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Education System in Pakistan

(Dr Qaisar Abbas Janjua, Chiniot)

The education system in Pakistan is generally divided into five levels:-
1) Primary (Grades one to Grade 5)
2) Middle (Grades six to Grade 8)
3) High (Grade Nine to Grade 10) Also known as Secondary
4) Intermediate (Grade eleven to 12) Also known as Higher Secondary
5) University (Undergraduate and Graduate degree)
(14 to 16 Years of Education)

1) Primary Level of 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 (KG)). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grade 1 to 5. Only 80% of Pakistani children finish primary school education.

2) Middle Level of Education
After passing grade 5 Examination which is conducted by the Punjab Examination Commission Lahore, students are promoted in to Middle Level ie grade 6 to 8. At middle level single-sex education is usually preferred by the community but co-education is also common in urban cities of the Pakistan.

Subject Taught at Middle Level of Education:
At middle level of education the eight commonly examined subjects are Urdu, English, Mathematics, Arts, Science, Social Studies, Islamiyat and sometime Computer Studies. Some institutes also give instruction in foreign languages such as Turkish, Arabic, Persian, French and Chinese. The language of instruction depends on the nature of the institution itself, whether it is an English medium school or an Urdu medium School.

3) High/Secondary Level of Education
After passing grade 8 Examination which is conducted by the Punjab Examination Commission Lahore, Students are promoted to High/Secondary Level ie grade 9 to 10 which is also known Secondary School Certificate (SSC). Students are required to pass a national examination administered by a regional Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE). Upon successful completion of these two examination, they are awarded a SSC Certificate. This locally known as “Matriculation”.

Subject Taught at Secondary Level of Education:
The curriculum usually includes a combination of eight courses including elective subject such as (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer) as well as compulsory subject such as (Mathematics, English, Urdu, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies).

4) Intermediate/Higher Secondary Level of Education
The students are promoted to grade 11 after passing of grade 10. Upon successful completion of grade 11 and grade 12 Examination by the BISE, students are awarded the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA or “Intermediate”. There are many groups that students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities and commerce.

Subject Taught at Intermediate/Higher Secondary Level of Education:
At Intermediate level each group consists of three elective and as well as three compulsory subject of English, Urdu, Islamiyat(grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (Grade 12 only).

6) University Level of Education (Undergraduate and Graduate degree)
After earning HSSC (Higher Secondary School Certificate), students may study in a professional college/University for Bachelor’s degree courses such as engineering (B.Engg/BS 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. There are some councils and boards that will handle all the educational matters in these cases and they are known as the PMDC, Pakistan pharmacy council and Pakistan nursing council. Students can also attend a university for Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com).

At university level there are two types of Bachelor courses in Pakistan: Pass or Honors. 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 subject such as English and Pakistan Studies. Honours degree required three or four years of study, and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study such as Microbiology (BS Hons. Microbiology).

After successful completion of B.A,B.Sc, students enrolled in Master degree programme that require 2 years education to get the Master degree. Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil) is available in most of the subject 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 degree must choose a specific field and a university that is doing research work in that filed. M.Phil and PhD education in Pakistan requires minimum of 2 years of study.

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About the Author: Dr Qaisar Abbas Janjua


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میں اس نعرہ کا حامی ہوں۔ “پڑھنے لکھنے کے سوا پاکستان کا مطلب کیا؟“ یہ نعرہ “پاکستان کا مطلب کیا، لا الہ الا اللہ !“ سے متصادم نہیں ہے- کیونکہ اسلام میں پڑھنا لکھنا ہر مسلمان پر فرض ہے-اسلام میں پڑھنے لکھنے کی اہمیت کا اندازہ اس طرح لگایا جا سکتا ہے کہ ایک غزوہ کے موقع پر کچھ پڑھے لکھے کفار کو گرفتار کرکے لا یا گیا تو حضور اکرم (ص) نے انکو آفر کی کہ اگر وہ ایک مقرر شدہ تعداد میں مسلمانوں کو پڑھنا لکھنا سکھا دیں تو انکو رہا کردیا جائیگا- اور اس وقت پاکستان میں لٹریسی ریٹ بڑھانے کی شدید ضرورت ہے ۔
By: Ather Ali, Karachi on Jun, 10 2013
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