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Pakistan cannot survive unless the problems of illiteracy and overpopulation are solved.

Illiteracy can
be overcome only by making education compulsory for everyone, and preferably making it mandatory
for all children to be taught in English, as is the practice in India.
The population of the country cannot be controlled unless draconian measures are introduced, as was
done in China. Unfortunately, the common Pakistani has been brainwashed to believe that birth control
is a heinous sin. It’s normal for men in the country to aim for ten children and to seek medical
treatment if they cannot achieve this goal. In China, those couples who have more than one child lose
their jobs and have to migrate to the rural areas to work in the fields. In India, the Congress Party
carried out mass sterilization to prevent people breeding like rabbits, but this was one of the reasons
why it was routed in the next general elections. Of course, the ensuing governments did not dare try it
again, for obvious reasons.
In Pakistan, we can replace the present crop of illiterate clerics with those who have had a modern
education. Or the state can train new mullahs who can prove to the people that birth control is not
forbidden by Islam. Until that happens, our population will go on increasing exponentially until we run
out of food and start eating each other.

Main causes are that urban areas in Pakistan are less whereas rural areas are more, rural areas are not
developed and most of the areas don't have schools and if they do then they are of very low standards,
in many areas people don't send their daughters to schools as they believe it is worthless to send them,
it is just wasting of money, some people are brain washed who believe that education is against Islam,
basically they are following to the muslims who had said this before independence of pakistan to deny
british education, that time the british was being quite unfair to the muslims after the war of
independence of 1857, british believed muslims were the ones who mainly did this revolt against
british and they took some measures against muslim community by not funding muslim schools and
rather forcing them to take british education aur none at all and even christanity was being taught in
those british schools(not sure that they were forcing non-christian students to study it) in return the
muslims had announced that getting educated is not allowed in Islam until sir syed ahmed khan made
them realize so there are still many people who are quite stupid and don't realize and are still going on
with the same policy, The government hasn't taken a lot of steps to provide free education to children as
well so there are a lot of families who are unable to send their children to school because they cannot
pay any fees and this way they tell their little children to seek employment rather than sitting idle at

Pakistan's lingering illiteracy

Aug 19, 2008: Much greater consistency of initiatives is
required if our nation is ever to improve its overall literacy
rate, as this remains too huge a task to be fulfilled within the
tenure of a single government

UNESCO's latest Global Monitoring Report has estimated

that literacy rate in developing countries has increased from
68 percent to 77 percent between 1985 and 2004. This has
brought the overall global average literacy rate to about 82
percent. Pakistan, however, is placed at the lowest rung of the
international literacy ladder. The reason for Pakistan's dismal
rating on yet another development indicator is due to the
simple fact that the literacy ratio in Pakistan still hovers
around 50 percent.

In our surrounding region, Pakistan's literacy rate is only a

little better than Nepal and Bangladesh, which have literacy
rates of 49 and 43 percent respectively. Other countries like
the Maldives and Sri Lanka have achieved far more
impressive results given that above 90 percent of the
population in both these countries is literate. Even India has a
61 percent literacy rate, despite its enormous population.

According to literacy rate estimates by last year's National

Economic Survey, there seem to be tremendous variance
between literacy rates between the provinces. Balochistan has
a much lowest average since only 33 percent of the province
is literate compared to the national average of over 50
percent. Moreover, only 27 percent of women in Balochistan
are literate. While the national averages for female literacy are
better, even they do still cumulatively lag behind those for

This overall lingering illiteracy in Pakistan is due to broader

policy hurdles as well as a range of on-ground factors. In the
realm of policy making, it is a lack of political will, made
manifest in the form of stringent budgetary allocations, delays
in disbursement of funds, and institutional inefficiency and

Resultantly the lack of sufficient infrastructure in the form of

school buildings and facilities, low professional capacity of
teachers due to the non-availability of proper training
institutes, uneven teacher-student ratios, lack of teaching aids,
as well as low public awareness concerning the value of
education, all contribute towards maintenance of low
educational rates at the ground level.

Focus on expansion of elementary education, using both

formal and non-formal methods, remains vital. There is
however simultaneous need to expand adult education,
literacy and functional literacy programmes, which are not
only a basic requirement for economic development, but also
vital for improving the overall literacy rate of the country.
Yet, besides the utility of education in providing a more
skilled workforce or helping improve individual livelihoods,
there is intrinsic value in being an educated person which our
nation still does not seem to collectively realise. After all,
being illiterate in the modern world is a profoundly disturbing
phenomenon. When neither the husband nor wife can read or
write, they find it difficult to track the progress of their own
children at school, they cannot read simple instructions on
medicines, nor record simple accounts of household

Any thinking person should thus not doubt the necessity of

people past the school going age to at least be able to read the
newspaper in their local language, write a simple letter and be
able to add, subtract, multiply and divide up to three figures.

Pakistan has however been trying to make efforts to improve

the literacy rates, and has also made some gradual progress. A
new Education Policy is currently being finalised to further
accelerate this progress. Numerous donors have also been
helping the government boost literacy. Donors like the World
Bank have even encouraged the government to provide
incentives in the form of providing free textbooks, stipends to
girls who attend schools, whereas other agencies like the
World Food Programme have been distributing edible oil to
students to help improve the nutritional level of children, in
addition to encouraging them to attend school.

The impact of these incentive schemes on increasing

enrolment rates has been evident, although their eventual
impact on the quality of education is questionable.
Nonetheless, one may argue that even if more efforts are
being spent to goad children into school, rather then focusing
on the quality of education being imparted to them, this is
better then allowing them to remain away from school

However once children are enrolled into schools, it does

become necessary to think about the quality of education, or
else a child who is only attending school to avail an incentive
of some kind, will drop out the moment his or her family is
not being provided this incentive any more.

To be fair however, the government strategy to improve

literacy rates was not so myopic as to rely on incentive
schemes alone. A major supplemental effort with regards to
improving literacy rates was the formation of the National
Commission on Human Development (NCHD). The NCHD
was formed in 2002 by President Musharraf to support
government departments in areas of education, literacy as
well as the provision of basic healthcare services. NCHD had
ambitiously aimed to accelerate the literacy rate to 86 percent
by 2015.

While there were evident critiques concerning the impact and

extent of NCHD's work, it did win recognition by securing
UNESCO's 2006 International Literacy Award, and it also has
evident presence on ground in the form of providing
numerous community-based schools, adult literacy centres
and feeder teachers across a majority of districts in the

Instead of integrating this entity more closely with other

ongoing initiatives in the education sector, or else weeding
out the supposedly corrupt elements within it, the new
government has decided to disband this ongoing initiative
altogether, and even protestors agitating against the sacking of
thousands of NCHD employees were ordered to be beaten up,
in the typical fashion of vendetta politics.

Clearly, much greater consistency of initiatives is required if

our nation is ever to improve its overall literacy rate, as this
remains too huge a task to be fulfilled within the tenure of a
single government. Moreover, even while working resolutely
towards this goal, it must also be borne in mind that literacy is
just the first step towards truly educating our populace, but it
is an obviously vital one, without which the longer quest for
education cannot even be embarked upon.

Literacy In Pakistan
Pakistan's Senate on Wednesday was informed that national literacy rate is 54 percent out of which
66.25 percent male and 41.75 percent female are literate.
This was stated by Minister for Education, Mrs. Zubaida Jalal in her written reply to a query raised by
Senator Sardar Latif Khosa in the Senate here.
Giving the province-wise and gender-wise detail, the Minister informed that an estimated 60.8%
population is literate in Punjab province.
The literacy rate for male and female are 70% and 51% respectively, she added.
In NWFP, 47.4% population of the province is literate, out of which 63% are male and 30.8% female.
The Minister said that the literacy rate of Sindh province is about 5.15% out of which 60.5% are male
and 42.5% female.
The 34% population of Balochistan are literate and the literacy rate of male and female is about 45%
and 23% respectively, she added.
About Pakistan's literacy position in the world, the Minister pointed out that there is no universal
definition of literacy. The definition varies from country to country, therefore, it is difficult to rank
Pakistan on the scale of literacy position in the world.
She, however, said literacy rate in the world is calculated for 15+ population whereas in Pakistan, it is
estimated for population 10+.●
LAHORE - Like other countries of the world, International Literacy Day will also be observed in
Pakistan on Tuesday (today) with a pledge to make over 780million adults of the world literate.
The day, first time observed on September 8, 1965, is being celebrated in the midst of UN Literacy
Decade. Literacy is just the ability to read, write, listen, comprehend and speak a language, yet millions
in the world including 55 per cent of Pakistanis are deprived of this fundamental right.
The pathetic aspect of the matter is about two-thirds of the illiterate are women in the world and
remaining four billion people of the world have a challenge to bring them into its folds....

Challenging Illiteracy
"Education system in Pakistan is in a big mess. Only the rich can get a quality education,
while the poor can't even find enough money to feed themselves!"

"Proper education and training is every citizen's right. Why can't every kid in Pakistan be
given the opportunity to obtain quality education?"

"What has government done to enhance the literacy rate and to reform the education system
in rural areas of Pakistan?"

These are few of the many questions that are often raised in the gatherings and forums
whenever the issue of education and reform comes up. While these questions are valid, and
while most of us are simply talking about these problems, there are dozens of non-profit
organizations and sincere individuals in Pakistan who are selflessly engaged in fighting

For example, the Human Development Foundation [HDF] is currently running 56 schools in
several rural areas of Pakistan and hopes to have over 100 new schools functioning by next

Here we take the opportunity to provide you the links and highlight the contributions of some
of these non-government organizations that are trying to make a difference.

May be it's time that each one of us took a similar initiative and volunteered for such
wonderful causes!
With a population of 170 million, Pakistan bears
the burden of one of the most illiterate countries in
Asia. About half of the male population is
illiterate and nearly two thirds of the female
population can't write their names. By
comparison, in war ravaged Afghanistan 66
percent of boys attend primary schools, and in
India 80 percent of its children go to primary
schools. In Zimbabwe, after decades of Mugabe’s
disastrous rule, about 80 percent of the children
complete primary education. So, why is a country
with nuclear arms and elaborate security keeping
its citizens illiterate?

Pakistan spends 66 percent, nearly 2.6 billion

Euros, of its annual budget on military
expenditure and only 2.5 percent on education,
roughly 600 Euros for each child of school-age.
The wealthy send their children to private schools
whilst the poor are forced to send their children to
madrassas (koranic schools) or to cotton fields to
earn a living.