ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economic Survey revealed that the country’s literacy rate increased by two percent to 60 percent in 2018-19 from 58 percent in 2015-16.
The pre-budget document said the government has formulated National Education Policy framework to overcome multiple challenges facing the education sector including decreasing out of school children and increasing school completion, achieving uniformity in education standards improving the quality of education, and enhancing access to skills training.
Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) conducted the survey during the term 2018-19 according to which the literacy rate of the population (10 years and above) is 60 percent as compared to 58 percent in 2015-16.
The analysis suggests that Punjab leads with 64 percent followed by Sindh with 57 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 55 percent and Balochistan with 40 percent.
Public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.3 percent of GDP in 2018-19, as compared to 2.4 percent in 2017-18. The education-related expenditure increased by 4.7 percent to Rs 868.0 billion in 2018-19 as compared to last fiscal year.
During Fiscal Year 2019-20, the government has allocated Rs 29.047 billion to HEC for the implementation of 138 development projects (128 ongoing an 10 new projects) of Public Sector Universities/ Higher Education Institutions.
The government is making efforts to introduce Single National Curriculum all over the country. The phase-I of the uniformed curriculum for class 1 to 5 has been developed and its implementation would be completed by March 2021.
Similarly, the second phase of the unified curriculum for class 6 to 8 would be ready by March 2021 and implemented by March 2022, while phase-III curriculum for class 9 to 12 would be ready by March 2022 and enforced by March 2023.
Gross Enrollment Rates (GER) at the primary level for the age group 6-10 years at the national level during 2018-19 remained at 87 percent when compared to 2015-16. Punjab showed improvement from 93 percent in 2015-16 to 95 percent in 2018-19, while Sindh remained stable with primary level GER at 78 percent.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (excluding merged areas) improved to 89 percent in 2018-2019 as compared to 88 percent in 2015-16, while Balochistan witnessed a decline from 59 percent in 2015-16 to 57% in 2018-19.
Meanwhile, the Net Enrollment Rates (NER) slightly improved at the national level from 65 percent in 2015-16 to 66 percent in 2018-19. Punjab witnessed an improvement in net enrollment, taking it to 73 percent in 2018-19 as compared to 71% in 2015-16.
Sindh showed an improvement of 58 percent in 2018-19 as compared to 56 percent in 2015-16. KP witnessed a decline from 67 percent in 2015-16 to 66 percent in 2018-19 while Balochistan remained stable with primary level NER at 40 percent, the survey added.