Our media, both print and electronic, is saturated with noise and fury about politics, violence and corruption scandals. Seldom do they focus on social issues, especially education and health. There may occasionally be an exception or two, but these subjects hit the headlines only when there is a tragic happening like girls fainting in a school or patients dying because of administering of lethal spurious medicines they have been administered.
Also, while there is a lot of publicity about higher education now and then and news about the distribution of laptops, there is hardly any mention of the tens of millions of illiterates in the country or the state of school education.
Against this context, it is a matter of considerable satisfaction that a non-government organization has been undertaking surveys of school education in Pakistan and publishes a report on “access to” and “learning outcomes” in both public and private schools, as also statistics about the out-of-school boys and girls.
The Annual Status of (school) Education Report (ASER) released the other day, this year too, reveals a dismal picture. Just read some of the highlights of the report.