Monthly Archives: February 1992

What ails educational publishing in Pakistan?

By Zubeida Mustafa

62-25-02-1992Many of the imported globes and atlases being sold in Pakistan have the words “Disputed Territory” or simply “DT” overstamped on the spot showing Kashmir. What is strange is that the authorities’ sensitivity to cartographical precision does not extend to the text6ooks being published by their own Textbook Boards.

Just pick up any Social Studies or Pakistan Studies book being taught in the schools in Sindh and you can consider your child to be fortunate if the maps are correctly drawn. More often than not our cartographers are fond of showing a common border between Pakistan and what was the USSR until December!

That is not all. The profusion of errors and distortions in the books is appalling. The absence of an imaginative approach makes the text not only dull but also in many cases conceptually beyond the child’s comprehension. The poor quality of the printing and paper of the Board’s publications is sure to kill whatever interest a student might have in his studies. Continue reading What ails educational publishing in Pakistan?

Population welfare: the plan that failed

By Zubeida Mustafa

Recently, the Washington-based Population Crisis Committee released its 1992 edition of World Access to Birth Control. It is not too flattering to Pakistan which is ranked a lowly 55th among 95 developing countries in terms of availability of modern birth control information and services. What is more shocking than the low score (37/100) is the fact that Pakistan lags .behind countries considered more backward.


In South Asia, Pakistan ranks the lowest compared to Sri Lanka (80), Bangladesh (77), India (73) and Nepal (50) in providing contraceptive options, competent services and outreach of the population programme. Continue reading Population welfare: the plan that failed