The Prime Minister of Pakistan wakes up in October 2009, and sets up a “task force” with support from the United Kingdom. Before I get into a discussion on the role of Pakistan’s various governments and the grand larceny on education by the über elite of Pakistan, I must make note of the “next generation report” recently published by the British Council. This report has become the de facto document for analysis and planning of the crisis faced by Pakistan’s youth. It is shocking to see a “task force” full of Pakistani politicians, political affiliates, and members of the “high society” come together on a 17 month project to tell us the following:
- half of all Pakistani school children cannot read a sentence
- funding for schools has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2005 to just 1.5% – less than the national airline gets in subsidies
- education crisis as a self-inflicted disaster
- 25 million children in Pakistan do not get primary education, a right guaranteed in the country’s constitution
- Three million children will never in their lives attend a lesson
- while rich parents send their children to private schools and later abroad to college or university, a third of all Pakistanis have spent less than two years at school
- the situation can be improved in a matter of years if there is a political will for change
- at the current rate of progress Punjab province will provide all children with their constitutional right to education by 2041 while Baluchistan province – the worst affected area – will not reach this goal until 210
- 30,000 school buildings are so neglected that they are dangerous
- 21,000 schools do not have a school building at all
- Only half of all women in Pakistan can read, in rural areas the figure drops to one-third There are 26 countries poorer than Pakistan who still manage to send more of their children to school Only 65% of schools have drinking water, 62% have latrines, 61% a boundary wall and 39% have electricity Pakistan – in contrast to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – has no chance of reaching the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for education by 2015. educated women have smaller families with children who are healthier and more inclined to use their own education to nurture the next generation
- if the government doubled its present spending on education, significant progress could be made in just two years
What? They needed a task force to work for 17 months to figure this out? Does the government at present, and politicians at large both past and present, feel no shame while they have their own children studying at Oxfords and Browns, generation after generation, while they have very categorically and strategically brought Pakistan to its current state?
Do they actually think that today’s Pakistan will believe that it was a mistake or it was because the Army HAD TO rule the country again and again because of their complete incapability?
Unfortunately the Military rulers didn’t do much better. Some of these highly educated children even spent their great international education to invest and propagate in the educated system of their respective new “home countries”, while their daddies kept promising the pathetically poor, miserable, jobless Pakistanis to educate their children.
The time has come for Pakistanis to realize that they have systematically been gang-raped by the successive governments. The names, parties, and modes may have changed. But the agenda was the same – Cripple Pakistan to a point where it disintegrates. Who backed or financed such a feat is left for another discussion.