The crisis of education in the country goes on unabated and unnoticed, and our children keep growing up- unskilled, closed-minded and unemployable. 6.2 million children in Pakistan don’t have access to primary education. According to the report, of all the primary-aged (5-9 years) children, 68 per cent are enrolled in schools. Low enrolment is only half the problem as teaching standards across the country are dismal. Some of the key issues related to the quality of existing teachers in Pakistan include the politicised system of recruitment and deployment, insufficient resources, a lack of professional development, and no system of quality assurance.

The two key strategies that have been identified in the National Education Policy 2009 were teachers’ licensing and the introduction of National Professional Standards for Teachers. In the developed world, all teachers, even primary school teachers are professionally tested and certified to teach. In Pakistan, such rigorous testing may be unfeasible for Primary and Middle school teachers, and will only create more expense ridden red-tape, but at the high school and higher education level, teachers have to be professionally qualified. Among the provinces, Sindh has taken the lead in implementing teacher certification and licensing whereas a roadmap has been developed in Punjab. Headway is being made, yet there is no political leader or party that has made education-for-all part of their mandate or a rallying cry.

While the NFC award is under discussion, and new criteria have to be evolved for the distribution of resources among the provinces, educational needs can be looked as one criterion. The education sector, along with is barebones cousin, the health sector, has suffered at the hands of security policy and taken a backseat in budgets and discussions. There needs to be some allocations made, or remade, on part of the provinces, that channel revenue to these causes. The government is supposed to provide education and health care, but funds are always meagre and doctors and teachers are left to face the ire of the people.