ISLAMABAD - Pakistan made no improvement in Net Primary Enrolment Rate (5-9 Years) in 2012-13 that remained 57 per cent, same as last year while the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) require 100 per cent primary enrollment by 2015.

However, the country shows slight improvement in the literacy rate of children 10 years and above from 58 per cent in 2011-12 to 60 in 2012-13 still far behind MDG goals that demand an 88 per cent overall literacy rate from its signatory countries.

The Pakistan Economic Survey 2013-14, released on Monday, painted a bleak picture of education sector. It reports province wise net primary enrollment rate as: Punjab 62 per cent, Sindh 52, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) 54 per cent and Balochistan 45 per cent.

Although, the survey reported a little improvement in the literacy rate of 10 years and above population, it highlighted stark disparity between male and female literacy rates with literacy national rate of male: 71 while female: 48 per cent in 2012-13.

Likewise, provinces report the same gender disparity with Punjab literacy rate of population 10 years and above male: 71 per cent and female: 54, Sindh male: 72 and female: 47, KP male: 70 and female: 35, Balochistan male: 62 and female: 23 percent.

In terms of MDG 3 that binds the countries to promote gender equality in education and aims to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and at all levels of education by 2015, the survey reported  no significant improvement.

In the rural areas of Pakistan, almost 74 per cent students attend public schools while 26 per cent students attend private schools including seminary etc and in urban areas 41 per cent go to public schools while 59 per cent students attend private schools, says the survey. The contribution of private sector is very low as compared to other countries of the region, it added.  The survey recommends common curricula in both public and private sector in general as well as professional education with mainstreaming of seminary to enable their graduates to compete in the job market.

The government is making joint efforts, it claims, at both federal and provincial level to increase the enrollment at primary level to achieve MDGs. And for this during 2013-14, the federal government allocated budget for education Rs 59.28 billion while Public Sector Development (PSDP) of federal government was Rs5.72 billion for the expansion and development of Basic and College Education. In addition, the provincial governments have also allocated Rs 59.440 billion to accelerate the pace of education at all levels and to achieve the MDGs targets.

The overall education situation based on key indicators such as likely enrolments, number of institutes and teachers, of all levels including primary, secondary and higher levels has shown a slight improvement, the survey maintains.

'The total number of enrolments during 2012-13 was estimated at 41.1 million as compared to 40.3 million during the same period last year. This shows an increase of 2.0 per cent. It is estimated to increase to 42.2 million during 2013-14,' the survey added.

The survey further added that the number of institutes stood at 240.3 thousands during 2012-13 as compared to 234.5 thousands during last year. This shows an increase of 2.5 per cent. However, the number of institutes is estimated to increase to 243.8 thousands during 2013-14.  The number of teachers during 2012-13 was estimated at 1.55 million as compared to 1.46 million during last year showing an increase of 6.2 per cent. This number of teachers is estimated to increase further to 1.62 million during the year 2013-14, it said.