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Pakistan Launches its Annual Status of Education Report

Islamabad: August 3, 2017. (PCP) The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan was launched today in Islamabad. Head of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Joanna Reid was one of the lead panellists.

The UK strongly supports ASER as the only citizen-led independent assessment. This makes it an important tool for citizen accountability. DFID has supported ASER since its inception several years ago.

While addressing the panel, Joanna Reid said, “There has been progress in increasing access to education in Pakistan as the number of out of school children has dropped from 25 million to 22 million as per government data. However, more remains to be done. Without compromising on access to schools, our focus should be on improving the quality. The education budget allocation is now 3.02% of GDP, up from 2.83% last year but is still short of the target.”

Joanna added that economic growth in Pakistan is heavily dependent on education prospects in Pakistan. Speaking to the panel she said, “There are 61 million young people in Pakistan aged 10 to 24 years as per the estimates of Population Council. Their ability and skills will play a major role in making Pakistan prosperous and a successful player in global economy. If half of them are not equipped to do their job, Pakistan will not be able to meet the workforce needs of its its economy.”

The ASER launch ceremony was hosted by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agaahi in partnership with other ASER partners at Serena Hotel today. Member National Assembly engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Chairman Standing Committee on Federal Education & Professional Training, Dr. Amir ullah Marwat, Member National Assembly, Asad Umer, Member National Assembly, Senior Journalist Naseem Zahra, Vice Chancellor Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Dr Asad Zaman, Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharrad Zaidi and Human Rights Activist Tahira Abdullah were among the panellists for discussion on the launch of the report.

The findings made public during the launch indicated that despite the recent focus of the federal and provincial governments on enrolment drives to honour Article 25 A, 19% children aged 6-16 still remain out of school. The remaining 81% that are enrolled in the 6-16 age bracket are not learning much either. The seventh ASER survey report also highlighted as per past trends that children enrolled in private schools are performing better compared to those studying in government schools.

ASER - The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is the largest citizen led, household-based initiative that aims to fill a gap in learning outcomes and provide reliable estimates on the schooling status of children aged 3-16 years residing in the rural districts of Pakistan along with few urban centres. ASER Pakistan 2016 was conducted in 144 districts /agencies (Rural) across Pakistan. It was conducted in partnership with 23 implementing partners across 8 provinces/ administrative Units of Pakistan.

ASER is part of the global citizen led assessments in education and is being used in Asia and Africa