Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pakistan's public schools: condition critical

Griff Witte has an interesting if depressing Wash Post article on the grim state of Pakistan's public education system and the obstacles to reform. USAID will spend $200 million in Kerry-Lugar funds on education in Pakistan this year; the money will not be channeled through NGOs but will be given directly to the government, Witte observes. (This, if I'm not mistaken, might have been a condition for Pakistan's acceptance of the Kerry-Lugar package.) Lack of adequate monitoring of how the money is spent risks that much of it "will go to waste," the article notes.

The vast majority of Pakistani children who are in school attend the public schools, not madrassas. But the public school system is in terrible shape, according to this article; government spending on it is paltry, the curriculum is skewed toward reinforcing half-truths and outright untruths that constitute what one interviewee calls the security establishment's ideology, and "about a third of students drop out by the fifth grade." Read the whole thing, as they say.

No comments: