This Article is Written by Shehryar Ahmed a student of International Relations(3rd semester) National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. Interested in Sustainable Development Goals and Diplomacy.
The Educational Crisis in Pakistan:
In a country where 44 percent of age group (5-16) are out of school with an estimated 22.8 million, the country is spending only 2.4% of gross domestic product compared to ideal 6%. The quality of education is also inviting query and is debatable and adds fuel to the fire.
Apart from knowledge and educating minds students are not able to think and critically analyze any topic. Instead of skill development of students the skills of students are halted down. Critical discourse is never appreciated even at universities level. Students have to rely on their parents for completing their studies.
Practical VS Rote learning:
Practical is rare in every field. Students have no clue of what they are learning and have no futuristic vision and kind of job they will be getting after graduation. Students are not mindful of available option and not much importance is given to personal management and development of students. The two options of engineering and medical surrounds around a student’s life.
The intellectuality of a student is determined by the marks he will get and unfortunately the merit is compromised in awarding marks and deserving students are kept deprived of their right. Societal pressure then leads towards the option of taking his life.
Impact of COVID:
Corona virus was another feather in the cap of our education system. Schools/ Colleges remained partially opened in the span of 2 years and mode of education was online where most of time students had no clue of what was happening. On the intermediate and secondary education marks are allocated as if Einstein was attempting the paper. Student having 1100/1100 is surprised himself that he had got such marks. Students are at the receiving end and the education is getting worst instead of getting better.
The higher education is getting costly and common people are unable to reach level of higher education. The government colleges cannot compete the level of universities and common people continuously suffer as they cannot afford to get education in expensive institutes. The level of difference between the elite class and working class remain there. The right to education of everyone is vociferously defined but when it comes to fulfilling situation seems much worst.
Critical discourse is the backbone of process of learning. In our country you are not allowed to think from any other perspective except the perspective that is taught. Having a different view than teacher can be lethal for you in universities. Things have different perspectives but pondering the other side of the concept is considered a crime. Contrary to the education elsewhere Critical discourse is considered poison for students in Pakistan.
Creative learning is challenging the obvious and conventional concepts and instead of absorbing information creative learning promote skills using different techniques. In our country rote learning/ cramming is the trend and learning things by heart is the growing concept. The more good one is at learning by heart more appreciation he will get. No importance is given to promoting skills of the young generation.
Life is a hard task. Life has multiple disciplines and living life is an art. In a school building, students only learn what concepts were introduced by the previous intellectuals. No life awareness and career awareness is taught to young students who have intellectual minds. A student on the will of his/her parents/family enters a specific program in which he/she has absolutely no interest. Personal development and management is a new concept to our students.
Lack of governance w.r.t Education:
Government ignorance on the most important pillar in nation building is a critical issue. The government institutions quality became worse with times and there came the rise of private institutions. No check and balance is there by the government on private institutions. There are elite class private institutions where poor people cannot think of studying. That creates a difference between the lower class and elite class.
Single National Curriculum:
Curriculum sets the minimum standards. Single National Curriculum is a great initiative by the current government as public, private and Madrassa students face extreme dissimilarity. The idea to end educational apartheid in Pakistan is face of NAYA PAKISTAN but it seems more like an abstract idea. Idea forms a uniform curriculum but not uniform education.
Merit should always be ensured. The intellectual students do not get opportunity at higher posts because they do not have any commendation from higher authority or they don’t have enough money to pay for a job as jobs are on sale in Pakistan and in Imran Khan’s government money paid for buying jobs are also increasing. Merit should be held supreme.
Listening from old times that for a country to succeed, education is the key. Government must ensure uniform education and equal opportunities for people all across Pakistan. Government must heed attention to the most important thing in nation building. Government ignorance in Pakistan is causing a lot of problems in producing quality education and also educating the nation.