The Education System in Pakistan: Assessment of the National Education Census

This paper was commissioned by UNESCO Pakistan. It describes Pakistan’s education system through a series of highlights drawn mainly from published data released by the Academy of Education Planning and Management. The data used were taken primarily from the National Education Census (NEC) conducted in 2005/06, and the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), 2005/06. The NEC was the first such survey conducted in the history of Pakistan and it provides a comprehensive view of the education system covering all educational institutions. Where possible, data were included from the 2007 publication Pakistan Education Statistics 2005-2006, to ensure that this paper reflects the latest available statistical information. The data are used to calculate internationally recognized education indicators and to draw comparisons with selected other countries, to help benchmark the system’s characteristics. The present paper makes extensive use of charts to communicate information on the particular facet of education under review.

The paper is divided into five chapters that concentrate on the basic education levels. Chapter 1 examines at the capacity of, and participation in, the education system. Data are reviewed by level (stage) of education and by province. Chapter 2 looks at school administration – the degree to which the system depends on public and private institutions; and determines locationally where (urban, rural) and at what levels of education private schools predominate. Chapter 3 assesses the system’s progress towards achieving gender parity. Chapter 4 reviews NEC data on teaching posts and teacher training, because the need to fill vacant teaching positions and to provide training for untrained teachers will directly affect future education budgets. Chapter 5 looks at school facilities, including teaching materials, furniture and utilities, drawing selectively from some of the large amount of data on school facilities provided in the NEC.

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