2% Drop in Literacy Rate

Infographic on literacy rate

According to the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) carried out by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) from August 2013 to June 2014 shows a 2% drop in the overall literacy rate of Pakistan; dropping from 60% to 58% in a year despite the 2% increase in the Government spending on education. A person is literate if he or she knows how to read and write; I guess 42% of the current populations doesn’t know how to do that either. According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Pakistan was supposed to increase its literacy rate to 88% by 2015 and I guess we just keep falling behind on that too.

Now let us first look at how the Government merely increases a 2% budget on education. Education is what makes or breaks a nation and amazingly it is their last priority. You know what the total amount of Government spending on education is? It is merely 537.6 billion PKR. That is not enough to educate the exceedingly large population of Pakistan. And according to a recent survey, most people didn’t send their children to school because it was way too expensive.

So that was the total population, but do you even know the percentage of literate women in Pakistan? It is a mere 47%. This means that only 47% of women are literate compared to 70% of men. Why the double standards? Education is supposed to be a right for all. Let me clarify one thing before religion-haters start thinking, ‘oh, it is because of Islam.’ For your information, it is compulsory for both men and women to attain education according to Islam, so please don’t get me started on it.

Now, let’s get back to the point. The declining interest in educating ones child has a lot of reasons; one reason is that it is expensive. Other reasons have more of a cultural stigma attached to educating ones child. Moreover, this situation is going to continue to deteriorate if something is not done about it, as soon as possible. First of all, education should be centrally regulated. Secondly, the spending should be further increased and thirdly, the syllabus needs to be revised as soon as possible to save whatever is left of the country. The current Government needs to adopt effective strategies to mitigate the issue before it gets completely out of hands.