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Education in Pakistan: Fifty Years of Neglect


  • Akhtar Hasan Khan

    (Government of Pakistan.)


Pakistan was created in the name of Islam under the outstanding leadership of Quaid-i-Azam. The Quran placed great emphasis on education. The Quaid as quoted above also highlighted its importance for the new nation. Unfortunately, despite high and repeated rhetoric, education remained the most neglected aspect of national life during the last half century. The literacy level are low, the female literacy levels are among the lowest in the world and the lowest in the Muslim countries. The emphasis in education is still on a general and liberal type of B.A. or M.A. degree. The change towards scientific and technical education has still not taken place. The quality of education is low, the teachers are under-paid, under-trained and dispirited. The students are apathetic as they see no relationship betVveen education and higher earnings or status in the society. A few decades ago education was sought for cultural, religious and social progress. In 1960s, the pioneering work of Schultz and Becker working on the concept of investment in human capital proved that a high level of education is a necessary condition for economic growth and no country can make significant economic progress if majority of its citizens are illiterate. The rapid progress of East Asian Countries is largely attributed to their excellent system of education. Despite the exhortation of Quran and the Quaid as well as the international experience of education promoting rapid economic growth, Pakistan's planners continued to allocate insufficient resources for education, especially for primary education. Moreover, the money allocated was not effectively spent. The hostility of the feudals and the indifference of the educated elite (who educated their children in English medium schools in Pakistan and sent them abroad for higher education) are primarily responsible for the neglect of education in Pakistan. As we are on the threshold of a new millennium, we must turn towards the high road of education, knowledge, leaning, sciences and technology. We are living in an age revolution through knowledge. It is only by education at all levels, specially technical education that Pakistan can enter the privileged club of developed nations.

Suggested Citation

  • Akhtar Hasan Khan, 1997. "Education in Pakistan: Fifty Years of Neglect," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 647-667.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:36:y:1997:i:4:p:647-667

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence H. Summers, 1992. "Investing in All the People," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 367-404.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rana Ejaz Ali Khan & Karamat Ali, 2005. "Bargaining Over Sons' and Daughters' Schooling-Probit Analysis of Household Behavior," HEW 0505002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Shakil Quayes & Richard David Ramsey, 2015. "Gender Disparity in Education Enrollment in Pakistan," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(3), pages 407-417, March.

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