Report submitted by Pakistan

Human  Rights Education is dealt with at one specific point in the national report I, 74.

Besides the chapter on education (points 62 to 72), several other points deal with the subject, namely in the chapters on children (46) and on people with disabilities (52).  

I. Human rights education

74. Human Rights Education Curricula has been developed through consultative processes at the Curriculum Wing of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights 2001 with the support of the Norwegian and Canadian governments. This Ministry in cooperation with Norway (NORAD) and Government of Switzerland worked jointly with the Ministry of Education on a project "Human Rights Mass Awareness for Education". The most important step taken in this direction is the incorporation of the main concepts related to child rights into curriculum and teachers training materials. The materials produced have been incorporated in the relevant subjects taught at school levels. Textbooks contain messages of human rights together with articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Sindh textbooks on human rights education, citizenship and conflict resolution education have been integrated in the government prescribed social studies textbooks of primary and elementary levels. The new National Curriculum has made efforts to include principles of human rights, upholding diversity and difference along with universal rights.

46. Pakistan has made progress towards achieving MDGs- Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) has increased from 72 per cent in the year 2000-01 to 87 per cent in the year 2005-06. Net Enrolment Rate (NER) has also shown an upward trend. Pakistan has made progress in NER at primary school level. Infant mortality rate at 70 and under five mortality rate at 100 are showing exponential decline. The Ministry of Education launched the National Plan of Action for Education for All in April 2003, for achieving universal primary education by 2015. Gender disparities are being narrowed through mixed primary schools, compensatory programs, focusing on missing facilities in girls' schools and appointment of female teachers. According to EFA goals and targets, by 2015, all children, with special emphasis on girls and children in difficult circumstances, should have access to completely free education. It also aims at eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education and achieving gender equality in education by 2015.

52. The Directorate General of Special Education in collaboration with Ministry of Education and provincial departments of education is working on a Pilot Project for Integrated Education of Children with Disabilities. To attain the goal of mainstreaming, 14 regular schools of the federal/provincial Governments have been selected for inclusive education with targets of 25-50 students each year in each school. The equipment provided to 14 selected primary schools each for boys and girls includes Braille Machines, Audiovisual, hearing aids, wheel, chairs, crutches, other education equipment and furniture items. Similar programs are initiated with the technical and financial assistance of Sight Saver UK, World Bank and Braillow Norway. The main purpose of this program is to shift from a focus on disability to seeing inclusive education as fundamental right of every child and a means of meeting the Millennium Development Goals

2. Education

62. The Government's Education Policy (1998-2010) and the Education Sector Reforms (ESR) Action Plan 2002-2006 recognizes the fact that quality of education is an important factor in national development. The monitoring of learning achievements of students is, therefore, one of the key components to assess and to improve the quality of education. National Education Assessment System (NEAS) is one of the key programs under the Education Policy to improve the quality of education at elementary level. The program aims to develop national capacity for monitoring the learning achievements of elementary level students in order to improve the quality of services (curriculum, textual material, teachers' delivery, policy formulation, etc) in the education sector.

63. Education in general and primary education in particular is on the concurrent list of the Constitution. After nationwide devolution in 2001 education up to grade 12 is a district subject. All implementation lies at district and provincial level. However; three of the four provinces, Federally Administered Areas and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have compulsory primary education laws. Primary education was made compulsory in the provinces.

64. The lack of physical infrastructure is becoming one of the major causes for low enrolment and high drop out rates in the country. Rs. 1.05 billion has been earmarked for 2006-07 for the provision of missing facilities to the government schools under the Education Sector Reforms. This would be spent on provision of water, toilets, science and computer labs and other facilities. The program would continue until infrastructure and facilities in all schools are upgraded.

65. An Education for All (EFA) National Plan of Action (NPA) has been developed through broad-based consultations with principal actors of EFA and other stakeholders. The Ten Year Perspective Development Plan 2001-2011 links education with other social sectors and views EFA as the centerpiece of human capital formation. Emphasis is placed on three priority areas, with targets to be reached by 2015, namely: - Universal primary education and quality EFA. - Raising the net participation rate of early childhood education to 50 per cent. - Adult literacy rate rose to 86 per cent.

66. The Ministry of Education launched the National Plan of Action for Education for All on 3rd April 2003, for achieving universal primary education by 2015. Gender disparities are being narrowed through mixed primary schools, compensatory programs (nutrition, stipends) targeted towards girls at the primary, middle and matric levels, and appointment of female teachers.

67. In Pakistan, education is provided by public and private sector at 65:35 per cent ratios. Most non-state providers or private sector charge fees. However, some philanthropic providers provide free or virtually free of cost education such as the Citizen's Foundation, as well as the Provincial Education Foundations through its Financially Assisted Schools (FAS) program is ensuring that education is provided free of cost at Rs.300 per child in non-elite private schools. Education Foundations being quasi government institutions are acting on behalf of the government to buy places for children in the private sector up to secondary level to provide choice and quality. The National Education Foundation and the Sindh Education Foundation also subscribe to highly subsidized community based schools for the disadvantaged The overall reach of these programs is about .5 million children.

68. Overall gender gap in the GER has been considerably reduced. This can be attributed to increase in female enrolment rate during the same period. There are areas in which significant progress has been made and indicators point to a steady though slow improvement in the ratio of girls to boys at all levels of education, the ratio of literate females to males, share of women in urban employment (as proxy indicator for share of women in wage employment in non-agricultural sector) has improved marginally and improvement in participation of women in national decision making process.

69. There are several explanations for this persistent gap in literacy. A recent World Bank Country Gender Assessment Report 2005 highlights the two most important constraining factors that impede female access to education. Distance from school and physical costs of attending schools for girls affect their enrollment. The latest PRHS-2 2004-05 also indicate lack of access of girls.

70. To encourage regular attendance at schools and to reduce drop out rates many positive measures have been taken. Extensive compensatory support programs are in place to offset costs of education and reduce household burden. In the far flung areas of Pakistan there are large initiatives of World Food Program and Tawana or School Nutrition Program to support students and their families. The latter program in progress across 25 poorest districts in the country was reviewed and revamped from providing hot cooked meals on the premises to high nutrition milk and biscuits and scaled up to 55 districts. However, this is restricted to government schools targeting girls and mixed schools. Provincial Governments have waived user charges and are providing free books up to matric level, to attract students who cannot continue their studies due to poverty. Scholarships are being provided, particularly to female students to increase enrolment.

71. The reforms program for Madrassahs (seminaries) has been termed "mainstreaming of Madrassahs", providing insertion of additional subjects offered in regular schools, teachers support, training and maximum perks to teachers and improving the quality of education. More than 95 per cent of the country's estimated 13,000 Madrassahs had been registered. Madrassahs students constituted 4.5 per cent of the enrolled students in the country. Pakistan Studies, English, Mathematics and computer science has been incorporated in the curricula of Madrassahs.

72. A project titled "Madrassahs Reforms" was launched in 2002-03 with the directive of the President for a period of 5 years at a capital cost of Rs. 5759.4 million. The main objective of this program is to provide financial assistance to 8000 Deeni Madaris (religious seminaries) to introduce formal subjects in their curricula. The progress made toward the goals of this reform program include, simplification of the process of registration of Madaris, the standard procedure prescribed by the Ministry of Interior to control funds has produced positive results, a large number of Madaris have applied to provincial/area governments for financial assistance under the project, Most of Madaris in AJ&K have been cleared for financial assistance and a great breakthrough by the FATA administration have been made by distributing checks among registered Deeni Madaris.

Read the report (in english)