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February 26, 2020

Education report

Newspost

 
February 26, 2020

The Annual Status of Education Report of 2019 paints a bleak picture of rural classroom learning. Over the decades, rural schools have been grappling with missing facilities, ghost units, untrained teachers, delivery of confused concepts to students, lack of teaching sources and so on. The report explains the quality of education of rural districts in Pakistan where 41 percent of surveyed fifth graders could not exhibit basic literacy skills as they failed to read a story in Urdu while 45 percent of them were unable to read sentences in English. The report was compiled and launched by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi. It is based on a survey conducted in 155 rural districts covering 92,008 households.

When grade five students cannot read a second grade level story in Urdu, Sindhi or Pashto, and second grade level sentences in English, it warrants an education emergency in the country. Not only literacy, a similar dismal situation is seen in basic arithmetic skill As per the report, 84 percent of third graders could not read first grade level sentences, and 43 percent of fifth grade students could not do two-digit division. The chronic issue of out-of-school children remains the same. The report also points out missing facilities in schools: 39 percent of primary schools lack usable water facilities while 41 percent have no access to usable toilets and 56 percent have never had computer labs. These missing facilities are real and most of the allocations are consumed by them. It is however high time that the government focused on the quality of teaching.

Qazi Jamshed Alam Siddiqui

Lahore