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A Critical Assessment of Free Public Schooling in Pakistan

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  • Najam US Saqib

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

Abstract

Pakistan appeared on the map of the earth on August 14, 1947 as the British left the Indian subcontinent. The World Bank (1992) classifies Pakistan as a low income country on the basis of its per capita GNP. It is the ninth most populous and perhaps one of the fastest growing nations of the world. Unfortunately, Pakistan has also been one of the most illiterate countries of the world. Statistics collected four years after independence show that 86 percent people at that time could not read or write in any language. Taking note of this disturbing situation, almost all the relevant government documents ranging from the reports of various commissions formed to reform education to policy documents like five year plans emphasise eradication of mass illiteracy and provision of universal primary education as an objective of public policy. Free education for all has been traditionally advocated as a policy which would sooner or later achieve these goals. This policy has also been considered desirable from the view point of equity and social justice. At the time of independence, almost all the schools in the rural areas were public schools which charged only nominal tuition. In the urban areas a few private schools usually run by religious or community organisations could also be found. In October 1972, all the private schools were nationalised and education up to tenth grade was made free. Opening of private schools was again allowed in 1979. With this began an era of expensive private schools, particularly in the urban areas, existing side by side with low quality free public schools.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 955-976

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:37:y:1998:i:4:p:955-976

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  1. Zeba Ayesha Sathar, 1984. "Does Female Education Affect Fertility Behaviour in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 573-590.
  2. Shahrukh Rafi Khan & Mohammad Irfan, 1985. "Rates of Returns to Education and the Determinants of Earnings in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 671-683.
  3. Colclough, Christopher, 1982. "The impact of primary schooling on economic development: a review of the evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 167-185, March.
  4. Muhammad Hussain Malik & Najam Us Saqib, 1989. "Tax Incidence by Income Classes in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 13-26.
  5. RAUF A AzHAR, 1988. "Education and Technical Efficie," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 687-697.
  6. Muhammad Hussain Malik & Najam-Us-Saqib, 1985. "Who Bears the Burden of Federal Taxes in Pakistan?," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 497-509.
  7. Nadeem Ul Haque, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Personal Earnings in Rawalpindi City," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 353-382.
  8. Khalil A. Hamdani, 1977. "Education and the Income Differential. An Estimation for Rawalpindi City," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 16(2), pages 144-164.
  9. Naushin Mahmood & G. M. Zahid, 1992. "Measuring the Education Gap in Primary and Secondary Schooling in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 729-740.
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Cited by:
  1. G. M. Arif & Najam Us Saqib, 2003. "Production of Cognitive and Life Skills in Public, Private, and NGO Schools in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 1-28.

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