Parental Choice of Education and Schooling in Pakistan
Researchers claim that the concept of education in a poverty-stricken and heavily populated country like Pakistan is all about opportunity – the opportunity to achieve a better and brighter future through learning. However, in the case of Pakistan, the question remains what types of opportunities are available to the masses and what kind of opportunity can prepare one to seek something ‘good’ for life – is it education and schooling offered by the state, private sector, or a Madrasah (Islamic Faith-based Religious Institution)? Keeping in view the social, cultural, religious and economic facts of the notion of ‘Parental Choice,’ Rehman conducted a yearlong qualitative Ph.D. field study in two districts in Balochistan (Pakistan’s least-developed and Afghan and
Iran bordering province) to explore the most crucial factors keeping children of Balochistan away from/in an educational system. Rehman interviewed parents, teachers, institutional administrators, religious scholars, community leaders, and policymakers, and conducted class observations to gather an essence of curricular and extracurricular teachings in these institutions. This paper explores what parents’ educational (or noneducational) priorities are for their children – Public, Private or Madrasah? This paper also provides an insight into the kind of education these various types of institutions offer to children belonging to different social
Rehman Khan, a development professional from Pakistan, has been working in Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, with various organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Development Studies, with a concentration in Comparative and International Education, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interest includes comparative and international education; Islamic faithbased religious institutions (madrasah), history, politics, cultures and languages of South Asia, and devolution and decentralization in Pakistan.