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Overseas Pakistan Education
 
Educational Structure in Pakistan

Education in Pakistan is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education (MOE), which is headed by the Minister of Education. The primary function of the MOE is to formulate educational policies and to coordinate uniformity of educational objectives, practices, and standards throughout the provinces. Funding for university education is provided through the MOE and is administered through the Universities Grants Commission (UGC). The MOE formulates plans and policies for universities in coordination with the UGC, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Planning and Development, as well as other branches of government with ties to education.  2.7% of the total Gross National Product is allocated to education.

SIZE
There are approximately 175,600 educational institutions in Pakistan at the elementary, secondary, upper secondary, and higher education levels.

STRUCTURE

PRIMARY EDUCATION

The standard national system of education is mainly inspired from the British system. Pre-school education is designed for 3–5 years old and usually consists of three stages: Play Group, Nursery and Kindergarten (also called 'KG' or 'Prep'). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grades 1 to 5. This is proceeded by middle school from grades 6 to 8. At middle school, single-sex education is usually preferred by the community but co-education is also common in urban cities. The curriculum is usually subject to the institution. The eight commonly examined disciplines are Urdu, English, mathematics, arts, science, social studies, Islamiyat and sometimes computer studies which is subject to availability of a computer laboratory. Some institutes also give instruction in foreign languages such as Arabic, French and Chinese. The language of instruction depends on the nature of institution itself, whether it is an English-medium school or an Urdu-medium school.

SECONDARY LEVEL
Secondary education in Pakistan begins from grade 9 and lasts for four years. After end of each of the four school years, students are required to pass a national examination administered by a regional Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (or BISE).
Upon completion of grade 9, students are expected to take a standardised test in each of the first parts of their academic subjects. They again give these tests of the second parts of the same courses at the end of grade 10. Upon successful completion of these two examinations, they are awarded a Secondary School Certificate (or SSC). This locally termed as 'matriculation certificate' or 'matric' for short. The curriculum usually includes a combination of eight courses including electives (such as Biology/Computing, Chemistry and Physics) as well as compulsory subjects (such as English, Urdu, Mathematics, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies).
Students then enter an intermediate college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of each of the two grades, they again take standardised tests in their academic subjects. Upon successful completion of these examinations, students are awarded the Higher Secondary (School) Certificate (or HSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA or 'intermediate'. There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences) and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiyat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).
Alternative qualifications in Pakistan are also available but are maintained by other examination boards instead BISE. Most common alternative is the General Certificate of Education (or GCE), where SSC and HSC are replaced by Ordinary Level (or O Level) and Advanced Level (or A Level) respectively. Other qualifications include IGCSE which replaces SSC. GCE O Level, IGCSE and GCE AS/A Level are managed by British examination boards of CIE of the Cambridge Assessment and/or Edexcel of the Pearson PLC. Generally, 8-10 courses are selected by students at GCE O Levels and 3-5 at GCE A Levels.

According to the OECD's 2009 Global Education Digest, 6.3% of Pakistanis (8.9% of males and 3.5% of females) were university graduates as of 2007. Pakistan plans to increase this figure to 10% by 2015 and subsequently to 15% by 2020. There is also a great deal of variety between the different age cohorts. Less than 6% of those in the age cohort 55-64 have a degree, compared to 8% in the 45-54 age cohort, 11% in the 35-44 age cohort and 16% in the age cohort 25-34.
After earning their HSC, students may study in a professional college for Bachelor's degree courses such as engineering (B.Engg), medicine (MBBS), dentistry (BDS), veterinary medicine (DVM), law (LLB), architecture (B.Arch), pharmacy (Pharm-D) and nursing (B.Nurs). These courses require four or five years of study. Students can also attend a university for Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree courses.
There are two types of Bachelor courses in Pakistan: Pass or Honours. Pass degree requires two years of study and students normally read three optional subjects (such as Chemistry or Economics) in addition to almost equal number of compulsory subjects (such as English and Pakistan Studies). Honours degree requires three or four years of study, and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study, such as Biochemistry (BSc Hons. Biochemistry). It can be noted that Pass Bachelors is now slowly being phased out for Honours throughout the country.  
Quaternary education
Most of Master's degree programs require 2 years education. Masters in Philosphy (M.Phill) is available in most of the subjects and can be undertaken after doing Masters. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) education is also available in selected areas and is usually pursued after earning a M.Phil degree. Students pursuing M.Phil or PhD degrees must choose a specific field and a university that is doing research work in that field. M.Phil and PhD education in Pakistan requires minimum of 2 years of study.

Vocational/technical education is administered through the Provincial Education and Labor Departments. The minimum qualifications to enter male vocational institutions, is the completion of grade 8.  The programs are generally two to three years in length. The minimum qualifications to enter female vocational institutions, is the completion of grade 5.

At the upper secondary level vocational programs are offered through the provincial Boards of Technical Education. The Boards of Technical Education conduct the external examinations and award diplomas. The minimum entrance requirement into these programs is the Secondary School Certificate.

Vocational/technical education is also offered at polytechnics and colleges of technology which offer three-year programs in a variety of trades.  

PRIVATE AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
Private education exists at all levels of education in Pakistan.  The medium of instruction is usually English and the quality of education varies.  Some schools provide traditional Islamic education. Registered private schools are required to follow government-prescribed curricula. However, not all private schools are registered.  Some schools are accredited to prepare students for the examinations of the Cambridge University Local Examination Syndicate. Very little government assistance is provided to private schools.

Until 1991, there were only two recognized private universities, Aga Khan University established in 1983 and Lahore University of Management Sciences established in 1985.  Since 1997, ten new private institutions have been established and recognized by the MOE. The expansion of the private sector is due to limited government resources, the inability of the current system to allow for growth expansion, and the growing demand for higher education. The government realizes that university education is expensive, especially in sciences and technology, and has therefore encouraged education in the private sector.

ACADEMIC YEAR
The duration of the academic year is nine months, from September to June, with some variations. There is usually a two-month vacation in summer and a 20-day break in winter. Schools are open six hours a day, with a 30-minute break. Friday is considered a public holiday.

TEACHER EDUCATION
Teacher education is conducted in institutions under the control of the Provincial Education Departments and Education Extension Centres. Teacher education programmes  are offered in Government Colleges of Elementary Teachers, Government Colleges of Education, Institutes of Education and Research, and Departments of Education in universities. Teachers for grades 1 through 8 are required to complete at minimum a one-year teacher-training program; admission to these programmes is based on completion of grade 10, at minimum. Teachers for grades 9 and 10 are required to complete a one-year teacher-training programme for which the admission requirement is a 2-year Bachelor of Arts/Science; the credential awarded is a Bachelor of Education. Teachers for grades 11 and 12 are required to complete a three-year teacher-training programme leading to a Bachelor of Education degree. 

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Top Links
  Pakistani Newspapers
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  Government Websites
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  Research & Survey
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