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Dawn

Published Date: May 23, 2014

Rankings reveal state of education in Pakistan

The second annual education rankings of 146 districts in the
country show that Islamabad Capital Territory is the best performing
region in terms of overall standards of education, followed by Punjab
and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According the report,
unveiled on Thursday by Alif Ailaan, in terms of primary schools, the
top-scoring districts are mostly from Punjab (see table 1). In contrast,
the top scoring areas in terms of middle school performance were nearly
all districts from Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK (see table 2).

In
the provincial scores, Sindh had improved its ranking while Khyber
Paktunkhwa had slipped a few places. Fata, unfortunately, remains at the
bottom of the list.

Under the ranking system, each province,
territory, district and agency is scored on a scale of 0 to 100.
According to Alif Ailaan, data is collated from various official sources
on enrolment, literacy, learning outcomes, gender ratios and survival
rates. On this index, Islamabad scored 83.75 points and stood first,
Lahore remained at sixth with 82.58 points, Quetta at 31st with 70.99
points, Karachi at 40th with 68.51 points and Peshawar bagged the 68th
position by obtaining 61.04 points.

The points were awarded to each district on
the basis of enrolments in schools, literacy, learning outcomes,
survival rate of students, gender parity, infrastructure and
availability of facilities.

The report showed that Punjab was far
ahead of the other provinces with 14 of its districts in the top 20.
However, the report warned that Punjab had still to go a long way to
achieve the 100 per cent enrolment target.

Like last year, Sindh,
Balochistan and Fata occupied the bottom of the ranking with Sindh
making its first appearance at number 40 with Karachi. This demonstrates
a lack of commitment to follow up on the promises made by the
provincial government, said the report.

The report also showed
that 47 per cent children (25 million) in Pakistan were out of school.
Most of the out-of-school children (68 per cent) had never been to
school and 32 per cent dropped out.

KP remained the second worst performing
province. This was because of gender disparities and poor learning
outcomes in the province, followed by Balochistan which is at the bottom
of the ranking with 1.76 million children out of school.

In Azad
Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), the district of Poonch has fallen from its top
spot last year to 9th position in 2014. AJK has shown an overall
decline from second position last year to the third position.

PML-F Member Provincial Assembly from Sindh Mehtab Rashidi said time had come to stop playing politics with education.

“In
rural areas, we do not have water and toilets in schools. The financial
year is about to end but Sindh has not been able to spend half of its
education budget,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, former MNA
Bushra Gohar of the ANP said though education should be priority but
politicians do not give it any attention.

“In KP, schools are
being destroyed by Taliban but no one is bothered about the situation.
It is strange that we allocate available funds for the armed forces and
expect that donors will work for the promotion of education,” she said.

Senator
Abdul Rauf Lala from the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said the federal
government should accept responsibility for ignoring the province for
over 65 years.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi said the government needed to run schools in a better
way. “The truth is that even our best districts are far from being the
ideal.”

In a video comment, Balochistan’s health minister Rehmat
Ali Baloch said: “I am deeply saddened to see my district at number
138.”

Source: http://m.dawn.com/news/1108111/rankings-reveal-state-of-education-in-pakistan