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Education system in Pakistan

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Education is a process of bringing desirable changes in the attitude of human beings. Quality education inculcates civic sense among masses and shapes the very outlook of societies. Developed nations realized the potential of education very earlier. They prioritized investment in human capital as their top priority to put their nations on royal road of prosperity and advancement. However, it is unfortunate that developing countries like Pakistan still lag behind in educational realm.
Although Pakistan has made significant progress in relation to enrollment and improving literacy, its progress in comparison with other countries in not satisfactory. It discernable from the reports which reveal that Pakistan has highest number of children out of school. The villages having educational institutions are in deplorable conditions. They lack infrastructure, sanitation and boundary walls. Teaching faculty and the content is also not progressive. It’s the only reason the almost majority of children of grade three can not read a sentence in Urdu. If Pakistan is to emerge as a developed country, it would have to orient its efforts in true implementation of article 25-A of the constitution. If substantial efforts are devoted in this direction, the country would not be capable of making connection with fast changing world.
In order to delineate why the education system of Pakistan is in dismal condition, it is imperative shed the light on its current status. Education system in Pakistan has failed to cater basic academic needs of large chunk of the population. Children belonging to remotest areas cave to travel long distances for acquiring middle schools. The matter of distance is more sensitive for girls. It the only reason that the drop out ration on females after primary schooling is alarming. Lack of basic facilities such as electricity, clean drinking water, and toilets also represent the sorry state of contemporary education system.
According to a recent survey, out of 163914 public schools, 10.5 percent operate without buildings. Almost 61 percent are Kutcha schools and lack electricity.
The contemporary status of education is also reflected in the primary school my own village Dabho Nijar, Taluka Islam kot which has 40 to 50 students’ enrollment. It has been over 10 years that the school has not been provided any furniture. The innocent students, both boys and girls, are compelled to receive education by sitting on ground. Despite several complaints and applications not any heed was paid to provide the relief.
The public education system faces paucity of resources. Government allocates only three percent GDP which very low as needs of education and UN standard. However, almost ninety percent of allocated funds are spent on the salaries of teachers and other staff. While only ten percent remains for the development of schools. Moreover, education system is also prone to corruption by those occupying high position in government. The funds allocated by government and donated by foreign donors are badly embezzled. The corruption has left buildings of schools decaying.
The deplorable public education has given birth to mushroom growth of low cast private schools. These low cast private schools appoint non-professional male and female teachers on low wages and earn handsome amount. The commercialization of education again do not serve real motive of education resultantly, quality education is compromised and poor learning system prevails in the country.
The progressive curriculum and teaching faculty is also major concern of current education system. The text books in use don’t reflect the contemporary trend in education. Though current government has introduced Single National Curriculum (SNC), its implementation still remains a question mark. According to the policy, after implementation of uniform education both public and private schools will follow the same curriculum. Government claims that uniform curriculum has been designed by following education system of countries including Malaysia and Singapore. However, it again raises many questions, will the traditional faculty able to follows lessons plans and activity-based techniques? Most of the teachers who were appointed earlier are not familiar with latest pedagogical skills and innovatory approach of learning. They prefer to teach all subjects through lecture method.
Having faced these challenges, it is imperative go both Federal and provincial governments to carve out long term policies to bring the education system of Pakistan on path of progress.
Firstly, government must allocate substantial share of budget which could be utilized at grassroots level. For ensuring transparency in the utilization of finds, establishment of effective mechanism is very vital.
Secondly, international best practices such as conditional cash practices adopted by countries including Mexico, Colombia and Brazil can also bear fruitful results. Such reinforcing strategies will ensure school attendance and bring out of school children back to school.
Thirdly, stakeholders must pay considerable heed on professional training of teachers. Frequent and regular training and workshop would assist teachers with modern techniques and trends in education. Fulbright scholarship programme funded by United States is leading example in this regard. It has produced a number of scholars. These merit-based scholarship programmes pave the way for development of teachers and education collectively.
Working mechanism based on above strategies can bring prosperous changes in education system of Pakistan. It’s only then Pakistan can resolve all crisis linked to quality education.