According to media, Pakistan is celebrating education and Malala day with the hope that government will provide equal education opportunities for everyone. The government has also launched a four year literacy program under which more than three million children of poor families especially girls, will get free education in Pakistan. Unfortunately, despite declining graph of education system government is just doing cosmetics steps to satisfy people.

The real conditions regarding education are far from ideal in Pakistan. Recent statistics are showing a grim picture of education sector in Pakistan. According to UNESCO, some 7 million children in Pakistan are out of primary schools in which 60 percent are girls. Only 20 percent of girls have completed primary level schooling in rural areas of Pakistan. Literacy rate of girls in Northern Pakistan is only 6 percent. Despite all of these challenges, Pakistan spends less of its national budget on education than other South Asian countries such as Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. The truth is that several western and UNO funded schools are just alive on papers and have no physical presence. Ghost schools and ghost teachers are the reality of Pakistan education sector. Now world community is has promised to spend around one billion dollars to help educate the poor in Pakistan.

Every one rightly believes that everything is politically motivated and will not serve the purpose of the people but putting more money in the pockets of the corrupt government. Reality is that the biggest barrier to education for the poor in Pakistan is a lack of government interest and the powerful feudal system in villages and poor areas which hinders education. Political influence in education institutions is also a reason for bad performance.

Even public service commission examinations are not transparent and most of the results are politically motivated. Now it seems that due to increasing education expenditures and self finance schemes, government is limiting education only for upper class people. Due to poverty, raising graph of unemployment and tough financial conditions thousands of children are forced to leave their education and start work in bad conditions.

KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ,

Jeddah, November 13.