After the 18th constitutional amendment and the insertion of Article 25-A the responsibility to provide free education to all children up to secondary school was relegated to the provincial governments. Given this change in the educational landscape of Pakistan, the first issue of the Education Monitor looks to document and highlight the contributions being made by the federal and provincial governments and international donors on the input side of education with a focus on implications, in an equity context, for the quality of public sector education. The report seeks to investigate the reasons for continued low-level outputs and results by analyzing a number of inputs. The publication highlights that scratching the surface will not suffice, thus it goes deeper to understand the processes at play and how these policies are actualized in practice to provide a keener analysis of what is working and what is not.
The report highlights that issues of low retention and high dropout rates are connected to teacher absenteeism and a high opportunity cost of education. Furthermore, lack of appropriate and specialized personnel within institutions results in unclear mandates and institutional clutter. This is made worse by the inadequate recruitment processes that are in place that are neither standardized nor reviewed. The report recommends focusing on increasing access to schools, alternate school shifts and a greater number of teachers. Community engagement is necessary, along with enhancing gender equity through campaigns and an effective policy framework. Allocating financial resources towards school development is crucial, including efficient operational structures within the education department. In terms of policy formulation, the report suggests regulating the private sector and monitoring quality data in developing education reform.
Author(s):Abbas Rashid, Ayesha A. Awan, Irfan Muzaffar, Salaeya Butt, Amal Aslam, Abdus Sami Khan and Fatima Dar
Sponsor(s):Open Society Foundations