ISLAMABAD - The overall educational situation in the country, based on key indicators such as likely enrolments, number of institutes and number of teachers, has shown a slight improvement, says Economic Survey 2012-13.
The number of enrolments during 2011-12 was 40.1 million as compared to 38.5 million during the same period last year that shows an increase of 4.2 per cent. It is estimated to increase to 41.3 million during 2012-13, says the survey.
The number of institutes stood at 231,200 during 2011-12 as compared to 227,400 during the last year that shows an increase of 1.7 per cent. However, the number of institutes is estimated to increase to 233,200 during 2012-13. The number of teachers during 2011-12 was 1.44 million compared to 1.41 million during the last year showing an increase of 2.1 per cent. This number of teachers is estimated to increase further to 1.50 million during the year 2012-13.
According to the latest Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey 2011-12, the literacy rate of the population (10 years and above) remained 58 per cent during 2011-12. Literacy remains much higher in urban areas than in rural areas and much higher for men than women. Province-wise data suggests that Punjab and Sindh leads with 60 per cent literacy followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 52 per cent and Balochistan with 46 per cent.
The Gross Enrolment Rates (GER) at the primary level excluding Katchi (prep) for the age group 5-9 years at national level during 2011-12 decreased to 91 per cent from 92 per cent in 2010-11. Amongst the provinces, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained stable with 98 and 89 per cent in 2011-12 while Balochistan and Sindh declined from 74 per cent to 69 per cent and 84 per cent to 79 per cent respectively in 2011-12.
The Net Enrolment Rates (NER) at the national level during 2011-12 slightly increased to 57 per cent from 56 per cent in 2010-11. Punjab shows an increase of 64 per cent in 2011-12 as compared to 61 per cent in 2010-11. Sindh shows decrease from 53 per cent in 2010-11 to 50 per cent in 2011-2012; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed a slight improvement from 51 per cent in 2010-11 to 53 per cent in 2011-12 while Balochistan witnessed a prominent decline from 47 per cent in 2010-11 to 39 per cent in 2011-12 due to security prevailing situation.
The survey reports a slight increase in pre-primary, primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary education. An increase of 1.1 per cent in Pre-Primary enrolment (9.51 million) in 2011-12 over 2010-11 (9.41 million) has been observed and it is estimated to increase by 4.3 per cent (9.92 million) in 2012-13.
A total of 154,650 primary schools with 427,371 teachers were functional in 2011-12. An increase in primary enrolment (18.67 million) in 2011-12 over 2010-11 (18.06 million) was observed. It is estimated to slightly increase by 0.4 per cent to 18.75 million in 2012-13.
It states that a total of 41,945 middle schools with 351,381 teachers were functional in 2011-12. An increase in middle enrolment (6.02 million) in 2011-12 over 2010-11 (5.64 million) has been observed. It is estimated to increase by 3.7 per cent (6.24 million) in 2012-13. The survey highlights that about 2,000 students hailing from Balochistan and FATA and under the Higher Education Commission (HEC) scholarship programme availed scholarships but only 73 could complete their education. 
Conversely, quoting Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2012 by the Idara-e-Taleemo-Aagahi (ITA) and the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), the survey says that in 2012, 75.5 per cent of 5-16 year old children in rural Pakistan were enrolled in schools. Compared to 2011, enrolment levels of rural Pakistan have fallen whereas percentage of out-of school children is on the rise.
Sketching a dismal picture in terms of quality, the ASER explained that the learning levels in all three competencies i.e. language (Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto), English and Arithmetic have been improved since last year but it still remains poor. Half of the children from Class 5 still cannot read Class 2 Urdu/Sindhi/ Pashto story.