3 AJK districts declared top quality education providers
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By A Reporter | 8/23/2017 12:00:00 AM
ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), whose districts are at the bottom in infrastructure indicators, are much better than the districts in other parts of Pakistan when it comes to quality of education.

Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber are the districts providing quality education and having good records in all four indicators of education: access, retention learning and gender parity.

These findings from `Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017` prepared by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) were shared with mediapersons on Tuesday. The SDPI could not release the report as scheduled on Tuesday.

According to the findings, Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber districts of AJK are on the top while Punjab`s Sheikhupura is on the fourth with Killa Abdullah (Balochistan), Sujawal (Sindh) and Orakzai Agency at the bottom.

`The Pakistan @ 70; District Education Rankings` is an annual iteration for tracking progress and performance of various regions of Pakistan. The report said AJK had been at the bottom in infrastructure with a total score of 28.4 whereas Punjab had been on the top with the score of 92.8. The trends in `Middle Schools District Education Ranking` reflected that Punjab was dominating at the top positions. On the other hand, Haripur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Quetta in Balochistan occupied 9th and 14th position, respectively. Other districts in KP and Fata were holding the bottom five positions.

Punjab also dominated in the middle school infrastructure ranking but Nagar, a new district in GilgitBaltistan, has been on the top with full score of 100.

Balochistan and AJK are again sharing the bottom ranks.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, the executive director SDPI, said the purpose of the research was to identify areas that were hampering the quality and access to education as well as the factors that were leading towards the improvement.

He said the two most important indicators that needed attention were retention on and improvement in gender parity index to meet `Vision 2025` and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Shafgat Munir, senior policy adviser SDPI, said the purpose of the research was to present the existing state ofinfrastructure and access to education for the children across Pakistan. However, the responsibility for improving these indicators lied with the respective governments as the present state of affairs in the education sector was demanding more budgetary allocations.

Junaid Zahid, a researcher, said in the next few days the detailed report would be shared with the media as currently it was in the publishing process.