Education System of Pakistan and the UK: Comparisons in Context to Inter-provincial and Inter-countries Reflections Muhammad Saeed*
This paper addresses the comparisons of the education system of Pakistan and the UK from six dimensions i.e. education and training authority, educational structure, curriculum formulation, assessment and evaluation, supervision and management, and teacher education and training. The results revealed that against all these six dimensions, similarities and differences exist within four provinces of Pakistan, but these are relatively more prominent while comparing the four countries in the UK: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England, national curriculum tests at different grade levels are statutory; both in England and Wales teachers’ induction and inspection of schools are more structured than in Ireland and Scotland. The length of first degree programmes is usually one year more in Scotland than other three countries in the UK. In Pakistan, education system is relatively more alike across the four provinces due to uniform national curricula and policy formulation at federal level. The continuous assessment system from grade 1-12 is relatively more structured in Punjab. The overall achievement level of students is relatively high in Sindh, Punjab and NWFP lie in the middle; and Balochistan and other regions ranked at the lowest. Low achievement in English and mathematics is a common feature in Pakistan and the UK. Key Words: Education system, inter-provincial, inter-countries comparison.
International comparisons in education and training are of great importance to understand the recent innovations and developments in countries. Pakistan is a federal territory with sufficient provincial autonomy. On the other hand, the UK is a union of four countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with an English Parliament a central government, but with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland having devolved powers. All the four countries have many common features with some differences. No doubt, some studies exist in regard to inter-comparisons of the four countries in the United Kingdom; a few are available on interprovincial comparisons in Pakistan. But perhaps no study is available _____________________________________________________________ *Division of Education, University of Education, Lahore-Pakistan
Education System of Pakistan and the UK
considering triangular comparisons: 1) inter-provincial comparison in Pakistan; 2) inter-countries comparison in the UK; and 3) international comparisons between Pakistan and the UK, and this is the core objective of this study. The comparison is delimited to six key dimensions i.e. responsibility of education, educational structure, curriculum, assessment and evaluation, inspection, supervision and management, and teacher education and training.
1. 2. 3. What are the similarities and differences in the education system of Pakistan across its four provinces? What are the similarities and differences in the education system of the UK across its four countries? How do education systems in Pakistan and the UK alike and different in regard to the six dimensions of education?
Responsibility of Education and Training
In Pakistan, education is a federal as well as provincial function. There is a Ministry of Education at Islamabad, which formulates the policies and plans at national level. It involves the provinces in the formulation of national education policies and plans. The provinces develop their own plans and execute according to their situations and available resources in the light of national education policies. Since the introduction of devolution plan in education sector in 2002, most affairs of the school education are dealt with the Executive District Officers (Education). For example,...