Dysfunctional education system a threat to society & economy: PBIF

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Saturday said Pakistan’s dysfunctional education system has become a threat to society and economy. Pakistan is going through a severe education crisis as ever tenth illiterate school-age child in the world is a Pakistani which continues to deter foreign investors, it said.

President PBIF, AKIA and first vice chairman of the Businessmen Panel, Mian Zahid Hussain said that foreign investors would shy away from countries with high illiteracy rates as it create problems for them as far as the availability of skilled labour is concerned.

Decades of apathy have placed Pakistan in second position on the global ranking of out-of-school children after Nigeria, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that majority of the poorest countries would allocate more resources to the education leaving Pakistan with one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. He said that lack of financial support and commitment on the part of governments has left a minimum of 25 million children without schools while their number could swell to 50 million in fifteen years with disastrous social and economic consequences.

He said that 17.6 per cent of children are working instead of going to school while 23 per cent of all school-age children, mostly girls in rural areas, are still out of school for various reasons that include absence of like separate toilets. Currently a minimum of 1,000 schools have no building, 30,000 school buildings are shambling and many more have no boundary walls, he said.

Teachers and students in many government schools have to focus more of roof than education to save themselves from loose bricks that can fall on them anytime. Education of the girl child is extremely important as no education policy can work without gender balance which is yet to be taken seriously, he said.

Child labour is a result of the poor economic conditions of the country which can be tackled through government’s move to ensure equitable distribution of wealth, the veteran educationist said adding that government funds are skewed towards higher education while the lower income classes are unable to enjoy subsidies and opportunities.

Quality of education is declining due to shortage and quality of teachers, out-dated curriculum, poorly equipped laboratories, cheating, lack of facilities and overcrowded classrooms, he noted. He said that policymakers can consider making government jobs conditional to providing education to few unschooled.


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