Optimist about Education, Pessimist about Schools: People’s Perception Regarding the Schooling System

  • Syed Murad Ali Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
  • Saadia Abid Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Keywords: Government Schools; Private Schools; Education; Out of School Children


The article elaborates on people’s perception regarding the importance of education. In doing so, it explores the role of schools and teachers, opinions about schooling system and the comparison between private and public schools. A total of 28 indepth interviews were conducted with key stakeholders students, parents and teachers. While in general parents and students value education but they showed little hope in the system. A comparison between private and public schools seemed inevitable and formed a major part of all the discussions. Blame attribution emerged as a prominent dimension; the children and parents blame schools and teachers over low quality of education while teachers view parents’ lack of interest as a hindrance to effective education. To conclude, education is realized as a collective benefit for which collective effort is required.