Since Pakistan’s independence, many promises have been made to develop and improve the education system, and five-year plans have been formulated since 1960. Few measures have been implemented for the large part of the population. More recently, Islamization has become increasingly important. Next to the public school system there are Islamic schools (the “madrassah” system).
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It is in principle free but not compulsory primary school. The primary school is 5 years old from the children is 5 years old. The secondary school is divided into 3 + 4 years. In 2000, 66% of children in the relevant age groups attended primary school (34% of girls). There is a very high dropout rate, and just over 50% of children do not finish primary school.
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Urdu is the national language, but the primary languages and children’s first languages are Panjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Baluchi. English is the language of instruction in colleges and universities. There are 26 public and 11 private universities in the country (2001).
Larger literacy campaigns and a major commitment to the Allama Iqbal Open University have not solved the problem of the large proportion of the population who cannot read and write. According to UNESCO calculations in 2003, approx. 54% of the adult population is illiterate (70% of women). There are major regional differences between piggyback and densely populated areas.
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1947 Pakistan is formed
The relationship between Hindus and Muslims was greatly affected by the tensions between both communities and the clashes that took place in different parts of India. This convinced the leaders of the Indian Congress Party – who primarily represented the nationalists – about the need to accept Pakistan as the solution to the problems between the two communities. On June 3, 1947, the divisional plan was published and it was accepted by both the league and the Congress party. On August 14, the new state of Pakistan was born consisting of the provinces of East Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, Northeast Frontier Province and East Bengal, located 1600 km further east.
Both politically and economically, Pakistan’s starting ground was poor. British India’s business had been transformed to serve the interests of the colonial power: facilitating the export of raw materials and opening up the market for British industrial goods. In the 1900s, however, some Indian industry was developed. Like India, Pakistan started with enormous poverty and a dependent economy. Pakistan also came to consist of more underdeveloped areas characterized by commodity production; Among other things. cotton was grown in West Pakistan and jute in East Pakistan, but the processing took place at factories in Bombay and Calcutta, which came to be in India.
During the many different state formations from before the colonial period, ordinary people had little political influence. The difference in economic and social status was immense and often fixed. Then a foreign government (the English) ruled – exercised through administrative and military authority. Towards the end of the colonial period, a form of Indian co-determination developed, but on the basis of very limited voting rights.
Independent Pakistan’s attempt at a Western form of political governance failed. After the first military coup in 1958, the country was led by General Ayub Khan. The board gradually gained a more civil appearance, but was strongly centralized.
Despite strong economic growth in the 1960s, there was widespread dissatisfaction with the distribution of output. East Pakistan found it unfair that the region with over half the population and a large contribution to foreign exchange income through jute exports received only about one third of the investment.
Agriculture employed over half of the country’s population, but the land was very unevenly distributed from the start. Large farmers and landowners – who make up about 10% of the landowners – in 1972 controlled over half the agricultural land. Most of those who work in agriculture were and are either landless land workers or they lease land against making a large portion of the proceeds or pay taxes.
The first modest land reform came under Ayub’s military rule, but its land restriction was often bypassed. The green revolution increased agricultural production from the mid-1960s, but it was in particular the larger farms that benefited from it. They had the capital and knowledge to introduce irrigation, fertilizers and insecticides. Moreover, employment among the rural workers was reduced due to increased mechanization. The Green Revolution thus reinforced the social inequalities in rural areas and increased the differences between the districts.
In March 1969, Ayub Khan was forced to step down, and the power went a second time to the military commander-in-chief, General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, who, however, was soon preparing to transition to civilian rule. The first direct election to the National Assembly in Pakistan was held in October 1970. The Awamiliga won almost all the East Pakistan seats, and thus a majority in the National Assembly on its program of extensive autonomy for East Pakistan. Election winner in West Pakistan and leader of Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, perceived the claim as incompatible with preservation of Pakistani state. Negotiations for a solution broke down and in March 1971 East Pakistan set up its own government in Dacca. By order of President Yahya Khan, the Pakistan Army – where the West Pakistanis dominated – sought to defeat the uprising. The Awamiliga was banned and its leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman sent to prison. However, after attacks by Indian troops in December 1971, the Pakistani military forces had to surrender and East Pakistan became an independent state under the name Bangladesh.