Pakistan is among the most densely populated countries of the world. Currently, over 180 million people reside here making it the 6th most populous country of the world. People belonging to various casts, culture and color can be found. The overall literacy rate has always been a huge concern here.
Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), it is 55 per cent and Pakistan stands at 160th in total countries of the world.
Many schools and colleges are entering the education industry especially in various big cities of Pakistan but those living in rural areas are on a greater loss. Even if children want to study, they can’t, due to lack of resources or family pressure. The main reason for families not allowing their children especially girls to study is again illiteracy.
Proper education provides a child with lifelong benefits. It does not just give you knowledge, but also makes you a better person. It provides you with social acceptability in the society and gives you empowerment regarding decision making, problem solving and even multi-tasking. Education should not be considered as a want in fact, it should be perceived as a need for every living human being on earth.
The general understanding of literacy is to be able to read and write but unfortunately millions of people in Pakistan are deprived of even that. Pakistan is divided into multiple provinces and each province is facing different literacy scenarios.
Having over 56% of countries population makes Punjab one of the most populous provinces of Pakistan. It consists of many important cities such as Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Multan, Sialkot and so on. Over 3.8 million illiterate people currently reside in Punjab. This means that millions of people over the age of 15 cannot read or write in any language.
There are only six districts in Punjab that have above 70pc literacy rate. They are Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Chakwal and Gujrat. Most of the improvements have been seen at the primary level. Still a lot of work needs to be done in order to bring a bigger change.
Known for having a population of over 25 million people, Sindh can be called the most populated province of Pakistan. As far as its literacy rates are concerned, they are below 50 percent in rural areas. Karachi is leading the race and the rest are not even on the second or third position. Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, Larkana and Jamshoro are a few other cities that can see a reasonable amount of literacy rate. On the whole, many children are deprived of education due to which a greater percentage of child labor can also be witnessed.
Due to increasing security threats, families here are always concerned about sending children to schools. According to a recent report, the overall literacy rate in this province is 50%. Peshawar is among the most densely populated cities of KPK and is known for having a number of private and public schools. Some of the other major cities such as Mansehra, Mardana and Mingora are still deprived of a proper educational system.
For being an arid desert and a mountainous region, this province has always had hardships in building school based amenities. Just over one-quarter (28%) of the population 10 years and over is literate, with males 39% and females 16%. The barren land plays the role of a barrier in most of the cities resulting in a very poor literacy rate.
It is a challenge for Pakistan to improve its literacy rate and the situation demands that the government rethink the whole issue of literacy. Children are among the most valuable assets to any country and they need to be provided with proper education no matter what circumstances. Education works as a foundation for any child, it needs to be strong and firm in order to change the face of Pakistan.