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Public sector primary schools

Is EYL taught as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary schools? Yes
When was it introduced? 1989
At what age do students begin EYL?  4/5 approximately (Primary Year 1)
Have any significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980? Before 1989 it was introduced in most state-owned schools from Year 6 (11-12 years) but the start age was lowered to cover all primary Year 1 students in 1989
Is there any widespread teaching of English before the official starting age for compulsory EYL? Yes. Those who send their children to government schools have no choice, but those who can afford it send their children to private schools.
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? The time varies from school to school, depending on the number of teachers available, but there is a minimum of 35 minutes per day for 6 days per week.
There are 33 weeks in a school teaching year = 2hours 10 minutes per week.
How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? No statistics available. There are no special teachers of English at primary level.
Who does the EYL teaching? The children's normal class teacher (almost 100%)
Who is eligible to teach EYL in the public education system? Any teacher who has qualified to become a primary teacher in the public sector. Such a teacher will have at least a secondary school certificate (nowadays they prefer a higher secondary school certificate). In Pakistan English is a compulsory subject until the BA and it is also compulsory for the 9 month in-service teacher training course in which teachers have to qualify.
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers? No. A number of measures were taken, e.g., university graduates were recruited for this purpose but since their selection was not in line with the general recruitment policy they could not be absorbed into the system. The government also arranged intensive in-service workshops for the teachers and this is the strategy that the government continues to follow when it has sufficient funds.
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? At the federal level there is a detailed syllabus but then all the schools have prescribed textbooks from which the teachers have to teach – hence the teachers teach English as a subject
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? The schools have to follow the prescribed textbook and the teachers find it easy to do that. Though the teachers are free to supplement the textbooks with any materials they like, they cannot do so because they cannot find the time. They have to finish the coursebooks.
What materials are typically used? Locally published coursebooks
What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? Urdu for most children is L2 and is introduced at the same time as English, but in some parts of the country (Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province) it is introduced at Primary Year 5 (if they are learning one of the regional languages). Most of the children also learn the basics of Arabic at the same time, mostly from private tutors and learn to read the Quran by the age of 12.
Are any changes in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated? No

Private sector primary schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
What percentage of primary age children attends them? A small urban minority. At present no statistics are available.
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? EYL provision in private schools for general education differs significantly. These schools have better qualified teachers, different books – in most cases they use books and materials published internationally – and a better atmosphere.
What materials do they use for EYL? Books and materials published internationally

Private language schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? No

Private tuition for Young Learners

Is there private tuition for primary age children? Private tuition exists, but not just for English. It is included among other subjects.
How many Young Learners are involved? No statistics exist but quite a significant number of children get private tuition
What is the typical starting age for private tuition? Not stated
Why do parents use private tutors? In private schools the teachers' expectations of the children are usually high and some of the students find it difficult to cope with all subjects being taught in English. The parents either have little time for their children or their own language skills do not match with the course. After all, English is only an official language and still more or less a foreign language, though a very familiar one.

Date information collected: 1999

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