The Pakistani general elections are fast approaching and no matter which side you support, there is a clear idea that it’s a race between three parties. The PML-N, PPP, and the PTI have dominated pre-poll rallies and have campaigned extensively throughout the entire country. They are the clear front-runners in what has been touted as quite a close race.
It’s every citizen’s responsibility to thoroughly comprehend just what these three parties offer in the manifestos. This is especially true for the educational sector where Pakistan lacks based on national and international standards. Let’s take a look at their educational manifestos and see what they offer.
The PML-N provides an extensive list of reforms based at primary, secondary and higher education levels. Their promises include providing international standard education at primary level in institutes that have state of the art infrastructure. Moreover, they also plan to increase school enrollment at primary levels to a full 100%. The PML-N provides promises to extend education to FATA and other underprivileged areas and run an education drive in such places. They promise to increase the education budget to 4% of the GDP.
Promising a revolution in the higher education sector, the PML-N promises, greater enrollment, an increase in government-funded universities, partnerships with private institutes, and more focus towards recruiting female staff. They plan to increase the higher education budget by 0.5% and have laid out plans to produce 15000 science PhD scholars in the coming 5 years. However, they do not offer any incentives for the education of girls at any level.
The PPP promises extensive education reforms in its electoral manifesto. First and foremost, they aim to increase the educational budget to an unprecedented 5% of the annual GDP. Moreover, their main focus on the managing side happens to be on increased enrollment, increased teacher recruitment, and strict teacher attendance rules. They aim to introduce biometric attendance in schools to combat the lack of teacher attendance.
They also promise extensive reforms for female education. Along with providing stipends for girls who attend secondary school, they also plan to upgrade many primary girl schools to lower secondary at the least. Other promises include a more focused approach towards logical and thought-provoking educations and reforms for teaching methods as well. They have focused extensively on lower education and have promised internships for higher education students.
Out of all three parties, the PTI has promised the most extensive reforms in the education sector. They plan to increase the education budget to 4% and completely revolutionize the country’s education. One of their plans is to increase the federal government’s involvement in the country’s education. Departments will be set up to forecast the trends of education and the departments that deserve focus. Moreover, a federally approved education curriculum in a homogenized language for the entire country is one of their promises.
The PTI aims to increase student enrollment and teacher recruitment while also establishing a certification system for teachers that tests their mettle before they get hired. A nationwide program for freelance education in trade for university credits has been planned and special focus has been given to recruiting Pakistani teachers established in foreign countries. Moreover, stipends for girls attending secondary schooling have been promised. Ultimately, the PTI also aims to revolutionize the teaching process along with the curriculum.
For students, this upcoming election on the 25th of July is a momentous occasion. It is a day where their futures will be decided and thus students need to vote carefully. Only the party that is able to secure their futures needs to be supported.