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Education in Pakistan’s Punjab: Outcomes and Interventions

  • Masooma Habib

    ()

    (Senior Fellow, Center for Research in Economics and Business (CREB), Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan.)

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    One of the most critical challenges Pakistan faces today is the need to improve and expand its education system. With important political and demographic changes taking place, greater devolution and strengthened democracy, this is an opportune moment to build a better system. Not only does the purpose of education have to be defined beyond what has been left over from colonial administrative objectives, but a much greater effort has to be invested in developing the skills and talents of the majority of the population. Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, has taken several education reform initiatives to improve education outcomes. However about a quarter of school age children are still not attending school either because they never enrolled or because they dropped out early. Low transition rates to secondary education are of special concern. Moreover, recent assessments have shown that students' knowledge and comprehension of basic subjects remains alarmingly low. Improved learning in schools is therefore another important challenge. Patterns in learning achievement in Punjab indicate the importance of school level factors, implying that a good school could make up for other regional and socio-economic disparities. Better quality schools also attract more students from the poorest families, because when parents expect better returns from education, the time and resources spent on schooling becomes worthwhile. This paper will review the extent to which critical gaps in achievement levels and other educational outcomes have been addressed by past policies and current reform programs.

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    Article provided by Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics in its journal Lahore Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2013)
    Issue (Month): Special Edition (September)
    Pages: 21-48

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    Handle: RePEc:lje:journl:v:18:y:2013:i:sp:p:21-48
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    1. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2011. "Does more cash in conditional cash transfer programs always lead to larger impacts on school attendance?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 150-157, September.
    2. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    3. Hamna Ahmed & Sahar Amjad & Masooma Habib & Syed Ahsan Shah, 2013. "Determinants of School Choice:Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan," CREB Working papers 1-2013, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2013.
    4. Beatty, Amanda & Pritchett, Lant, 2012. "The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries," Scholarly Articles 9403174, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    5. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 747-784, 07.
    6. Nazmul Chaudhury & Dilip Parajuli, 2010. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling: the impact of the female school stipend programme on public school enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(28), pages 3565-3583.
    7. Asadullah, M. Niaz, 2009. "Returns to private and public education in Bangladesh and Pakistan: A comparative analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-86, January.
    8. Lant Pritchett and Amanda Beatty, 2012. "The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries - Working Paper 293," Working Papers 293, Center for Global Development.
    9. Naseer, Muhammad Farooq & Patnam, Manasa & Raza, Reehana R., 2010. "Transforming public schools: Impact of the CRI program on child learning in Pakistan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 669-683, August.
    10. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014.
    11. Ijaz Nabi, 2013. "Two Social Protection Programs in Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 283-304, September.
    12. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
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