Public schools in Pakistan are riddled with problems that include a chronic shortage of equipment and trained faculty, added to a gross mismanagement of the modest amount of funds available to the education sector. Teachers that receive timely salaries are accused of not showing up to teach their classes, while there are also those that receive no salary for months on end, and are expected to teach students without any books or other supplies. The situation in Dir is even worse, where the teachers have not been paid for 8 months and in the 80 schools spread all over the area where no books have been received for the past 3 years.

One only has to put themselves in the shoes of the unpaid teachers of Dir to know that they do not have any incentive to teach their students with diligence, considering that they will have to go home empty-handed after a hard day’s work.

And the message that is sent out through not paying the teachers is also one that is bound to have an impact on their students, even though most are too young to realise it at the time. A child’s family and their teachers affect intellectual and social development. When children do not see an improvement in the lives of the educated teachers compared to their own, they lose an important incentive to work hard. In fact, the students in Dir and other public schools are not encouraged to pursue higher education by their schools. The boys will start some vocational work, while the girls will work in the house until the day their parents decide to marry them off. 

The private education sector, although miles ahead of its public counterpart, only caters to a very restricted clientele from the upper and middle classes. The poor are then left to government schools which do not impart education that can enable them to change their lot in life and move up the social ladder. The only way to improve the stratification in society is through education, which cannot happen if the standard of public schools stays where it is. Beyond being able to read and write on a basic level, there is not much that public schools do for their students. The teachers in Dir feel that there is no point in opening the schools daily if the teachers are not going to be paid and the students are not going to receive any materials. The sad part is that they are probably right, considering the abysmal quality of education that the 3000 children in these schools are receiving.