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Monday, May 26, 2014

EDUCATION | Punjab tops in literacy rate

Punjab highest in ranking for education

 Punjab is surging ahead of the other provinces in education with its 14 districts ranking in the top 20 in education, according to a report released by Alif Ailaan and the Sustainable Development Institute on Thursday. The report provides a snapshot of the education situation in Pakistan’s 146 districts, and shows how widely education standards vary across the country. It provides a tool to track the performance of politicians, administrators and education providers, and measures the progress that the provinces and districts are making. Like last year, the report said that Sindh, Balochistan, and FATA occupy the bottom of the rankings with Sindh making its first appearance at number 40 with Karachi. “This demonstrates a lack of commitment to follow-up on promises made by the provincial government. A recent example of this is the pledge that nine political parties made three months ago to ensure quality education for all the 6.1 million out-of-school children in the province,” it maintained. According to reports, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is the second worst performing province despite the government’s commitment to improve the situation. This is owing to gender disparities as well as poor learning outcomes in the province. KP is followed by Balochistan which is at the bottom of the rankings. “The province has shown poor performance and is a matter of pressing concern, given that there are 1.76 million children out-of-school,” it said. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), the Poonch District has fallen from its top spot last year, and comes in the ninth position in 2014. AJK has shown an overall decline from second position last year to third position this year, the report said. Although there are success stories this year, with some districts improving their performances to rise in the rankings, the report shows that the overall quality and the availability of the facilities are still unsatisfactory. Chakwal, which ranks highest nationwide, has a net enrolment rate of just 83 percent, which is far from the promise of ensuring quality education for all. According to report, more than four out of six children in Chakwal who are enrolled dropout before reaching class eight.