Islamabad - The federal capital primary level educational institutes have outshined the four provinces and the AJK in enrolment and learning ratio, a report released on Tuesday said.

The primary education institutes of Islamabad Capital Territory have scored around 90 per cent enrolment ratio, said the Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017’ report launched by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

The learning score of the federal capital remained above 60 per cent.

ICT institutions got 100 per cent score in the category of retention while in gender parity the report ranked it at 94.54 per cent.

The ICT region was also ranked top in the availability of infrastructure and other facilities, the report said.

Executive Director (ED) SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that the major problem with the education in the country, during the research, was observed that a large number of students cannot continue their education after middle level.

He said that the reasons behind this issue included poverty, quality of education and lack of other facilities.

The report ranked Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber, three districts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) on top, Shaikhupura District of Punjab on 4th whereas Qila Abdullah, Sujwal, and Orakzai Agency at the bottom.

The report revealed a striking contrast that AJK was at the bottom in infrastructure with a total score of 28.4 per cent whereas Punjab has been on top with 92.8 per cent.

The trend in Middle Schools District Education Ranking reflected that Punjab was dominating at the top positions. Whereas Haripur from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Quetta from Balochistan occupy 9th and 14th position respectively and districts from KP and FATA were holding the bottom five positions.

Likewise, the trends in middle school showed that Punjab is dominating again in middle school infrastructure ranking but Nagar, a new district of GB has been at the top with a full score of 100 per cent. Balochistan and AJK are again sharing bottom ranks.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that the purpose of this evidence-based research was to identify the areas that were hampering the quality and access to education as well as the factors that were leading towards the improvement.

“We need to explore the factors behind children leaving the schools, particularly after completing education at middle school level,” he said.

He also said that these efforts were aimed at to provide insight and directions to policy makers.

Dr Suleri added that the two important indicators that needed the attention were retention and improvement in gender parity index to meet ‘Vision 2025’ and SDGs, he concluded.

Shafqat Munir, a Senior Policy Advisor of SDPI, informed the audience that the purpose of this research was to present the existing state of infrastructure and access to education for the children across Pakistan.

However, the responsibility of improving these indicators lies with the respective governments as the present state of affairs in the education sector was demanding more budgetary allocations in this important sector.

Junaid Zahid said that despite many challenges like data gap that was existed at various levels, SDPI was able to compile the report with utmost authenticity.