Reasons for low literacy rate

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Education is a right; not a privilege. Being a free citizen every individual has the right to live, speak, write, etc. It is the prime responsibility of government to ensure that all citizens get the fundamental rights as a citizen at their doorstep.

History has witnesses that no nation has been able to accelerate in terms of development without considering these aims as pre-requisites. Education is one of these basic rights that provide a tool for development to nations. Pakistan is one of the developing countries that is thriving for improvement in this area. Each and every government has launched a stream of five-year plans that were arranged to fulfill the Millennium Development goals.

However, all resulted in vain since there was no or meager improvement in this regard. A lower literacy rate is an outcome despite such acts. Since the inception, education is the most neglected area, and the situation did not improve despite the taken measures to educate people. Even, there is a large population who did not receive basic education. It was 15 years back, the government allotted 2.6 % of the G.D.P for the progression of education. However, to add injury to an insult; it was limited to 1.8%, and the situation got worst.

There are other developing nations like Turkey, which allot most of its G.D.P to Education department, Pakistan ignored this department. With such non serious attitude towards Education, and there remain a dearth of well-educated and skillful individuals. Among the SAARC Nations, Pakistan is at the sixth and at the 159 th position among the 174 world countries. According to a Government Official Report, the literacy rate in Pakistan is 34%, which is doubtful.

The lower literacy rate is said to be an outcome of greater population, poverty and unemployment; however it can not be justified since there are other countries like Vietnam, Combodia, India, Kenya, etc where the advancement in literacy rate was observed despite of such factors. Take another example, Sri Lanka, a fellow SAARC Nation enjoys the same per annum income as Pakistan, however, it has 90 % literacy rate. It is said that about 2 crores, 2 lacs children are yet to get enrolled at Primary level. The present situation in education imparting institution is more than worst.

Take an example government schools 54% of our population never went to school. About 46 % are enrolled in Public schools. Most of these schools have large premises. However, lacked the facilities of electricity, water and sanitation. Even some are ghost schools and don’t even exist yet the funds are utilized by the authorized personnel. People unsatisfied with such a situation of Public schools, cannot admit their wards to Private schools since the tuition fees are quite high as compared to public schools.

Education has been converted into a fruitful business, and we can find a number of Private schools located in the same area within short distances. These schools are opened in small bungalows, which are rental and do not suit to a standard school premise. Another drawback is that the Private schools are limited in urban areas, and these have no presence in rural areas. Another noticeable point is that a good number of population is admitted to Madarsas; which are institutions of Islamic religious teachings. These offer-free teachings so where there is inflation all around, people find it as a blessing in disguise.

The government fund is not properly utilized due to the absence of basic and prerequisite strategy. This has lead to downfall in education and slow progress in literacy rate in Pakistan In short, we are not utilizing our resources to our potential. It is this inadequate utilization that is the root cause of downfall in literacy rate.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Lahore Times.

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