The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ended in 2015 and the worldwide Nations endorsed and adopted the new development goals under the umbrella of Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) for the next fifteen years. Globally, the communities have failed to provide the quality education to all children by the end of 2015, as committed in MDGs. Similarly, Pakistan the sixth most populous country in the world also lacked behind the desired targets of providing quality education to all children. Whereas, Constitution of Pakistan also makes it mandatory for the Federal and Provincial Governments to provide free quality education to all children between the age of 5-16 years. Where it has been acknowledged as fundamental rights for all children to get access to the universal education up to secondary level.
Besides Pakistan’s commitment and adherence to the SDGs along with the global community, it would be difficult to achieve the 4th goal of ensuring inclusive and quality education for all children and promoting life learning. Because, there are many existing systematic socio-cultural, economic and administrative elements that have been the prime source to the inefficient and ineffective education system in the country. Among other challenges, following socio-economic, cultural and administrative factors have always been very much critical in the context of prevailing country’s dynamics.
Poverty: Poverty is one amongst the seventeen SDGs is to end poverty in all its form from everywhere because poverty is one of the biggest hurdles to attain the goal number 4 of SDGs. According to the latest statistics of the poverty line, it is estimated that 7.6 million poor households fall below this line in the country. In other terms, it is 29.5% of country’s population, which is estimated total around 195-200 million. In monetary terms, an adult Pakistani earns $1.25 per day or Rs. 3,030 per month. Therefore, without lifting the marginalized segment of the community from out of the poverty line, it would be a daunting task to get desired enrollment and retention of all children or even closer to that across the country.
Ghost schools: In the educational crisis, Ghost schooling or fake registration is another dilemma; where teachers and students don’t have any physical existence rather than documented record. A recent World Bank reports suggests that 24 million children are out of schools in the country, and alone in Balochistan, it is 10 million, which portrays the dismal situation of country’s education system, enrollment and retention of children. However, in the poverty stricken and underdeveloped area the situation is even worse, likewise in Balochistan, 900 ghost schools with 300,000 fake registrations of students have been identified, among the 60,000 deputed teacher, there is no record of 15,000 teachers. This scenario is evident of the country’s crippled educational administrative setup, which has triggered by the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the successive sitting office bearers over the decades. Besides, pouring billions of rupees from the national exchequers to strengthen and beneficial to the common person in the country.
Henceforward, to achieve the SDGs goal 4, it is essential to take economic measures to improve the financial status of the poverty stricken segment of the society. Secondly, ensuring the strong administrative control to eliminate any existence of ghost presentation of schools or students by introducing on time presence i.e. bio-metric attendance record, digital data verification, monitoring and controlling of whole set up. The final and the most important appointment is to make teachers appointment on a contractual basis rather than permanent basis and extension of contracts subject to performance and improvement in their educational qualification and skills.
*This is 1 of 3 series blog.