education in pakistan - literacy rate snapshot

The latest available survey results show that literacy rate in Pakistan has increased to 60 percent in 2018-19 from 58 percent in 2013-14. Except Baluchistan, the trend is increasing in all other provinces and more prevalent in rural areas than urban areas. Comparatively the stats in Punjab are much better than any other province.

Literacy Rate is important for any economy since it is correlated to societal prosperity and sustainable development. Literacy rate basically tells about the proportion of population able to read and write and can make rational decisions in everyday life.  It is also one of the key SDGs set by United Nations for countries to work for and uplift their living standards.

Literacy Rate (10 years and older)

A latest national household survey conducted in 2018 – 19 tells that literacy rate in Pakistan has risen to 60 percent. The breakdown of this overall figure shows that out of this 60 percent literacy rate, 71 percent are males and 49 percent females.

Youth Literacy Rate (15-24)

Youth literacy rate in Pakistan has also risen a little to 72 percent in 2018-19 from 71 percent in 2013-14. Among all provinces, Punjab has the highest literacy rate (79 percent) followed by KPK (72 percent). However, there is a significant gender gap in all the provinces. KPK has the highest gender gap followed by Baluchistan where more males are literate than females.

Food For Thought

Data on Literacy and Education could be important for decision/policy makers and Communication strategy team. For example since 40 percent of the people might not be able to read descriptions written on product labels, audio recorded messages could be preferred over written text in such scenario. Moreover, such data may also be important for any campaign on brands, politics, prevention of COVID 19, polio vaccination , and traffic rules etc.

In comparison to other Asian counterparts such as Malaysia (94.6), Singapore (97.5) and Indonesia (95.7), unfortunately, Pakistan displays a poor figure of only 60 percent literates. There is a great need from Social, Political and Development side to step forward, bring projects and contribute towards lowering out of school population and the upliftment of overall education sector in Pakistan.

Note: This is a secondary research data compiled by Desk Research team at IFT led by leading Sociologist Mohsin Muslim. The stats and figures were taken from Household Integrated Economic Survey 2018-2019 report published by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

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