Education in Lahore
The education system in Lahore is formulated along specific modern, religious, cultural, social, psychological and scientific injunctions. Lahore is known as Pakistan's education capital, with more colleges and universities than any other city in the country. Lahore is Pakistan’s largest producer of professionals in the fields of science, technology, IT, engineering, medicine, nuclear sciences, pharmacology, telecommunication, biotechnology and microelectronics. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. The current literacy rate of Lahore is 64%. The standard national system of education is mainly inspired from the British system. The system also aims to imbibe a secular outlook among the students with the awareness of the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan. Lahore has a wide range of schools, colleges and universities that caters to diverse streams.
The system is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees.
Lahore, like majority of the cities in Pakistan has both public and private educational institutions from primary to university level. Most educational institutions are gender based from primary to university level.
All academic education institutions are the responsibility of the provincial governments. The federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.
Stages of formal education
Pre-school education is designed for 3-5 years old and usually consists of three stages: Play Group, Nursery and Kindergarten (also called 'KG' or 'Prep'). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grades 1 to 4. This is proceeded by middle school from grades 5 to 8. The curriculum is usually subject to the institution. The eight commonly examined disciplines are Urdu, English, mathematics, arts, science, social studies, Islamiyat and sometimes computer studies which is subject to availability of a computer laboratory. Some institutes also give instruction in foreign languages such as Arabic, French and Chinese. The language of instruction depends on the nature of institution itself, whether it is an English-medium school or an Urdu-medium school.
Secondary education begins from grade 9 and lasts for four years. After end of each of the four school years, students are required to pass a national examination administered by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lahore (or BISE).
Upon completion of grade 9, students are expected to take a standardised test in each of the first parts of their academic subjects. They again give these tests of the second parts of the same courses at the end of grade 10. Upon successful completion of these two examinations, they are awarded a Secondary School Certificate (or SSC). This locally termed as 'matriculation certificate' or 'matric' for short. The curriculum usually includes a combination of eight courses including electives (such as Biology/Computing, Chemistry and Physics) as well as compulsory subjects (such as English, Urdu, Mathematics, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies).
Students then enter an intermediate college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of each of the two grades, they again take standardised tests in their academic subjects. Upon successful completion of these examinations, students are awarded the Higher Secondary (School) Certificate (or HSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA or 'intermediate'. There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences) and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiyat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).
Alternative qualifications in Lahore are also available but are maintained by other examination boards instead BISE. Most common alternative is the General Certificate of Education (or GCE), where SSC and HSC are replaced by Ordinary Level (or O Level) and Advanced Level (or A Level) respectively. Other qualifications include IGCSE which replaces SSC. GCE O Level, IGCSE and GCE AS/A Level are managed by British examination boards of CIE of the Cambridge Assessment and/or Edexcel of the Pearson PLC. Generally, 8-10 courses are selected by students at GCE O Levels and 3-5 at GCE A Levels.
Advanced Placement (or AP) is an alternative option but much less common than GCE or IGCSE. This replaces the secondary school education as 'High School Education' instead. AP exams are monitored by a North American examination board, College Board and can only be given under supervision of centers which are registered with the College Board, unlike GCE O/AS/A Level and IGCSE which can also be given privately.
Schools popular in primary and secondary education system include Lahore Grammar School, Beaconhouse School System (BSS), Lahore College Of Arts And Sciences (LACAS), Resource Academia (RA), The City School (TCS), Convent of Jesus and Mary, Forman Christian College (FCCU) and Aitchison College (AC). The Lahore American School (LAS) is a co-education school that prepares students for taking up higher education in American colleges. The International School of Choueifat, in Lahore is a privately owned school that offers Pre-K and K-12 education.
After earning their HSC, students may study in a professional college for Bachelor's degree courses such as engineering (B.Engg), medicine (MBBS), dentistry (BDS), veterinary medicine (DVM), law (LLB), architecture (B.Arch) and nursing (B.Nurs). These courses require four or five years of study. Students can also attend a university for Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree courses.
There are two types of Bachelor courses available: Pass or Honours. Pass degree requires two years of study and students normally read three optional subjects (such as Chemistry or Economics) in addition to almost equal number of compulsory subjects (such as English and Pakistan Studies). Honours degree requires three or four years of study, and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study, such as Biochemistry (BSc Hons. Biochemistry).
Many Master's degree programs only require one and a half years of study. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) education is also available in selected areas and is usually pursued after earning an Master's degree. Students pursuing PhD degrees must choose a specific field and a university that is doing research work in that field.
Lahore hosts some of Pakistan's oldest educational institutes: Government College Lahore (now Government College University), established in 1864; Forman Christian College, a chartered university established in 1864; University of the Punjab, established in 1882; Kinnaird College, established in 1913; and University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore), established in 1921.
Forman Christian College University is one of the oldest and reputable institute in Pakistan. For its excellent educational background and alumni it is well recognized around the globe.
University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore) is Pakistan's oldest technical degree-awarding institute and its first university in the field of engineering and technology. Established as Mughalpura Technical College in 1921, it was upgraded to a university in 1961. UET Lahore is Pakistan's largest public-sector engineering university, offering bachelor's degrees in 29 specialties and Master of Science degrees in 55 specialties.
The University of Lahore is a new private sector university in Lahore. It is emerging as a university with strength in the areas of engineering sciences and technology, business & administrative sciences, and biotechnology.
Lahore's institutes in the fields of computer science, IT, and engineering include the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) and Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT).
Lahore boasts some of the finest high schools in Asia: Aitchison College (AC), Divisional Public School, St. Anthony's College, Bloomfield Hall Schools (BHS), Lahore Grammar School (LGS), Lahore College of Arts and Sciences (LACAS), Beaconhouse School System and Resource Academia (RA), which feed students to leading universities across the globe.
Other notable educational institutes situated in Lahore include Comsats Institute of Information Technology, National College of Arts; a regional campus of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML); Hajvery University (HU); and the University of Education (UE), established in 2002 as Pakistan's first specialized university in the field of education.
The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is an internationally recognized institute with its graduates recruited by companies (usually after first undertaking graduate study abroad) such as Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, BP, 3M, Google, Shell, Deloitte, Accenture, Countrywide Bank, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Citigroup, London Stock Exchange, IBM, Bank of America, Indymac Bank, AOL, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Mashreq Bank and Habib Bank. The school's reputation seems to have spread beyond just domestic applicants though, as a number of applications also come in from the Middle East, the Far East, Central Asia, and other parts of South Asia. Recently, LUMS acknowledged its place as one of the first university in Pakistan to conduct bilateral exchange programs for undergraduate students. In spring 2007, three LUMS students, including Sana Zia and Sana Majeed, visited Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan sponsored by Mitsubishi. Also, LUMS initiated exchange programs with universities in mainland Europe as well. Now, LUMS undergraduates frequently attend international programs in US, Europe, Australia and the Far East Asia.
Educational fairs and exhibitions
- SOFTEC is the largest IT extravaganza of Pakistan which is organized by a society with name of SOFTEC in National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU). Its the only international IT event of the country which is solely organized by students.
- International Education Fair Lahore 2010 is an important event for institution interested to recruit students from the Gulf region. The visitors who are involved in language study, business study, undergraduate or postgraduate for them, this is a strategic place to introduce institution and programme.
- Pakistan International Education Exhibition in Lahore is an event related to the education industry of Pakistan. This show provides a dynamic, cost effective & perfect opportunity to education seekers & educational providers to meet each other & establish a direct contact.
- Raza, M. Hanif (1999). Portrait of Pakistan. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan: Ferozsons, Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 969-0-01545-1.
- Literacy rate statistics in Pakistan
- "University of the Punjab - Introduction". University of the Punjab. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
- University of Lahore
The Punjab Academy 77-E-1, Wapda Town Lahore