‘Illiteracy is the quality or condition of being unable to read or write.’ By Richard Nordiques. [1]

According to UNESCOs 1958, ‘the number of people that cannot read and write. Illiteracy is typically measured according to the inability to comprehend a short, simple statement on everyday life.’[2]

‘Illiteracy is a state whereby one is unable to read and write. In its simplest form, it can be defined as a lack of any or sufficient education.’ By Victor [3]

  • Literacy Rates From 2012 To 2021

The literacy rate in Pakistan changes yearly as in any other country. The literacy rate is the percentage of people who can read, write and understand basic things in their daily life.


Starting with 2012, there was an increase of 2.03% in literacy rate as compared to the previous year, which was 56.7%.


Moving forward to 2013, there was a decrease of 1.17%, and the literacy rate dropped to 55.60%.


In 2014, the rate was 56.98%, with an increase of 1.38%.


In the year 2015, the rate was boosted to a total of 60%, and in


In the year 2016, the country’s literacy rate declined from 60% to 58%


After 3 years, in 2017 there was a great change with an increase of 2.15%, which raised the rate to 59.13%.


Moving forward to 2018, there was an unfortunate decrease in the rate of -2.12% due to that rate again dropped to 57.01%.


In the year 2019, there was a little increase of 0.99%, with which the rate was 58.00%, still less than the rate of 2017, which was 59.98%.


In the year 2020, the literacy rate increased by 4.3%, with a rate of 62.3%, which means that an estimated population is still illiterate in our country.


In the year 2021, there is no change in the literacy rate from 2020.

  • Literacy Rate in Provinces:


Punjab is that the most important region of Asian nations in terms of development and population.

From 1972 to 1998, the acquirement magnitude relation within the province of Punjab grew from 2 hundredths to four hundredths.

In 2012, Punjab grew the literacy rate to seventy-one and in the next few years to sixty-two and sixty-one, consequently grievous.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:

The development within the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was low in 1972.

In 2014, the literacy rate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was around 60% of the population.

On a black day, the occurrence of murdering youngsters at the APS urban center. The quantitative relation of literacy fell to fifty% as per a recent analysis.


Sindh is another central province in means of population. Most of them are rural and support kid labor which is the biggest hurdle in obtaining youngsters educated.

In the region Sindh the skill rate keeps on unsteady from a half-hour, 45%, 69%, and an hour from 1972 to 2014. The educational development within the early years was thus low, and even currently, it hasn’t confirmed any enlargement.


Balochistan is a nation where there’s less population as compared to other provinces

The literacy rate in Asian nation has never increased and hasn’t exceeded 50% in any time period of rise and falls.

Only 28% of the population of this explicit region is literate, together with males and females

Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan:

As we’re talking about the numerous regions around the land of Asian nations so we will not ignore Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan regions.

In Azad Kashmir, 78% of the whole population is illiterate. Gilgit Baltistan is not a lot behind and is consequently running to rise within the education graph. It’s currently up to 65% of the skill rate in Asian nations, and that will grow within the coming decades.

  • Different Causes of Illiteracy in Pakistan:

As a matter of fact, Illiteracy has some grave impacts on society. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, as per the 2017 census, Pakistan’s population is recorded at 207.68 million, which is very high compared to available resources. Around 90 million people in the country cannot read or write. It goes without saying that illiteracy is a major cause of unemployment and poverty in the country. “Unfortunately, ‘education for all’ has been rendered a mere slogan as successive governments have failed to focus on this important sector. As a result, the number of out-of-school children in the country is rising and rising, currently standing at around 22.8 million, according to UNICEF.”[] The reasons for illiteracy are listed below; they are interconnected, thus addressing one may also address any other factors.

Lack of Resources:

The country’s population is increasing at a very high pace, and resources are depleting with time. It is estimated that there are 200000 primary, middle, and secondary schools in Pakistan, which is significantly less compared to the country’s needs. Poverty in the country is recorded at 39.3%, which shows that many people have no access to proper food, shelter, and clothes. In these circumstances, when the family is living from hand to mouth, giving their children a good education is impossible. Private institutions are readily available, but most parents cannot send their children to these institutions because of high expenses. The fees, books, uniforms, and other extra charges in private schools are unaffordable. For many, a lack of literacy and financial literacy makes it difficult for them and their families to lead better lives (Husain & Salfi, 2011).

Gender Discrimination:

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, but it has one of the lowest literacy rates on the continent since more than 40% of women never attend school. In urban and rural Pakistan, the dominant cultural values restrict women’s activity outside the boundaries of the home. The primary reason for female illiteracy is the deeply ingrained tradition of male dominance and lack of awareness.  In rural areas, an educated girl is now more likely to be married as a wife though she will still be expected to work around the house. Only school and the Holy Quran are used for this education.

Early Marriages:

Early marriage has a negative impact on children’s rights to safety, education, and health. These impacts have an effect on society as well as merely the children who experience them. A youthful mind is more adaptable, and as the mind ages, it tends to get more used to the ordinary environment. Children often never get the chance to discover who they are or what the world has to offer; instead, they follow their family’s path from day one.

Since marriage forces individuals to deal with a number of real-world challenges to education, such as family responsibilities that keep them at home, going back to school might seem nearly impossible. A girl is typically required to care for the family’s house, kids, and other relatives. On the other hand, boys must work extremely hard to provide for their families. Thus, they also sacrifice their education.

Low Social Interaction with Cities:

The lack of contact between rural residents and major city areas is another important cause of illiteracy. A key aspect of changing their attitude and behavior is their social connections to modern life. Due to their continued commitment to managing their fields, and crops, farmers have little opportunity to go to urban areas.

Ancestral Occupation:

In Pakistan, people in rural regions are expected to continue their fathers’ occupations for the rest of their lives since they have a strong attachment to them. Working on farms, like their forefathers once did, is a matter of status. It represents the transmission of professional skills from generation to generation and is viewed as a family cultural legacy.

Insufficient Information:

People in rural areas do not really like the idea of education. In the history of our social existence, farmers have always been illiterate people. A child who is sent to school and college is viewed as being of little use to them. Furthermore, they claim that neither their children nor their grandchildren can farm or find jobs in offices.

  • Effects of Illiteracy in Pakistan

The higher education rate in developing nations is the key to their success. Pakistan’s rising illiteracy rate is one of the reasons our nation is beyond them. The inability of a person to read and write is known as illiteracy. It is one of the world’s most pressing social issues, affecting individuals and society as a whole. Lack of education is the primary driver of numerous huge issues in our country, like destitution, lower Gross domestic product, expanding road wrongdoings, joblessness, and more. All of these issues make it harder for society to move forward. Pakistan currently has a literacy rate of 59%, which means that 41% of our population is still uninformed. Writing and reading are humankind’s most fundamental and crucial skills. Uneducated individuals have no mindfulness about the greater part of the things on the planet. Because they are unaware of the country’s current crisis, they are unable to contribute to society’s well-being.

Illiteracy may also effects these reasons, which are described below:

Lack Of Resources:

Pakistan is considered a developing country. The main reason for it is illiteracy. Most illiteracy is in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Day by day, the population is constantly increasing, and resources are decreasing. If parents send their child to a government, school, or any institution, they are not getting proper education is not being. Served on the other hand, private institutions are providing proper education at a high cost, which everyone can’t afford, so this affects the rate of illiteracy. In Pakistan, most people cannot afford a good education for their children. Wherever illiteracy is present, a fundamental problem is present. Lack of proper education is one of the major causes of the high illiteracy rate in Pakistan.

Uneducated Parents:

Illiterate parents are one of the causes of the illiteracy rate in Pakistan. As mentioned before, illiteracy is mostly in rural areas because parents are uneducated. They think that education is only necessary to earn money, but actually, it is important for many other things, i.e., for understanding how new technological inventions work. Sometimes uneducated people Feel out of place because they don’t know how to behave, talk and act. Education helps you to support people and lead to a better life. Educated parents express many reasons for not giving their children a proper education. According to them, getting an education may have bad effects on their child.

Gender Discrimination:

Gender discrimination is an unequal difference regarding basic rights and education. More than one third of Pakistani females don’t attend primary school. Even if some do, They are only allowed till 9th or 10th grade. There is great difficulty for women to get an education in Pakistan due to gender discrimination. There are many obstacles for female students to get an education. The education system of Pakistan is not updated. It is still stuck on the old, traditional system. Lack of education gives rise to both social and financial insecurities among young girls. If girls start attending school and getting the proper education, they can be the reason for ending poverty. Educated youth can make our country’s future bright. Pakistan has a society where women face a wide range of discrimination, leading to low economic, social, and political status.

Early Marriage:

In some areas, girls get married early, which affects their ability to gain an education. At the same time, the lack of proper education increases the possibility of early forced marriage. All these forms of child labor prevent children from going to school and also decrease the opportunities to fulfill their capabilities. This sometimes causes the child to either not go to school or drop out. Education is a clear strategy for reducing child labor. Due to a lack of education, women’s and girl’s opportunities you improve their financial status and make better choices get decreased. Each time a girl misses out on her education because she is forced into marriage.

Low Social Interaction With Cities:

People in rural areas don’t often get in contact with people in urban areas. Because of their illiteracy, they are insecure about how to talk and behave with the city’s modern people, and they don’t get to know about the modern world in the changes in the world occur. They are busy in their field, growing and taking care of crops. They don’t have knowledge about the modern and upgraded way of cultivation. They don’t understand the change contact with big urban settlements will bring. It will bring a change in the attitude and actions.

Ancestral Occupation:

We know that the majority of people in rural areas are uneducated. According to them, when the young generation takes on the profession their forefathers had, it is considered a sign of pride for them. A child from the beginning is taught that he has to look after the fields after his parents and that education is not needed. They provide their child with no academic education but with education about crops and fields. They don’t have knowledge about the modern way of taking care of fields and crops, which is actually very easier than their traditional way.

Insufficient Information:

People in rural areas mostly don’t consider education a good idea. Because of their thoughts, most of their generation is illiterate because they think if a child will gain an education. They will be less interested in agriculture. And if they don’t get a job in the future, they won’t even know about farming. They will end up being a failure. In Fact, many institutions provide education about a new way of farming, which makes the whole process very easy and quick. They don’t know about all this.

Raise Awareness:

The most effective way to end illiteracy in Pakistan is to raise awareness, which should be done in the country’s rural and urban areas. With the help of excellent featuring services and the best responding resources, education can be promoted in rural areas. Local teachers and trainers may be hired to meet the rural communities’ specific trust requirements while promoting knowledge and awareness. By acknowledging and making use of their relationships with people, local trainers, and teachers can easily promote education in their communities. To meet the interests of the interested parties, spread information locally and raise awareness in nearby communities.

  • Solution of Illiteracy:

Ways to eradicate illiteracy:

A country’s literacy is more important than anything else because humans are blind without education in this modern era. Every country is trying to solve its illiteracy problem. No matter how much it is. Even 1% of illiteracy is like a poisonous fish in the mighty ocean. An illiterate person cannot participate in the platforms of educated people as they are unable to understand the new techniques of social life. Society will not develop if there is a vast number of uneducated people. “Illiteracy is a barrier to social progress among people for the betterment of society.”[]

Every major issue has a solution of some kind. The following are some solutions to this challenging issue:

More Institutions:

Schools, colleges, universities, libraries, labs, and other similar establishments where education should be free and promoted should be opened. For both male and female students, the Pakistani government should offer scholarships and stipends in order to increase their interest in school. It must plan educational expos and campaigns that would help Pakistan’s youth develop their skills and self-assurance. The government should communicate with other nations to help Pakistani students study abroad.

The government should communicate with other nations to help Pakistani students study abroad. It is time to abolish the cramming method of education and replace it with one that emphasizes concepts. In order for pupils to receive a decent education in a scientific way, a modern curriculum must be offered.

Inexpensive Education:

Every person has the right to receive a quality education from more affordable schools. The marketing of education, especially at the elementary and higher education levels, plays a significant role in the condition of education today. Poor moms find taking their children to private schools challenging because of the extremely high tuition costs. The elite class, bureaucrats, and top officials do not consider the peasantry when making decisions. They are keeping education in their social circle, which is why the rich are getting richer in our society, and the poor are getting poorer. To provide lower-class students with high-quality, free education, the private sector should set aside a certain number of seats.

Application of Contemporary Teachings:

Since teachers are the only people who can enhance our educational system and eventually our literacy, the teaching system should also be improved, and teachers should be respected for their efforts. The government should verify and examine the educational practices used in each school in each rural and urban location. The majority of students needed tutors for their studies. Thus, if we could create an app that charges for tutoring, our education would improve. In addition to encouraging individuals to access free literature, more libraries should be established. For the youth of Pakistan, online courses and other activities must be offered. Classes in counseling and mentoring should be set up to support students in their future goals, and government should establish affordable, convenient internet access options.

Unity is power:

Every educated person should adopt the eradication of illiteracy as a personal aim.  To eliminate this threat, every educated individual should make an effort. Unity is another key to Pakistan’s development and eradicating illiteracy. For this goal, the Pakistani people should come together completely. If the people of Pakistan come together for it, they will succeed just as they did when the united subcontinent won its freedom from India. Action needs to be taken against individuals who cause violence and promote illiteracy in our country. Through our unity, we can defeat Pakistan’s enemies who are attempting to ruin its literacy and educational system to destroy it.

In our culture today, illiteracy has grown to be a serious issue. Currently, general society is really concerned about it. We need to get a decent education if we want to realize our goals. Education is a useful instrument that has long-term effects and is crucial for everyone’s success in life.

As narrated by Barack Obama, “We will wait for some other person or time until change comes. We are one of those who have been waiting till now. We are the change that we seek”



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Tasmeet Patel

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