The Damaging Impact Of Corruption On Literacy

The Damaging Impact Of Corruption On Literacy
From the beginning in 1947, education has been the top priority in government policies. But, unfortunately, according to UNICEF “Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school, representing 44 per cent of the total population in this age group. In the 5-9 age groups, 5 million children are not enrolled in schools and after primary-school age, the number of OOSC doubles, with 11.4 million adolescents between the ages of 10-14 not receiving formal education. Disparities based on gender, socio-economic status, and geography are significant; in Sindh, 52 percent of the poorest children (58 percent girls) are out of school, and in Balochistan, 78 percent of girls are out of school.”

Pakistan is a participant country of SDGs, MDGs and EFA targets. But it seems that it will not be able to achieve any of these international targets due to the financial crisis. The ratio of GDP on education is only 2.4% and within this budget only 11%  remains for the development and improving education quality after doing other expenses including salaries, etc. Moreover, the problem is not only with administration but the social and cultural backgrounds of people too. Many families especially in rural areas are concerned about the safety of girls due to which they don’t allow them for schools. And if they allow them in primary education, they aren’t permitted to go outside their cities for higher education.

Many of school teachers are ghost employees, meaning that these teachers don’t show up for work. But they are getting pay from the government. So, even when children are going to schools, they are not getting quality education. Shahrukh Wani wrote in The Guardian: “Even if enrollment drives are able to get students into schools, evidence shows that only one in four children who enroll in the first grade remains in school by the 10th grade. Even of those students who remain in school, most aren’t learning basic skills like literacy. Studies have shown that over half of all 3rd graders, children aged 9-10, in government schools are illiterate.” Moreover, the education system of Pakistan is not advanced as compared to developed countries due to which the students face challenges to compete others at international level.

There should be reforms in education sector and strict implementation of these reforms and vision 2030 from provincial to local level. There should be one curriculum in all the institutes in country so that every student gets equal education and job opportunities. The budget for education should be increase to overcome financial crisis. Corruption is the cause of poor literacy. Accountability is needed of government employees and school teachers to keep the check and balance of the whole system.

Most of population is in rural areas so government and private sector has to work together to improve quality education in rural areas. Technical education should be promoted. Parents should be encouraged to send their children especially girls in schools. There should be career counseling of students so they choose the right career according to their interest as well as need of time. The financial aid for needy students in higher education can also help to encourage the students and their families.

The change in the whole system can’t be brought only be government. Civil society, the government and private sector, all have to put efforts together to improve the literacy rate and quality education in the state.