Pakistan's Human Capital Deficit

Pakistan's human capital has doubled from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016, according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.  However, Pakistan still ranks a poor 164th in the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. India has also more than doubled its human capital from 3 years to 7 years but Bangladesh stands out by tripling its human capital from two years to six years of learning since 1990.  In 2016, the Lancet study shows that 44 countries achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital while 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have less than 10 years of learning, putting them in the category of low human capital countries. Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

What is Human Capital?

Dictionary defines human capital as "the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community".

The Lancet study says it "provides a new measure of expected human capital for 195 countries, consisting of four components: educational attainment, learning, health, and survival, based on a systematic analysis of all available data. This measure, in units of health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years, is estimated each year from 1990 to 2016 and can be updated annually."  Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

Human Capital Growth in South Asia. Source: The Lancet
South Asia's Low Human Capital:

Both Pakistan and India have seen their human capital double from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016 but both still rank low with significantly less than 10 years of learning,  according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.

In fact, the entire South Asia region continues to rank low in terms of human capital. Among South Asian nations, Sri Lanka ranks the highest at 102 (13 years), Maldives 116 (12 years), Bhutan 133 (9 years),  Nepal 156 (7 years),  India 158 (7 years),  Bangladesh 161 (6 years), Pakistan 164 (6 years) and Afghanistan 188 (4 years). Countries with less than 10 years of learning are considered having "low human capital" by the authors of the study.

In 2016, the Lancet study shows that 44 countries achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital while 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have less than 10 years of learning, putting them in the category of low human capital countries.

Change in Global Human Capital Maps. Top 1990, Bottom 2016. Source: Lancet

Global Human Capital Rankings:

Finland tops the human capital charts with 28.4 years of learning, United States ranks 27th with 23 years of learning and Turkey and China rank 43rd and 44th respectively, each with 20 years of learning. The countries with the least human capital are those in sub-Saharan Africa. Mali ranks 191st (3 years), Burkina Faso 192nd (3 years), Chad 193rd (2 years), South Sudan 194th (2 years) and Niger (2 years)  at the very bottom ranked 195th.

Conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in collaboration with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the study on the measurement of human capital has been published in the journal The Lancet.

Impact of Human Capital on Economic Growth:

The Lancet report says that "human capital is characterized as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population, affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity".

Growth in human capital is associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualized growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile, according to the Lancet report.

Human Development in Pakistan: 

In addition to the human capital report by The Lancet, UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) is another indicator of human progress that combines information on people’s health, education and income. The latest Human Development Report (HDR) shows Pakistan's HDI ranking sank to a new low of 150 in 2018.

Pakistan's Human Development Growth Rate By Decades. Source: HDR 2018

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index focusing on three basic dimensions of human development: the ability to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life expectancy at birth; the ability to acquire knowledge, measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and the ability to achieve a decent standard of living, measured by gross national income per capita.

Not only has Pakistan's economy slowed since 2008 but its progress in education sector has seen a dramatic slowdown. Data shows that Pakistan's literacy and enrollment rates are not rising in spite of significantly increased education spending over the last several years. Education budgets at federal and provincial levels have seen double digit increase of 17.5% a year on average since 2010. And yet, school enrollment and literacy rate have remained essentially flat during this period.  This lack of progress in education stands in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes seen from increase education spending during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. Why is it?

Is the money not being spent honestly and wisely? Is the education budget being used by the ruling politicians to create teacher jobs solely for political patronage? Are the teachers not showing up for work? Is the money being siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians by hiring "ghost teachers" in "ghost schools"? Let's try and examine the data and the causes of lack of tangible results from education spending.

Pakistan Education Budget:

The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17,  representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.

Education and Literacy Rates:

Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16

Four Levels of Development:

The extensive data compilation and research by Professor Hans Rosling of Sweden has shown that the binary categorization of nations into developed and developing is no longer useful. Instead, he has proposed using 4 levels of development based on health and wealth indicators, a proposal that has now been accepted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Here's how Rosling and the United Nations define these 4 levels:

1. Level 1: One billion people live on level 1. This is what we think of as extreme poverty. If you’re on level 1, you survive on less than $2 a day and get around by walking barefoot. Your food is cooked over an open fire, and you spend most of your day traveling to fetch water. At night, you and your children sleep on a dirt floor.

2. Level 2: Three billion people live on level 2, between $2 and $8 a day. Level 2 means that you can buy shoes and maybe a bike, so it doesn’t take so long to get water. Your kids go to school instead of working all day. Dinner is made over a gas stove, and your family sleeps on mattresses instead of the floor.

Level 3: Two billion people live on level 3, between $8 and $32 a day. You have running water and a fridge in your home. You can also afford a motorbike to make getting around easier. Some of your kids start (and even finish) high school.

Level 4: One billion people live on level 4. If you spend more than $32 a day, you’re on level 4. You have at least a high school education and can probably afford to buy a car and take a vacation once in a while.

Imran Khan's Ambitious Agenda:

Imran Khan laid out his agenda in his first speech to the nation after taking the office of the prime minister.  It was more like a fireside chat in which he spoke directly to the people to explain his priorities that emphasize education,  health care and human development. These are the keys to leading Pakistan from level 2 to level 3. In order to pursue his priorities, Mr. Khan needs to first address the more urgent economic crisis which he acknowledged. Pakistan needs to deal with excessive public debt and pay for the necessary imports to move forward.  He must also deal with financial corruption and mismanagement to free up the resources for his ambitious agenda of economic and human development of the nation.

Mr. Khan will almost certainly face stiff opposition from the status quo forces which stand to lose from the changes he seeks. They will fight to preserve their patronage networks and their power and privilege. They will try to bring down his coalition government with all they have got. They might even threaten his personal safety and security.

Democracy and Development:

Professor Hans Rosling has compiled extensive socioeconomic data and done serious research to understand how nations develop. He has shared his work in "Factfulness" that he co-wrote with his son Ola Rosling and daughter Anna Rosling Ronnlund. Here's an except on democracy and development from Factfulness:

"This is risky but I am going to argue it anyway. I strongly believe that liberal democracy is the best way to run a country. People like me, who believe this, are often tempted to argue that democracy leads to, or its even a requirement for, other good things, like peace, social progress, health improvement, and economic growth. But here's the thing, and it is hard to accept: the evidence does not support this stance.

Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 faster than any other country had ever done (without finding oil), all the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy.

Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It's better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like."


Pakistan's human capital has doubled from three years of learning in 1990 to six years of learning in 2016, according to a human capital study of 195 countries recently published in the journal The Lancet.  However, Pakistan still ranks a poor 164th in the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. India has also doubled its human capital from 3 years to 6 years but Bangladesh stands out by tripling its human capital from two years to six years of learning since 1990.  Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update.  The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018. Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has laid out an ambitious agenda that could accelerate Pakistan's human development progress to take his country from level 2 to level 3 of socioeconomic development. It is achievable but the odds are against him because he faces stiff opposition from the status quo forces. The powerful dynastic duopoly of PPP and PMLN still dominates Pakistan's Senate whose support will be required for major reforms. The research by Professor Hans Rosling shows: "Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy." It's also supported by Pakistan's economic history where pace of development has consistently been faster under military governments than during civilian democratic rule. Can Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership change the course of history and deliver faster human progress under democratic rule? Let's wait and see.


Riaz Haq said…
While 72% of Pakistan's 8th graders can do simple division, the comparable figure for Indian 8th graders is just 57%. Among 5th graders, 63% of Pakistanis and 73% of Indians CAN NOT divide a 3 digit number by a single digit number, according to the World Bank report titled "Student Learning in South Asia: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Priorities". The performance edge of Pakistani kids over their Indian counterparts is particularly noticeable in rural areas. The report also shows that Pakistani children do better than Indian children in reading ability.

Here are some excepts from the World Bank report:

Unfortunately, although more children are in school, the region still has a major learning challenge in that the children are not acquiring basic skills. For example, only 50 percent of grade 3 students in Punjab, Pakistan, have a complete grasp of grade 1 mathematics (Andrabi et al. 2007). In India, on a test of reading comprehension administered to grade 5 students across the country, only 46 percent were able to correctly identify the cause of an event, and only a third of the students could compute the difference between two decimal numbers (NCERT 2011). Another recent study found that about 43 percent of grade 8 students could not solve a simple division problem. Even recognition of two-digit numbers, supposed to be taught in grade 2, is often not achieved until grade 4 or 5 (Pratham 2011). In Bangladesh, only 25 percent of fifth-grade students have mastered Bangla and 33 percent have mastered the mathematics competencies specified in the national curriculum (World Bank 2013). In the current environment, there is little evidence that learning outcomes will improve by simply increasing school inputs in a business-as-usual manner (Muralidharan and Zieleniak 2012).

In rural Pakistan, the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2011 assessment suggests, arithmetic competency is very low in absolute terms. For instance, only 37 percent of grade 5 students can divide three-digit numbers by a single-digit number (and only 27 percent in India); and 28 percent of grade 8 students cannot perform simple division. Unlike in rural India, however, in rural Pakistan recognition of two-digit numbers is widespread by grade 3 (SAFED 2012). The Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) survey—a 2003 assessment of 12,000 children in grade 3 in the province—also found that children were performing significantly below curricular standards (Andrabi et al. 2007). Most could not answer simple math questions, and many children finished grade 3 unable to perform mathematical operations covered in the grade 1 curriculum. A 2009 assessment of 40,000 grade 4 students in the province of Sindh similarly found that while 74 percent of students could add two numbers, only 49 percent could subtract two numbers (PEACE 2010).
Riaz Haq said…
Impressive improvement in quality of Bangladesh's human capital

A study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the request of the World Bank president, has found that Bangladesh's human capital has improved in quality between 1990 and 2016, reflecting growth in the economy.

The improvement in Bangladesh's case has been better as compared to India and Pakistan, the study reveals.

Bangladesh's ranking of 161th out of 195 countries in 2016 represents an improvement of nine notches from its 1990 ranking of 170th.

However, during that period, India improved only 4 notches from 162 to 158 and Pakistan only one from 165 to 164.

Bangladeshis have 6.1 years of expected human capital, measured as the number of years a person will work in the years of peak productivity, taking into account life expectancy, functional health, years of schooling, and learning.

The study looks at how many years between the ages of 20 and 65 – when people are most active in the workforce – they can expect to live.

On average, Bangladeshis lived 40.7 of those 45 years. That put Bangladesh at 118 of 195 countries. Nepal, Pakistan and India all scored below Bangladesh in this component of the study, but Sri Lanka scored better.

Bangladeshis have an expected educational attainment of 8.2 years out of a possible of 18 years in school; as compared to Pakistan 8.6 years and India 10.4 years out of a possible of 18 years in school.

Bangladeshis struggle with sickness and disability at work. The study's measure of functional health – which calculates the work impact of ailments like stunting, hearing and vision loss, or infectious diseases like malaria or tuberculosis – ranked Bangladesh at 165 in the world. India's functional health ranking is significantly lower at 187.

Bangladesh does slightly better in terms of education quality. The study measures the quality of learning in school and Bangladesh ranked 132 in the world – lower than Nepal (ranked 127), Bhutan (120), and Myanmar (106), but higher than India (150).

Learning is based on average student scores on internationally comparable tests.

The study places Finland at the top, with the highest human capital score in the world.

Turkey showed the most dramatic increase in human capital between 1990 and 2016. Asian countries with notable improvement include China, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Within Latin America, Brazil stands out for improvement.

All these countries have had faster economic growth over this period than peer countries with lower levels of human capital improvement.

In addition, the greatest increase among sub-Saharan African countries was in Equatorial Guinea. Some of the world's most rapid improvements were in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

(The featured image at the top shows a female civil engineer supervises men at a Bangladesh construction site. Photo: Dhaka Tribune)
Riaz Haq said…
Four out of 5 top ranking nations in human capital index are #Asian: #Singapore, #Korea, #Japan and #HongKong. 5th is #Finland. Their investment in #HumanCapital is paying off very well. #humancapitalindex via @wef

Automation and malnutrition could create a global underclass and provoke unrest on a par with the Arab Spring.

This isn’t the opening sentence of a dystopian novel, it’s the bleak picture painted by the head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim in a speech at Stanford University about the Bank’s new Human Capital Index, which measures the knowledge, skills and health of populations.

The index is a wake-up call to countries that don’t invest in the health and education of their populations. Some countries, however, are getting it right.

Top scores for advanced Asian economies

The World Bank’s Human Capital Index aims to capture the amount of “human capital” a child born today could expect to accumulate by age 18.

It does this by breaking down human capital into a series of indicators on health and education.

For instance, the index looks at how likely it is that a child will reach the age of five, how many years of schooling they can expect to receive and the quality of that education, as well as whether they eat a full and complete diet and how likely they are to live to the age of 60.

The index scores countries between 0 and 1. In a country with a score of 1, all adults can expect to survive until the age of 60, every child can expect to receive 14 years of high-quality education and no child would suffer stunting (when children don’t grow and develop properly and are too short for their age because of poor nutrition).

Asian economies take four of the first five places, with Singapore at the top, with a score of 0.88.

The vast majority (98%) of Singaporean children can expect to reach the international benchmark for basic levels of proficiency in secondary school.

Human capital index Image: World Bank in Forum Social Images
The Republic of Korea and Japan are next with scores of 0.84. A girl born in 2018 in the Republic of Korea can expect to live more than 85 years.

Hong Kong SAR is in fourth place with 0.82. Finland completes the top five.

‘Left behind’

However, too many countries achieve a low score.

Children in rich countries can expect to receive the full 14 years of schooling used by the index as a benchmark. But in the poorest countries, children can expect to complete only half of that.

Meanwhile, 115 million children are stunted as a result of malnutrition, leaving them vulnerable to poor cognitive development and hampering their ability to learn.

The World Bank estimates that 250,000 children are in school but aren’t learning because of the poor quality of educational provision.

These issues become a stark reality when you compare Singapore’s index rating with that of South Africa’s.

In South Africa, which scores 0.41 on the index, only 26% of children can expect to complete secondary school to the same standard as their Singaporean counterparts. In Singapore, a child born today can expect to live until they are 89. In South Africa, it’s 68.

Adjusting to an automated future

This gap in human potential becomes even more urgent when we consider the changing nature of work. Technological advancements will require us to adapt to machines and algorithms taking over tasks previously done by humans.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring significant job disruption.

The shift in the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms could displace 75 million current jobs, but the report also finds that 133 million new roles may emerge at the same time.

The World Bank report argues that workers will need “advanced cognitive and sociobehavioral skills" such as “problem-solving, critical thinking and adaptation to new methods”. Otherwise, they will be unable to adjust to the coming changes.
Riaz Haq said…
Science festival inspires students in rural Pakistan

With their vibrant scientific models and stimulating explanations, students from the historical city of Thatta, in Pakistan’s Sindh province, not only displayed their talent but also fascinated visitors at the first ever Laar Science Festival.

More than 7,000 students from over 50 regional schools and colleges participated in the two-day (Dec 14-15) festival at Thatta’s Sports Complex.

A large number of teachers, entrepreneurs, science specialists and government officials also attended the event including Dr Nawaz Sogho, Deputy Commissioner of Thatta, Senator Sassui Palijo from Thatta district, Sindh’s Minister of Science and Technology Taimur Talpur.

Admiring the talent of local students in science and technology, minister Talpur promised to establish science centres in the region to groom young scientists.

“It’s amazing to see the scientific spirit in the ancient city of Thatta famous for its archaeological, cultural sites and the seat of three successive dynasties,” said Junaid Ahmad Dahar, CEO of Sindh Education Alliance.

He agreed with most of the visitors that the high level of participation by the students was a clear indication of their interest in utilising everyday science to work towards solving issues in their towns and cities.

Organised by Thar Education Alliance (TEA), Campaignistan, and Laar Education Campaign with the support of District Government of Thatta, the festival reached rural students who would not typically have the chance to attend science and technology events.

The science fest promoted a culture of inquiry and hands-on learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) subjects.

“We started this journey of organising science festivals from Tharparkar back in February 2018, and continuing this campaign for quality education in Pakistan” remarked Partab Shivani, CEO Thar Education Alliance and organiser of the event.

The theme of the event was ‘climate change’ to raise awareness on the issue as Pakistan has been ranked 7 on the list of climate vulnerable countries. To raise public awareness on the effects of climate change, the event was held in Sindh province, which is vulnerable to increased intensity of extreme weather events such as frequent floods and droughts.

Young scientists exhibited projects on solar panels, windmills, water purification, offering innovative solutions to climate change.

A project by Nimra Memon, a Grade 12 student at Concept School, Thatta, was highly acclaimed at the festival as well as on social media where her video received appreciation from Climate Change Adviser Malik Amin Aslam.

“The festival in my hometown Thatta has enhanced my interest in science and encouraged me to work on solutions to climate change and aware the people of Laar on the issue.”

After explaining the phenomenon and impact of global warming, she asked the visitors: “If it is not the time to talk about climate change, then when will be the right time?”

Campaignistan CEO Farhad Ahmad Jarral said: “We live in a digital age, where there is need to connect online and offline to bring change in the education discourse. The festival was appreciated by thousands online and sparked interest among students in other regions of Pakistan when the pictures and videos of students of Thatta were shared online.”
Riaz Haq said…
WEF Graduate skills, 2018

Pakistan ranks 51, above Italy (60), Russia (72), Turkey(94) and Brazil (124) among 140 countries.

1. Switzerland
2. US
3. Netherlands

6. Malaysia
7. Germany
20. Canada
28. UK
33. Indonesia
35. France
36. India
37. China
40. Japan
43. S Korea
50. Saudi
51. Pakistan
60. Italy
63. Mexico
72. Russia
94. Turkey
124. Brazil
135. Nigeria
136. Egypt

Riaz Haq said…
Growing China-Pakistan Collaboration in Science and Technology

With 6,000 Pakistanis working on their PhDs in China, the two countries are enjoying rapid growth in scientific and technological collaboration, according to Journal Nature. Pakistan's scientific output is now growing at the fastest rate in the world. With nearly 3,000 papers jointly authored and published by Chinese and Pakistani researcher, China has now emerged as Pakistan's top partner in scientific collaborations, surpassing Saudi Arabia (about 1,500 papers) and the United States (about 1,200 papers) in 2018, according to an analysis of co-authored papers from Elsevier’s Scopus database. China is co-sponsoring a range of research centers in Pakistan that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering.

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language. China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Ph.D., 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China. Pakistan ranks third in the number of international students currently studying in China with 28,023 Pakistani students, according to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Education. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.
Riaz Haq said…
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Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Launches First National Accelerator On Closing #Skills Gap in Partnership With #WEF. Leaders include #Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Shazia Syed, MD Unilever, Mohammed Aurangzeb, CEO, #HBL, Ghias Khan, CEO, Engro via @valuewalk

The Prime Minster met with the visiting President of the World Economic Forum, Mr.BorgeBrende, at the Prime Minister’s office. At the meeting, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of the National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gapin Pakistan, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) serving as its national secretariat.

The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum has established the Centre for New Economy and Society (CNES) to provide leaders with a platform to understand and act on emerging economic and social challenges.The Forum’s Centre for New Economy and Society has partnered with PSDF to work together on the future of education and work by setting up a National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gap in Pakistan. The Accelerator will aim to increase the employability of the current workforce and increase work-readiness and critical skills in the future workforce.

The National Accelerator will be led and guided by a team of Co-Chairs from the public and private sectors. The Government will be represented by Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister of Education and Professional Training and Mr. Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. The Co-Chairs from the private sector include Ms. Shazia Syed, MD Unilever Pakistan, Mr. Mohammed Aurangzeb, President and CEO, Habib Bank Limited, Mr. Ghias Khan, CEO, Engro Corporation. PSDF CEO, Mr. Jawad Khan, will be the National Coordinator.

Focusing on the most strategic sectors in the economy, the Accelerator will also onboard the CEOs of 50 to 100 leading companies in Pakistan as well as academics, policy makers and technical experts from the education and skills development space. The Centre for New Economy and Society has already established 5 such Accelerators in Argentina, Oman, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and India, with 10 more Accelerators expected by 2020.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister shared his Government’s political and financial commitment to reform the skills development sectors in Pakistan and thanked the World Economic Forum for choosing Pakistan as a founding member of the Closing the Skills Gap National Accelerator initiative. Given its global reach, experience and expertise, the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that the Forum’s engagement will help provide new opportunities for Pakistan’s youth and help them develop new skills to fully embrace the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Mr. BorgeBrende, President, World Economic Forum, said: “The launch of the National Accelerator on Closing the Skills Gap is an important milestone in our relationship with Pakistan and it is just the start. Many of Pakistan’s national priorities are the core focus of the Forum’s work. From climate change, water scarcity and connectivity to regional cooperation, the Forum is ready to offer its platform to support Pakistan’s economic transformation.”

Ms. Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director and Head of the Forum’s Centre for New Economy and Society, said: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to significant change in the employment and skills landscape globally over the coming years – and Pakistan is no exception. Through our Accelerator initiative we look forward to supporting Pakistan with an integrated platform for learning and action to proactively manage this change.”

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan produces 20,000 IT graduates, engineers annually, says minister

LAHORE:Provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal Friday said that government was moving towards right direction by adopting more business friendly policies.Addressing Lift Pakistan 2019 conference hosted by a business group here in a hotel, the minister said the government was fully committed to serve and facilitate its business community.He said Pakistan was ranked at number 4 for free lance development in the world and IT exports increased 70 percent during the last three years. Pakistan has more than 2,000 IT companies and call centres, and 300,000 English speaking IT professionals and 20,000 IT graduates and engineers being produced annually.At present, around 52 incubation and acceleration programmes exist in the country from each of which 7-15 startups are graduating every year. In addition to incubators and accelerators, the start-up of echo system has been strengthened by co-working spaces, business process outsourcing services, 11 fellowship programmes growing scale of angel investment and the launch of local chapter of global initiatives, he said.The minister appreciated the organisers for collaborative efforts in organising an excellent platform to bring together the creative young mind professionals, academicians, entrepreneurs and leading business personalities to explore new opportunities in the real potential of growth of our nation.The minister said the government was working aggressively towards creating a comprehensive start of ecosystem so as to channel the real potential of this growing market. He said that in the World Bank doing business report 2020, Pakistan improved by 28 points on the ease of doing business ranking from 136 to 108 out of 190 economies. He said in order to make national economy grow faster, it is utterly important to continue efforts to ensure a conducive business environment.The government has taken measures which will guarantee and ensure that the business community’s investments in Punjab are secured and their returns are assured. The Punjab government has recently launched e-pay, a mobile application for all business to government and public to government payments in order to facilitate the public and improve country’s revenue collection through easy payment solutions, he concluded.Kilns’ closure delayed: Environment Protection Secretary Salman Ijaz has said that brick-kilns will not be closed immediately in case of improving of air quality index. He stressed upon kiln owners to make their kilns environment friendly by converting the same on zigzag technology to get production throughout the year. This was stated by him while presiding over a meeting here Friday.Director General Environment Tanveer Ahmad Warraich, Director Environment Naseem-ur-Rehman, central and provincial presidents of All Pakistan Mines and Mineral Associations Mir Behroz and Khalid Pervaiz, Chairperson Hyderabad Mir Samad, other representatives, owners of kilns and coal agents were present on this occasion.

Riaz Haq said…
Quality higher education
By Atta-ur-Rahman December 08, 2021

The landscape of higher education changed dramatically between 2002 and 2008 so much so that Pakistan not only caught up with India but also overtook it in the year 2018. This is no small achievement as India had been investing in higher education since its very birth – this includes the visionary policies of Nehru who established the IITs and other good quality higher education institutions in the 1950s and 60s.

The single most important element that determines the quality of higher education is the quality of faculty. For this reason, when the HEC was set up in 2002 under my chairmanship, the highest priority was given to the training and recruitment of high-quality faculty in our universities.

After a rigorous screening process, some 11,000 students were sent to the world’s leading universities, and to attract them back on completion of their doctorate degrees, several important initiatives were introduced. First, a new contractual salary structure was introduced with the salaries of professors several times higher than that of federal ministers in the government. Second, students completing their PhD degrees could apply for research grants of up to $100,000 – one year before completion of their work.

Third, graduates would have jobs on arrival with the HEC paying the salary. Fourth, an excellent digital library was set up that provided free access to 65,000 journals and 25,000 textbooks through the Pakistan Educational Research Network (PERN) that connected all universities with high-speed internet. Fifth, free access to sophisticated instruments was provided. Sixth, grants were made available through a liberal research grants scheme – National Research Projects for Universities (NRPU) – to help young academics to win sizeable research funding. These and other such measures led to a 97.5 percent return rate of scholars.

To control plagiarism, specialised software was introduced, which controlled this problem to a great extent. However, this issue persists – to a small extent – both in India and Pakistan and other countries. According to an article published in 2019 in ‘Nature India’, 980 papers published by top Indian institutions, including those from the IITs, between 2000 and 2017, were fraudulent or plagiarised and had to be retracted. Between 2005 and 2021, 254 publications were also retracted from Pakistan. This is an average of 15 papers per year (about 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent retractions annually).

To promote blended education, a mirror website of the MIT Open Courseware was set up in 2005 when I was the HEC chairman, and many undergraduate computer science courses were downloaded, copied on CDs, and distributed to all universities. An exciting scheme for live distance education was also introduced by us with top professors delivering daily lectures which were listened to live and interactively across Pakistan. A major programme was initiated to attract our highly qualified Pakistan diaspora back to the country.

Some 600 eminent academicians returned and played a valuable role in uplifting the quality of higher education in the country. Split PhD programmes were introduced so that PhD students in Pakistan could do a split PhD with a part of their time being spent in good foreign universities under the supervision of eminent foreign scholars. Pakistan was soon recognised internationally for these efforts, and glowing tributes were paid in numerous articles written by the world’s leading educational authorities as well as by neutral experts of the British Council, World Bank, USAID, and UN. I was conferred the highest prize for institution-building by the World Academy of Sciences (Italy) and by the Austrian and Chinese governments.
Riaz Haq said…

Bilal I Gilani
Close to 350k engineers in Pakistan ( registered with engineering council)

Largest number is electrical , followed by civil engineers
Riaz Haq said…
Global Social Mobility Index 2020 | World Economic Forum

The Global Social
Mobility Report 2020
Equality, Opportunity
and a New Economic

The World Economic Forum’s Global Social Mobility Index provides a new, holistic assessment of 82 global economies according to their performance on five key dimensions of social mobility distributed over 10 pillars: 1. Health; 2. Education (access, quality and equity, lifelong learning); 3. Technology; 4. Work (opportunities, wages, conditions); 5. Protection and Institutions (social protection and inclusive institutions). Economies with greater social mobility provide more equally shared opportunities—namely, an equal and meritocratic footing irrespective of socio-economic background, geographic location, gender or origin. There is a direct and linear relationship between a country’s income inequality and its social mobility score on the index. Low social mobility entrenches historical inequalities and higher income inequalities fuel lower social mobility. Enhancing social mobility can convert this vicious cycle into a virtuous one and has positive benefits on broader economic growth. The Global Social Mobility Index equips policy-makers with a tool to identify areas for improving social mobility and promoting equally shared opportunities for the entirety of their citizens, regardless of their development stage. The index is supplemented by a deep dive into the situation in the United States, through innovative metrics developed in partnership between the World Economic Forum and three private sector companies which hold unique data sets and provide new insights into the distribution of advantages and disadvantages across the population.

62 Tunisia 51.7
63 Panama 51.4
64 Turkey 51.3
65 Colombia 50.3
66 Peru 49.9
67 Indonesia 49.3 68
El Salvador 47.4
69 Paraguay 46.8
70 Ghana 45.5
71 Egypt 44.8
72 Lao PDR 43.8
74 Morocco 43.7
73 Honduras 43.5
75 Guatemala 43.5
76 India 42.7
77 South Africa 41.4
78 Bangladesh 40.2
79 Pakistan 36.7
81 Cameroon 36.0
80 Senegal 36.0
82 Côte d'Ivoire 34.5
Riaz Haq said…
Athar Osama PIF Facebook post

Today we embark upon a 6-month long learning journey with 60 Pakistani Teachers and 6 Indonesian Teacher Trainers on Holistic Science Teaching.

This is an innovative approach to Teaching Science in a manner that is connected with other branches of knowledge such as History, Philosophy, Ethics, Religion and the Liberal Arts being piloted, to our knowledge, for the first time in the Muslim World.

Over 3 years, we will 6 workshops in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Arab World - very different cultures, education systems, languages but the same objective: Train Teachers to create Curious Classrooms!

6-8 Grade Science Teachers may register to attend a future workshop at

World Science Collaborative Ltd, in collaboration with, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), The Aga Khan University – Institute of Education Development (AKU-IED), South East Asian Ministerial Organisation (SEAMEO), Indonesia, and Qatar University, Qatar, as well as partners Khawarzimi Science Society (KSS), Lahore; Pakistan Innovation Foundation, Pakistan, and STEMx – STEM School for the World, Islamabad presents a unique workshop to enable teachers to explore and learn how to teach science holistically.

In our society, teaching of science is often extremely siloed and compartmentalised whereby the science teacher delivers the content in the classroom but does not relate what is being taught to the real world nor brings forth (or draws upon) the diverse body of knowledge available in disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion and ethics. In doing so, he/she runs the risk, at the very least, of leaving the scientific learning unconnected, or much worse, leaving the students more confused than informed.

It is absolutely critical, therefore, to teach science holistically i.e. connect the learning in the classroom with the real world, for example, by:

* Bringing together knowledge from diverse sources and disciplines such as science, history, philosophy, religion, and ethics?

* Using hands-on experiments and play to bring inspiration and insight in the science classroom?

* Planning lessons that adequately address the curious minds of students and encourage critical inquiry?

* Addressing Big Philosophical Questions that stem from scientific discoveries such as Big Bang, Multiverses, Genetics, Evolution, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

The Holistic Teaching of Science Workshop is OPEN to ALL Teachers of Science in Middle School (Grades 6-8) at any public, private, or religious (madrassa) school who struggles with teaching modern science in the classroom and wants to do better.

The Holistic Science Teaching Online (Hybrid) Workshop is 1 of 6 Workshops that will be carried out in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Qatar between Dec 2022 and July 2025.

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