The history of education in Pakistan can be traced back to the time before partition when the British colonialists established a formal system of education. However, it was not until after independence that education truly began to take root in the country. Today, education is one of the most important aspects of Pakistani society.
Pakistan’s first steps towards formal education were taken by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. This college was later renamed Aligarh Muslim University and played an important role in promoting Western-style education amongst Muslims in British India. After partition, the Government of Pakistan placed a high priority on developing the country’s educational infrastructure.
In 1947, there were only around 700 schools serving a population of approximately 30 million people. By 1998, this number had increased to over 40,000 schools catering to nearly 130 million people. The government has also established a number of institutions specifically for higher learning.
These include Quaid-e-Azam University (established in 1967), Lahore University of Management Sciences (1984), National University of Sciences and Technology (1991), and Aga Khan University (1983). Collectively, these universities produce thousands of graduates each year who go on to play vital roles in Pakistan’s economy and society. Investment in education has yielded positive results for Pakistan over the years.
The literacy rate has steadily increased from around 10% at independence to 58% today. While there is still room for improvement, this nonetheless represents significant progress.