Primary education is in a state of crisis, as shown in a report which put it at the 117th position among 134 countries. Education as a whole is bound to suffer. According to the report, the primary enrollment rate among boys is only 64 percent, which is poor, but only 34 percent among girls, which is totally unacceptable, for two reasons. First, it means a stunting of the personal growth of almost two-thirds of the girls of the country, as they are denied an education, and it means that future generations will not have an education, as it has been shown time and again, that mothers who have received an education make sure that their children are also educated. The report has indicated where the responsibility lies: on the government for failing to provide the needed funds. Instead of having raised spending on education to 4 percent of GDP, the government kept spending languishing at a far lower percentage.
When the priority of the government remains plundering resources to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, it is obvious that education will suffer. While the assemblies are populated by members whose electorates will no longer be captive if they were to get the light of education, governments will not increase spending on education beyond what is necessary to perpetuate the bureaucracy that is their accomplice in this neglect.
The federal governments may blame the provincial governments, because education, especially primary education, is a provincial subject, while the provincial government in turn might blame the local governments, to whom education has been devolved, but this matter is too serious, more than six decades after Independence, to be the subject of a blame game. The state, whether at the federal tier, or the provincial, has a duty to produce the wherewithal to educate the population in a way that will equip its members for the needs of the future. That must be done, so that Pakistan is no longer shamed in the comity of nations.
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