# Pakistan/Education

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Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees.

All academic education institutions are the responsibility of the provincial governments. The federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.

## Historical background

When Pakistan was founded in 1947 as a result of the partition with India, the country had only one institution of higher education, the University of the Punjab. Over the next 20 years, many private and public schools and higher education institutions were established to help fuel the country’s socio-economic development.

In the early 1970s, all of Pakistan’s educational institutions were nationalized under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was committed to the idea of Islamic Socialism.

For the next decade, Pakistan’s entire system of education was state-run. However, the growing demand for higher education fast outpaced the establishment of new public universities. During that period, the system could accommodate only 25 percent of the high school graduates who applied to higher education institutions. The overcrowding prompted many wealthy Pakistanis to seek university degrees abroad in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, while others sought out private tutors at home or entered the job market without a degree.

In 1979 a government commission reviewed the consequences of nationalization and concluded that in view of the poor participation rates at all levels of education, the public sector could no longer be the country’s sole provider of education. By the mid-1980s, private educational institutions were allowed to operate on the condition that they comply with government-recognized standards.

Until 1991, there were only two recognized private universities in Pakistan: Aga Khan University established in 1983; and Lahore University of Management Sciences established in 1985. By 1997, however, there were 10 private universities and in 2001-2002, this number had doubled to 20. In 2003-2004 Pakistan had a total of 53 private degree granting institutions.

The rapid expansion of private higher education is even more remarkable if we look at the number of institutions established on a year-by-year basis. In 1997, for instance, three private institutions were established; in 2001 eleven new private institutions were opened; and in 2002 a total of 29 private sector institutions sprung up.

The Government has decided to introduce 'English Medium Education' on a phased basis and to substantially end the right to 'Mother Tongue Education'. This new policy which is termed 'Education Sector Reforms (Policy decisions)', states that "English language has been made compulsory from Class-1 onwards." and the "Introduction of English as medium of instruction for Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and other selected subjects like Economics and Geography in all schools in a graduated manner."

Caretaker Minister for Education Mr. Shujaat Ali Beg declared Jan 25, 2008 that eighteen colleges of the city of Karachi would be made "Model English Medium Colleges,"

## Pre-school

A child may begin his/her schooling at a pre-school at the age of 3. Over the last few years, many new kindergarten (sometimes called montessori) schools have also sprung up in Pakistan.

## Post-Secondary School

Students can then proceed to a College or University for Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Science (BSc) or Commerce/Business Administration (BCom/BBA) degree courses. There are two types of Bachelor courses in Pakistan namely Pass or Honours. Pass constitutes two years of study and students normally read three optional subjects (such as Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics) in addition to almost equal number of compulsory subjects (such as English, Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies) whereas Honours are three or four years and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study such as Biochemistry (BSc Hons. Biochemistry). It is important to note that Pass Bachelors is now slowly being phased out for Honours throughout the country. Students may also after earning their HSSC may study for professional Bachelor degree courses such as engineering (B Engg), medicine (MBBS), vetrinary medicine(DVM) law (LLB), agriculture (B Agri), architecture (B Arch), nursing (B Nurs) etc. which are of four or five years duration depending on the degree.Further after passing the diploma of assoicate engineer(3-Year study after SSC)can take in admission in B.Tech engineering.B.Tech(Hon's) degree consists of four year.

Some Masters Degrees also consist of 1.5 years. Then there are PhD Education as well in selected areas. One has to choose specific field and the suitable university doing research work in that field. PhD in Pakistan consists of minimum 3-5 years.

Pakistani universities churn out almost 1.2 million skilled graduates annually. The government has announced a \$1 billion spending plan over the next decade to build 6 state-of-the-art science and engineering universities. The scheme would be overseen by the Higher Education Commission.

## Criticism

An issue of National Geographic conveys the adversity poor families must face. Some schools are run so badly that few kids attend. “ It's not unusual in Pakistan to hear of public schools that receive no books, no supplies, and no subsidies from the government. Thousands more are 'ghost schools' that exist only on paper, to line the pockets of phantom teachers and administrators." ”

               --National Geographic: Struggle for the Soul of Pakistan, Don Belt