Enrolment increases but education emergency still looms: report

  • Only 49 per cent of boys in grade five were able to do grade two level subtraction as compared to 41 per cent of girls in grade five.
  • 2015 saw a six per cent rise in the number of children enrolled in public schools, as compared to 2014

The recent focus of the federal and provincial governments on enrolment drives has led to a decrease in the number of out-of-school children as compared to 2014, said a survey report.

An interesting trend has been observed this year as reflected by Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2015 National survey. In 2015, 20 per cent of children were reported to be out-of-school. That number has decreased as compared to previous year, which had over 21 per cent children out-of-school.

ASER National 2015 results illustrate that a considerable number of children are going to public schools this year as compared to non-state schools.

Some 76 per cent children between the ages of six and 16 were enrolled in public schools in 2015, while last year the number was 70 per cent.

According to the report, student competencies in learning English, arithmetic, and language have also improved.

The ASER Survey also has identified that boys are outperforming girls in literacy and numeric skills in rural Pakistan. As many as 49 per cent of boys were able to read at least a few sentences in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto as compared to 42 per cent of the girls.

For Arithmetic, 49 per cent of Class-V boys were able to do second grade level subtraction as compared to only 41 per cent Class V girls.

In addition to the assessment of children, the report also highlights school functioning across every district in Pakistan. The ASER rural survey informs that overall teachers’ attendance in government schools stood at 89 per cent as compared to 91 per cent in private schools on the day of the survey.

The reverse is the case for MA/MSC or postgraduate qualifications, whereby larger percentage of public sector teachers has a higher qualification than private sector counterparts.

The trends in multi-grade teaching across schools are also mixed. ASER 2015 National rural findings have found 49 per cent of government and 29 per cent of private schools are imparting multi-grade teaching at the second grade level. On the contrary, at the eighth grade level, multi-grade teaching is more prevalent in the private sector at 24 per cent as compared to 16 per cent in government schools.

Despite of the fact that only two per cent private primary schools receive funds from the government (as compared to 29 per cent public primary schools), the private sector has been reported to be better at school facilities.

For example, 65 per cent of private primary schools have boundary-walls as compared to 63 per cent government primary schools. Similarly, about the availability of functional toilets, it has been found that the facility was still not available in 48 per cent public and 22 per cent private primary schools in rural Pakistan.

ASER has undoubtedly played a unique role in informing the public, inspiring a national discourse and initiate demand for policy and action leading to a transformation from the bottom-up.




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