.