Pakistan governed under the Islamic, democratic, federal Constitution of 1973 is comprised of four autonomous provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtonkha (Ex-North-West Frontier) and Baluchistan.

Education in Pakistan

Education in Pakistan is essentially a provincial affair. However, education is considered to be a vital source of nation-building. Therefore, in order to ensure national cohesion, integration and preservation of the ideological foundation of the State, certain educational functions are the responsibilities of the Federation, via the Federal Ministry of Education: These responsibilities include: curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy and educational standards.

In Pakistan, the education system is three-tier:

1.Elementary (grade 1-8): Elementary Education in Pakistan has two stages;

  • Primary stage: It comprises classes I to V and enrolls students of age-group 5+ to 9+.
  • Middle stage: A three-year Middle stage consists of classes VI to VIII corresponding to age-group 10+ to 12+.

2.Secondary (grade 9-12) has two stages;

  • High (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate)
  • Intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to A Higher Secondary School Certificate)

3. University programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees.

Government schools offer primary education from class I – V (5 to 9) and then middle or elementary schooling, class VI-VIII (10-13) and finally secondary schooling, class IX-X (14-15).

All academic education institutions are the responsibility of the133provincial governments. The federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.

The eight common disciplines are Urdu, English, mathematics, science, arts, social studies, Islamiyat and sometimes computer studies. Science is taught as a compulsory subject at primary and elementary level(I-VIII) in an integration of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science.

In primary classes (I-V), students study science 12% of the total school time. At middle school level (VI-VIII) students spend 13-15% of their school time in studying science.

At the secondary school level (IX-X) science is optional and those who opt for it study 12-14% on each science subject – physics, chemistry and biology. The content of the teaching in the middle classes revolves around three broad areas: living things, matter and energy, and the earth and the universe.

The courses offered are generally the same throughout Pakistan. Diversification of courses takes place after class VIII (age 13+).The medium of instruction in primary schools is Urdu, but English is introduced as a second language in class VI.

The medium of instruction in the public schools is mainly Urdu; however, most of the teachers use their regional language as the language of instruction.

Schools in the Provinces also teach their regional languages as a subject. However, Sindh is an exception where government schools can opt for Sindhi as a medium of instruction.

Integrated Curricula for grade I-III has been recently introduced. The curricula in various disciplines were drafted by National Committee consisting of a majority of subject experts from the Universities and are highly content oriented.

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