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Review of education policies and plans in the context of secondary education in Pakistan

Author: 
Dr. Dawood Shah
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This article tried to examine education policies and five years development plans in education sector particularly focusing on secondary education since 1947. The main objective of this article was to analyze the planning strategies pertaining to secondary education, allocation and utilization of funds for secondary education, reviewing the targets and achievements related to secondary education and to identify implementation gaps. Since 1947 eight major education policies and nine five year plans were developed which had tried to address the problems and issues of education sector in Pakistan. The main focus of these policies and plans was on access to education, quality of education, reducing gender disparity in educational provisions, education governance, structure of education, science education, technical and vocational education and relevance of education. The policies and plans also focused on improving secondary school infrastructure by opening new schools, up gradation and rehabilitation of schools to accommodate the output of primary schools. The policies and plans had also put emphasis on qualitative aspects of secondary education by updating and reforming the curricula, improving textbooks, reforming examination systems, and enhancing the capacity of teaching force. Unfortunately most of the policies and plans could not achieve their objectives due to lack of political will, inconsistency and frequent policy changes with change of governments, lack of financial resources, poor governance, weak government structure for implementation and monitoring of policies and plans, non-reflection of policies recommendations by development plans, lack of evaluation of education policies to identify causes of their failures, lack of coordination between policy makers and implementers, non-availability of authentic and reliable data, political instability and ignorance on the part of the masses. Despite all strategies and remedial measures proposed by education policies and plans, the education system of Pakistan is still facing numerous issues and challenges which include high illiteracy rate, low budgetary provision for education in terms of GNP, low enrolment rates at all levels of education, high dropout rate , inequality in educational provisions across regions and gender, lack of facilities for professional development of teachers, outdated curricula and poor quality of teaching and learning materials, poor physical infrastructure, poor management and supervision, and poor quality of education.

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