18pc primary schools in private sector functioning without registration: Report

Zubair Qureshi

In the private sector of Pakistan, around 18 percent primary schools are functioning without any registration from the concerned government bodies. Similarly 14 percent lower secondary and 4 percent secondary are unregistered schools in Pakistan putting the students’ future at risk.

This was revealed in a report titled “Global Education Monitoring Report 2022, Non-state actors in Education–who chooses who loses” launched here on Monday at Serena Hotel. The report launch was organized by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in joint collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The report revealed a rapid proliferation of private education institutions requires stronger oversight to ensure that quality and equity are not put at risk.

The report stated that out of 5,000 total schools in Rawalpindi two thirds private schools had no registration and according to the 2016-17 Private School Census, some 54,000 private schools offered pre-primary education in Punjab province under various categorizations, such as pre-nursery, nursery and prep. The majority of programmes operated as unregulated entities, without government supervision and oversight.

Additional Secretary Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training Waseem Ajmal while speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest held that the report was timely with regard to the state of had shattered a number of myths about the private and the public sector in the education as it gave global insights and revealed what worked and what didn’t work.

The report, Ajmal said, raised questions of effectiveness of many practices of learning outcomes, cost-efficiency and administration.

Baela Raza Jamil, CEO ITA was of the view that Pakistan’s private sector filled up critical gaps in education service provision in both urban and rural areas not just through pre-schools, schools, colleges and universities but also in the vital areas of disability services, teacher preparation, EdTech, textbooks and assessments.

Given the huge challenges of the sector and multiple emergencies, there is urgency to have enabling standards along with predictable regulatory regimes and support systems by the state to work as one for improving key metrics on access with quality, inclusion and equity; Pakistan must accelerate actions with all actors to catch up on foundational learning and SDG 4 targets in South Asia”.

Chairman Federal Board of Intermediate and secondary Education (FBISE) Qaiser Alam said that there were still a number of challenges in the private sector with regard to teacher training particularly in the low cost school arena and they look towards the government for support

He stated that it is really important that we look at the non-state actors in the country in the midst of a humanitarian crisis such as COVID-19.

Irfan Muzaffar Technical Adviser, Education Reforms KPK said Equity in education service delivery is becoming a central point via publications such as the GEM Report.

“We have to change fundamentally about who teaches as also indicated by the report,” Khadija Bakhtiar CEO and founder Teach For Pakistan.

Education Adviser Foreign Common, Wealth and Development Freya Perry said that there is a lot of potential that we need to do all at our disposal to make sure learning outcomes are met.


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