Education Infrastructure, Literacy and Food Security Matrix in Pakistani Punjab: A District Level Analysis
Hafiz Zahid Mahmood, Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Iftikhar ul Husnain, Sana Iftikhar

Hunger and education are top listed in the millennium development goals and their significance cannot be ignored to achieve high living standards and economic development of the nations. Illiteracy has been termed as economic backwardness which is major cause of conflicts (Do and Iyer, 2009) leading to immobility of the people due to dread and resultantly cause food insecurity amongst them. Ample education infrastructure, definitely, helps to promote Literacy rate which is one of the key component of Human Development indicators. Unfortunately, Pakistan ranks 141 out of 158 countries in Human Development Index over the globe (Kugelman and Hathaway, 2010) due to its low education spending which is just 2.1 percent of its GDP share (Government of Pakistan, 2010). Moreover, education is one of the key determinant of poverty in Pakistan and 10 million people of this country were added to inadequate food intake in just two years from 2006-2008 (Kugelman and Hathaway, 2010). The current study has been devised to observe the relationships between education infrastructure, literacy rate and food security in thirty four districts of the Punjab province of Pakistan. Crossectional data were extracted from two different sources i.e. Punjab Development Statistics (Governemnt of Punjab 2009) and Food Insecurity in Pakistan (SDC, SDPI and WFP, 2009). Semi log econometric model was rendered to study the relationships between independent (i.e number of boys and girls schools, separately, population per primary and Middle school, separately, and number of adult literates in the area) and a dependent variable (i.e. food insecurity). The econometric model delineated positive relationships between boys and girls school infrastructure, population per primary and Middle school with food insecure population at district level. However, the trends exhibited by adult literates and food insecurity were found negative as per expectations and witnessed by literature. As per results of the study it is recommended that provincial and district governments must make some structural changes in the education systems by focusing on schools infrastructure to increase literacy rates to achieve targets of food security.

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