Comparison of Literacy Rate of Pakistan with SAARC Countries

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  • Topic: Literacy, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Education
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  • Published : August 26, 2012
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DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS
UNIVERSITY OF KARACHI
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS
TERM PAPER
TOPIC: COMPARISON OF PAKISTAN’S LITERACY RATE WITH SAARC
SUBMITTED TO: Dr. ABDUL WAHEED
SUBMITTED BY: INBISAT JEHAN ZAFAR
SEAT NO.: B0655047
DATED: 29th Sept. 2010

Literacy is a tool for empowering our communities and ourselves. It can free us from many personal, economic and social constraints, by helping to eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality, curb population growth, achieve gender equality and ensure sustainable development, peace and democracy. The goal of the United Nations Literacy Decade is to enable people everywhere to communicate effectively within their own communities and with the outside world. The motto is “Literacy for All: A voice for all, learning for all.” Bottom of Form

SAARC’s MOTIVES FOR EDUCATION

Cooperation in education entered the SAARC agenda early with the establishment of a Technical Committee on Education in 1989. Since reorganization of the SAARC Integrated Programme of Action (SIPA) in 1999, this subject has come under the purview of the Technical Committee on Human Resources Development. A SAARC Chair, Fellowship and Scholarship Scheme is in operation. A SAARC Consortium of Open and Distance Learning (SACODiL) has been created with a view to standardization of curricula, mutual recognition of courses and promotion of transfer of credits. A SAARC Teachers Forum has been established. Nevertheless, a lot more remains to work before concrete benefits of such cooperative activities are clearly visible.

Education in South Asia suffers from the twin problem of lack of access and of excellence. In majority of the SAARC Member Countries, enrolment of children of primary school age is far below universal level. This problem is further compounded by high levels of dropout. Thus literacy rates remain low. The situation at the secondary and tertiary level is no better. In some respects, are even worse.

The SAARC Social Charter, which was signed by the Heads of State or Government during the Twelfth Summit (Islamabad, 4 - 6 January), reaffirmed the importance of attaining the target of providing free education to all children between the ages of 6 - 14 years. The Member States agreed to share their respective experiences and technical expertise to achieve this goal.

At the Thirteenth SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005, the leaders noted the achievements of the Member States during recent years in the area of primary education and stressed that to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century Member States must make important strides in the areas of science, technology and higher education.

At the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, the First Meeting of the SAARC Ministers of Education/Higher Education was held in Colombo on 27 March 2009 preceded by the Meeting of the Senior Officials of the Ministries of Education/Higher Education. This Meeting considered matters relating to SAARC-UNESCO Cooperation in the field of Higher Education, Role of the Committee of Heads of University Grants Commissions/Equivalent Bodies and Open & Distance Learning in South Asia. This Meeting focused on Higher Education Policies and Strategies in South Asia and deliberated on the Plan of Action on Higher Education.

THE ANALYSIS

Literacy rates in all member countries of SAARC have varied from each other and also within the nations from time to time. We can now have a look at the different literacy rates of the member countries and compare them.

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Before beginning our analysis, we must have a look at the key educational features of Pakistan.

▪ Pakistan is signatory to the “Dakar Declaration” of 2003 to achieve 85 percent literacy rate by 2015 ▪ The literacy rate in the world is calculated for 15+ population whereas in Pakistan, it is estimated for population 10+ (Ministry of Education). ▪ Education Budget for 2009-2010 (31 Billion Rupees –...
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