Pakistani private schools, non-profit institutions and religious seminars are helping to complement government-run schools to meet the educational needs of a fast-growing nation with an estimated 50 million children of school age.
According to the country’s 220,000 schools, Pakistan has 20 million out-of-school children, according to a government report from 2016.
The government has pumped money into the school, with education budgets rising by 15 percent since 2010, according to Alif Ailaan. The United Nations is putting the current budget at 2.65 percent of GDP, about $ 8 billion, or about $ 150 per student.
However, experts say that the government can not meet all the educational needs, and part of the problem is more in the quality of teaching than in a lack of money.
“It is not the number of schools but the quality, the attitude,” said Zeba Hussain, founder of the Mashal Schools, who educate children who are displaced in the north of the country.
Located on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, the charitable schools began when Hussain met a group of refugee children as they visited the hills around the city.
Many private institutions criticize what they call a deeply flawed government education system.
“Shaista Kazmi of Vision 21, a privately financed NGO, is providing students with” smart “or” stupid “skills from the outset, which provides speed competency programs for out-of-school children who have five years of reading literacy.
Development Director Tariq Masood disagreed with the critics of the teachers, adding that population growth and funding were the biggest challenges for state schools.
“Nobody who is underqualified can enter the government system, there are fewer controls in the private system,” said Masood.
Masood said state schools had adopted a nationwide curriculum that would be constantly revised and innovated.
The poorest of the country often send their children to one of the thousands of religious madrasas (the Arabic word for school), where the students come aboard, fed and receive an Islamic education. Most operate without state supervision.
The Pakistani madrassas are linked with the creation of militant fighters by hard teachings of Islam and many have been associated with organizations like the Taliban and al-Qaida.
But many offer protection, three full meals and a good education for young people whose families can not get over the rounds.
“In certain cases, people send their children because they can not even afford to feed them,” said Irfan Sher of Al-Nadwa Madrassa, where all subjects are prioritized and the students are able to analyze what they are be taught.
Sher insists that the future of the country depends on what his youth is taught.
“The general policy should be changed … You should understand that if they want to change the country, the only way is to spread high-quality education,” he said.