Education System of Children in Pakistan

Child Education System of Children in Pakistan

The education system of children in Pakistan is a vital component of societal development, with a specific focus on nurturing the intellectual growth of children. Recognizing the significance of education, the nation has strived to improve educational access and quality over the years.

Pakistan’s education system faces numerous challenges, but the emphasis on children’s education remains paramount. Understanding the intricacies of this system is crucial for devising effective strategies to overcome existing obstacles and ensure a brighter future for the nation’s youth.

In recent years, the perspective of the Pakistani people regarding education has changed. Many people have come to realize that education is essential for the growth of their children and is the only way to bring them out of poverty and live a respectable life. Moreover, national heroes such as Malala Yousafzai, have encouraged young people, especially girls, to fight for the right to education. Previously, militancy in the name of religion had laid waste to schools and various educational institutions while also poisoned young minds into joining their despicable cause. But now, people have become more aware of the right to education and more parents are enrolling their children into schools.

Historical Background

Since Independence Pakistan faced a lack of administrative and financial resources to address the educational requirements of it’s massive population. In the first educational conference held in 1947, the government advised free education for all. The Constitution of 1973 gives everyone citizen the right to free and compulsory education, at least till primary and secondary levels. Although there has been a great increase in the number of schools nationwide, they lack in quality and infrastructure, especially in the lesser developed areas. The Education Ministry handles all affairs regarding education in Pakistan including policy advising, making of curriculum etc. The 18th amendment gives the provinces the right to make their own education budgets and even introduce their own curriculums.

The District administration empowers to manage school system. The Executive District Officers of Education (EDOE), District Officers of Education (DOE) and the Assistant District Officers (ADOs) supervises these schools. In Pakistan, education policy is influenced by a number of factors, both local and international. Education policy has changed back and forth a number of times. An example of this is that the medium of communication has been changed from Urdu to English and vice versa. Many community-based schools are funded by local or international NGO’s, whose funding may be for a short period of time, leaving no time for reforms.

Child Education Statistics in Pakistan

The Government of Pakistan has allocated 4.468 billion rupees for pre-primary education during the financial year 2022-23. The overall allocation to the education is approximately 2.5. percent of GDP which has unfortunately lowest in among South Asian countries. However, Government of Pakistan should spend at least 5.7 percent of GDP on improving quality of teachers and educational infrastructure in accordance with Education 2030 Framework for Action of Sustainable Development Goals, as reported in annual report published by State Bank of Pakistan in 2023.

At the same time, millions of children are completing primary education but are not able to master foundational literacy and numeracy. Girls are more likely not to attend school than boys, which is also a leading cause of early childhood marriages. Pakistan also has one of the lowest literacy rates in the regions, behind India, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nepal. Primary school enrolment ratio is also less than other South-Asian Nations, and the chances of girls not getting enrolled are more than boys. Considering the literacy rate of provinces, Punjab stands highest and Baluchistan is at lowest position. 

In Pakistan today, formal education is partitioned into four levels: primary schools from Grades 1 to 5, middle schools from Grades 6 to 8, high schools for Grades 9 and 10, and college for two years to reach Intermediate level. After Intermediate, students can do two or three more years in college to get a Bachelor’s degree or go on to professional colleges. Bachelor’s degrees can be followed by Master’s degrees and then PhD degrees. Currently, there are four forms of schooling in Pakistan, which exist of Government schools, private schools, community-based school and Madrassas.

Types of Child Education System in Pakistan

Government schools for children

Considering the education system of children in Pakistan, Government schools are owned and operated by the government, and follow the national curriculum and examination system. The government is responsible for the school building, prescribing and providing textbooks, hiring teachers, teacher salaries, and monitoring and supervision. While there are no or only nominal school fees, families must pay for other expenses such as notebooks, stationary, and uniforms. In most government schools, Urdu is the medium of instruction, although it is not the home language for many students. In Sindh, many schools are also Sindhi medium. English is taught as a compulsory subject. Government schools have limited resources and quality is often inadequate – particularly in rural areas. These schools mostly serve students from low-income families.

Private schools for children

Private schools are owned and operated privately, and cater mostly to children in urban areas from higher income families. They charge relatively high school fees, tend to be well-resourced, and use English as the medium of instruction (and Urdu is taught as a compulsory subject). They follow either the national curriculum and examination system, or the British curriculum and examination system.

Community-based schools for children

Community-based schools are usually established by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in collaboration with local communities – sometimes with support from the government or an international donor. The community generally provides the venue for the school. Teacher salaries are paid either through external funding or from community resources. Community members form a committee to manage the school and train and supervise teachers, often with the support of the NGO. The schools are intended for poor and rural communities. Families pay relatively low school fees and cover other school expenses.

Religious seminaries (Madrassah)  for child education in Pakistan

Madrassa is defined an institution where students are taught Islamic theology and religious law along with memorizing the Holy Quran. Madrassas education did not became very common in Pakistan until post Afghan war. After the war the number of madrassas increased exponentially and continue to grow till this day. According to government statistics there are nearly 35,337 registered madrassas in the country that are providing religious education to approximately 3.5 million children.

Madrassa education can be divided into three parts. The first (madrassa) teaches from first to the tenth grade and is equivalent to primary and secondary schools. The second (dar-ul-uloom) comprises of eleventh and twelfth grade and is equivalent to colleges, while the third (Jamia) has university status.The curriculum taught in these institutions is not standardized and various madrassas follow different teaching methods depending on their school of thought or sect. Many of the madrassas teach only religious subjects, focusing entirely on learning of Arabic texts. Though secular subjects are a part of the curriculum, they are firstly not the focus of the curriculum and secondly neither are the teachers specialized in those subjects. The result is that students graduating from madrassas have no practical knowledge of the world and find it almost impossible to find employment or obtain a bachelors/masters degree apart from one in Islamic Studies.

Furthermore, the source of funding of these madrassas has been a serious concern for the government of Pakistan. They mostly work as societies/NGO’s and are financed via Zakat, collection of animal hides, monetary support from philanthropists, rich tycoons, land owners, traders and through aid given by overseas Pakistanis. However, ever since the war on terror there has been a crackdown against unregistered madrassas which operate without the approval of the government and may be teaching extremist ideology to the younger generation.


In conclusion, the education system of children in Pakistan stands at a critical juncture, with numerous opportunities for improvement and growth. By prioritizing investments in education, addressing systemic challenges, and fostering an environment conducive to learning, Pakistan can unlock the transformative power of education and ensure a brighter future for its children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major challenges facing the education system in Pakistan?

The education system in Pakistan grapples with issues such as inadequate infrastructure, insufficient resources, and socio-cultural barriers, hindering access to quality education for many children.

How effective are government initiatives in improving children’s education?

While government initiatives have led to improvements in enrolment rates and infrastructure development, challenges remain in ensuring equitable access to quality education for all children, especially those from marginalized communities.

What role can technology play in enhancing access to education for children?

Technology has the potential to revolutionize education by providing access to digital learning resources, online classrooms, and interactive educational content, particularly in remote areas with limited infrastructure.

How can socio-economic factors be addressed to ensure equal educational opportunities?

Addressing socio-economic disparities requires a multi-faceted approach that includes targeted interventions, community engagement, and policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty, gender discrimination, and geographic disparities in access to education.

What steps can individuals take to support children’s education in Pakistan?

Individuals can support children’s education in Pakistan by advocating for policy reforms, volunteering with educational organizations, donating resources, and promoting awareness about the importance of education in community development.

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