The Pakistani school system is severely
disadvantaged. A rapid increase in population is
tempting in the education sector, whose budgetary
allocation over the years has been held back by military
investments. Ambitions in the 2000s and 2010s to correct
the shortcomings have had limited success.
Since 2010, all children have a constitutionally
protected right to attend school for at least ten years
from the age of five. Tuition is free of charge but not
compulsory. In reality, it is far from all children who
receive the education they are entitled to. According to
the UN agency Unicef, Pakistan is one of the countries
in the world that has the greatest drop-out of
compulsory school pupils. More than 22 million children
do not attend school. The worst is the situation in the
Pashtun clan areas in the northwest and in the province
of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where only over half of the
children over ten years can read and write.
Country facts of Pakistan, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Even in the 1990s, not even half of the girls were
registered as low school students, but the differences
between girls and boys have slowly diminished since the
turn of the millennium.
After a five-year low school, three years in middle
school and a two-year high school and a two-year high
school follow. For higher education there are a large
number of both state and private universities and
colleges in all provinces, including agricultural
universities and technical colleges. Only a small
proportion of Pakistanis have higher education.
The language of instruction in public schools is
usually Urdu, although less than one in ten Pakistanis
are native speakers and there is a shortage of Urdu
teachers. In private schools and higher education,
teaching is usually in English.
The problems in the school system are rooted in deep
class differences, where a feudal elite has safeguarded
its own children and ignored the right of the majority
of the people to education. Largest government resources
were invested in higher education for a long time, which
favored the elite who could still afford to keep their
children in private elementary schools. The Pakistani
power elite - a triumvirate made up of the military,
religious establishment and feudal landlords - have
feared that an educated underclass would begin to
question the injustices.
However, the main reason why many children do not
attend school is poverty. The parents cannot afford to
save their labor or to buy the compulsory school
uniforms and teaching materials. Competent teachers are
poor and the school buildings are poorly maintained.
The shortcomings of the public school system have
since the 1980s led to a sharp increase in the number of
private Koran schools, mattresses, run by religious
parties or foundations. Some Quran schools - where the
Taliban movement was born - have spread fundamentalist
ideas, but extreme thoughts are also considered to have
been rooted in the state schools' substandard curricula
that attached greater importance to the heroes and
religious patriots than to the natural sciences and
languages. The Koran schools also attract many students
because they do not have to pay for uniforms or school
Teenage girl Malala Yousafzai from Swat Valley in
northern Pakistan became world famous and was awarded
with the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 for her fight for all
girls' right to education. The Taliban's attempt to
murder her in 2012 drew attention to the unfair
conditions in conservative parts of the country and the
major shortcomings of the Pakistani education system.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Pakistan, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
76.5 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
57.0 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
13.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
13.8 percent (2017)
National Action Plan on Terrorism
The government launches a 20-point national action plan to combat terrorism.
Special military courts should be set up to deal with suspected terrorists,
prohibited organizations should be prevented from re-emerging under new names
and their funding should be stripped. A special anti-terrorist force will be
formed and stricter rules will be introduced for the Koran schools where young
people are indoctrinated into radical Islamism. According to the government,
some of the measures require an addition to the constitution.
Six executions are executed
Two convicted prisoners are executed: one is convicted of an attack on the
army headquarters, one for attempted murder at Musharraf. A day later, another
four men are executed by hanging. Government officials say around 500 executions
are planned over the next few weeks.
Temporary stop for executions is lifted
The day after the massacre, Prime Minister Sharif abolishes the temporary
halt to the executions of sentenced terrorists that have been in effect since
Over 130 schoolchildren are killed in Taliban attacks
In one of the worst terrorist attacks in Pakistan in several years, a group
of Taliban enters an army-run school in Peshawar and opens fire on the students.
132 children and 16 employees are shot dead before soldiers can kill all nine
attackers after eight hours. TTP says the attack is a revenge for the army
offensive in North Waziristan, where at least 1,600 people, most Islamists, have
been killed. Most of the students at the school are children of defense
personnel. The nine Taliban must have entered the school by dressing in military
uniforms. A spokesperson for TTP says the men had orders to shoot the older
students. In school, children between the ages of 10 and 18 years of age.
Malala is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai, 17, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo.
Malala is the youngest Nobel laureate ever and she receives the prize for her
risky struggle for all girls' right to education. Malala received particular
attention when she was shot in October 2012 by Taliban in Swat Valley who
disliked her work. Malala shares the award with Indian Kailash Satyarthi, who
for decades has worked against child labor and child slavery (see India,
Murder of four polio workers
Four medical workers, who are participating in the polio vaccination
campaign, are shot dead in Baluchistan. Three other healthcare workers are
Four are sentenced to death for stoning
A federal court sentenced four men to death for stoning a pregnant woman to
death in an honor-related murder. In 2013, Pakistani media reported 869
honor-related murders, according to the Pakistan Human Rights Commission.
Christians are murdered by mobs
A Christian married couple is murdered by a mob in a small town in Punjab.
According to the perpetrators, the pair must have forged the Qur'an. According
to witnesses, the murder was in fact a personal settlement of money. Pakistan's
anti-blasphemy law (blasphemy) can result in the death penalty and is often used
by critics in personal vendettas and quarrels.
Bhutto Zardari is running for election
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announces that he is planning to run in
the 2018 general elections.
Army: "Great successes in North Waziristan"
The army announces that at least 910 resistance men have been killed in the
offensive in North Waziristan since the operation began in June. During the same
period, 82 soldiers have fallen. How many civilians who have been put to life do
not realize. The army also claims that all major locations in the clan area are
now controlled by the army and that the number of Taliban attacks has decreased
March against electoral fraud, deadly crows
PTI leader Khan organizes a march from Lahore to Islamabad with thousands of
participants. The march is a protest against the government, which he accuses of
cheating in the 2013 election. Khan demands Sharif resign, as he did not
commission an investigation into the cheating suspects. The protesters block two
main roads into Islamabad and also pass through the barricades around the
capital's so-called red zone, where parliament, embassies and other public
buildings are located. Riot breaks out and three people are killed and hundreds
injured. The national broadcaster PTV's broadcasts are temporarily suspended
when protesters storm its headquarters.
New attacks against ahmadiya
A woman and two little girls are killed in the city of Gujranwala when a
crowd attacks members of the ahmadiyah movement (see Religion) in protest
against a man making a "scathing post" on Facebook.
The army occupies the city of Miranshah
Just over a week into the month, federal authorities say about 800,000
civilians have been forced to flee their homes in North Waziristan since the
army offensive began. The Minister of Defense says it will continue until it has
achieved its goal of "ending terrorism". A week later, the military command says
the army has driven the Taliban out of Miranshah.
Field offensive in North Waziristan
The army launches a ground offensive against Taliban in North Waziristan.
According to army sources, more than 370 Taliban have been killed in air raids
carried out earlier this month. The military says it has found a tunnel system
and underground weapons factories in the Northern Waziristan capital, Miranshah.
US resumes drone attacks
The US is once again launching drone attacks in Pakistan after Prime Minister
Sharif found that four and a half months of dialogue with the Taliban were
Taliban attack on Karachi airport
About 40 people, including all ten perpetrators, are killed when Taliban
attack the Karachi International Airport. The men open fire inside a freight
terminal and try to hijack an aircraft. A multi-hour firefight erupts. Among the
dead are many security guards and airport employees. The Taliban say the attack
is a revenge for the Waziristan military offensive. Later, Uzbekistan's Islamist
movement (IMU) takes on the attack for the same reason. The IMU is affiliated
with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Deep crack in the Taliban movement
The influential clan Mehsud in South and North Waziristan leaves TTP on the
grounds that the organization has become Islamic. They refer to kidnappings,
blackmail and bomb attacks against public places such as Islamic acts. Mehsud
forms his own group, called the Tehrik Taliban of South Waziristan.
Flight offensive against Taliban mounts
More than 60 people are killed when Pakistani flights bomb Resistance
brackets of Taliban and al-Qaeda groups in North Waziristan. Tens of thousands
of Pakistanis have been killed in similar aerial bombings since 2007 when the
Taliban and al-Qaeda-inspired groups began their fight against the government in
Heathen law requires another death victim
Lawyer Rashid Rehman Khan, who is known for defending people accused of
blasphemy (blasphemy against Islam), is shot dead in the city of Multan.
Ministry of Defense: "shut down Geo TV"
The Ministry of Defense demands that Geo TV, one of Pakistan's largest news
channels, be shut down for accusing ISI military intelligence service of
attempted murder of one of Geo TV's most famous news anchors.
Christians are sentenced to death
A Christian couple is sentenced to death for sending a text message to the
local imam in which Prophet Muhammad must have been insulted.
Train bomb in Baluchistan
At least 13 people are killed and dozens injured when a bomb is blown aboard
a train in Baluchistan. Separatist group Baluchistan's United Army (UBA) says
the act is a revenge for the military launching an offensive against separatist
groups in the province.
Attacks in Islamabad
At least 20 people are killed and dozens injured when an explosive charge
detonates in a market on the outskirts of Islamabad. No group is taking on the
deed, which is the second in the capital since the ceasefire between TTP and the
government was concluded.
Shorter punishment for the doctor in the bin Ladin case
The doctor sentenced by a local traditional court to 33 years in prison for
assisting in the assassination of Usama bin Ladin gets his sentence shortened to
23 years by a Peshawar court (see May 2012).
Many victims in the polio campaign
Two police officers are shot to death in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the northwest
as they escort health care personnel working on polio vaccination. More than 40
people related to the polio vaccination program have now been murdered in
Pakistan since 2012.
New talks divide the Taliban
TTP announces a month's truce, and the government promises to stop the
bombings in the clan areas. A day later, a suicide attack is carried out at a
court building in Islamabad. Eleven people are killed and nearly 30 are injured.
The suspicions are directed at Taliban sub-groups who dislike TTP trying to
negotiate with the government.
Peace talks with the Taliban fail
The Taliban umbrella organization TTP and the government are holding an
inaugural meeting in a new peace dialogue. The US pauses the drone attacks to
facilitate the talks. But the dialogue has barely begun until the government's
negotiating group gives up. The reason is that TTP announces that they killed 23
semi-military soldiers, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in 2010. The following
day, Pakistani fighter jets launch bombs against Taliban strongholds in North
Waziristan and South Waziristan, with dozens of casualties as a result.
New attacks on polio workers
A total of ten people are killed in two blast attacks in Karachi and outside
Peshawar against staff working with polio vaccinations. The medical services are
accused of participating in a Western conspiracy to sterilize Muslims. The
prevalence of polio is increasing in Pakistan, partly as a result of Islamists'
opposition to the vaccination program.
Aerial bombings against Taliban mounts
Pakistani flight bombs suspected Taliban moorings in clan areas in the
northwest. At least 15 people are killed in the bombings, which is a response to
the recent military attacks on the military. Just since the turn of the year,
more than 110 people have been killed by the Pakistani Taliban movement TTP.