Secondary Education in Pakistan: The Key Issues, Challenges and Reform Framework

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1 Secondary Education in Pakistan: The Key Issues, Challenges and Reform Framework Tahseen Sayed, Lead Education Specialist, SASHD Regional Conference on Education, Training, and Knowledge Economy in South Asia New Delhi September 14-15, 15, 2006

2 Overview & Key Challenges in Secondary Education in Pakistan Access (enrollment, institutions) Regional differences Financing (share of budget) Quality (content of curriculum, choice of subjects, teachers, pass rates) Ongoing reforms and future reform areas

3 Participation Rates by Levels of Education Net Enrollment Rates by Level Primary Middle Mat ric (High School) Higher Secondary Degree Colleges Universit y The bigger decline is between primary and middle, where most enrollment is lost About 25% of enrolled primary school students enter middle schools, whereas about 40% of the middle schools students enter high/higher secondary level *Source: PSLSM Survey 2004/05

4 The Urban-Rural Divide in Participation Rates Net Enrollment Rates by Level Primary Middle Matric (High School) Urban Rural

5 Share of Institutions and Enrollments by Level (public and private) *Source: MOE Data 2004/05 Share of Institutions by Level Share of Enrollment by Level 15% 8% 1% 16% 7% 3% 76% 74% Primary Middle Secondary & High Colleges Primary Middle Secondary & High Colleges

6 Gender gap highest at secondary level *Source: MOE, 2004/05 Female Enrollment as % of Total Enrollment 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 43% 41% 40% Primary Middle Secondary & High 49% Colleges

7 Share of Private Sector by Level Private Sector Enrollment as % of Total Enrollment by Level 10% 25% 36% 29% Primary Middle Secondary & High Higher Secondary/colleges Although the above is based on administrative data of 2004/05, some s emerging data shows that private sector accounts for about 34% of o total enrolment at the primary to secondary level

8 Gross Enrollment Rates across education levels International Comparisons Gross Enrollment Rate Primary Secondary Tertiary Bangladesh India Indonesia Pakistan Thailand Turkey

9 Funding Issues Distribution of education expenditure at levels of education is highly skewed Percentage Distribution of Education Expenditures by Level 2004/05 11% 2% 9% 42% 12% 24% Primary education General university/college education Teacher and vocational training Elementary & secondary education Professional/technical universities Other educational institutions

10 Quality Issues Content of curriculum is weak National Curriculum Review findings: Curriculum, especially science, set up for very high standards strong in theoretical content, but knowledge base is without skills (e.g., low practical application in absence of labs, etc.) Current curriculum does not address systematic progression from easy to difficult, and absence of vertical and horizontal linkages in subjects Shortage of Language and Science teachers, with variation between institutions

11 Quality Issues Choice of subjects not responding to market / economy needs Disparities between urban/rural institutions, including gaps in facilities, teaching Multiple examination boards of varying quality Low pass rates: SSC (Grade 10) 55%; HSC (Grade 12) 50% pass out of those who appear in exams

12 Employability of graduates Unemployment rate for matriculate graduates is 8.8% (steadily rising over the years) Unemployment rate for primary level attainment is much lower (under 4%) Stringent labor regulations and skill gaps are two major bottlenecks identified by employers

13 Reforms in Secondary Education Because of prominent issues with access at primary/basic levels, and large drop out between primary and middle/secondary, focus has not been on secondary education reform Some initiatives have been started recently as part of Ministry of Education s s overall reform efforts, and provincial reform programs With better data analysis, focus also moving to secondary and college education Higher Education reforms already underway

14 National Level Reforms National Curriculum Review: undertaken after 20 years (last review was in 1985, with insufficient, partial and superficial revisions in Curriculum being made responsive to job market Options of vocational education being explored A formidable task as curriculum review in isolation will not yield change and requires linkages with better textbooks, teaching practices, and examinations

15 Some national reform initiatives National Curriculum Review to strengthen content and quality of secondary education Composite examinations for Grades 9 & 10 Reducing the number of examination boards (BISE) to one in each province to bring in uniformity of quality and reduce regional disparities Colleges (higher secondary) handed to provincial management (from district) Teacher accreditation - as part of wider teacher professional development framework Reforms in the Higher Education Sector Establishment of National Vocational Education Commission

16 Provincial Level Focus has been on demand-side interventions at the middle school and high school level (e.g., stipends for female elementary and secondary stipends; textbooks for all through Grade 10 Expanding access at the middle and secondary levels Filling teaching gaps at secondary level, especially subject teachers

17 Future Agenda Demand-side interventions such as stipends to increase the number of children completing primary and proceeding to middle/secondary level Strengthen the content of education, by ensuring linkages between revised content and textbooks, teaching, examination

18 Future Agenda Strong focus on teacher education Quality of secondary and higher secondary graduates, including focus on marketable skills Subject revisions at secondary and higher secondary A clearer partnership with private sector

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