This post is a continuation of Education in Pakistan: Problems and Solutions (Part 1)
Pakistan’s struggle with education has been going on since its birth. Whatever stability existed at some initial point has by now completely vanished and we are left with an incapable, outdated, mostly unimplemented system of education. Previously, we discussed some general issues causing our education crisis. Here, we’ll take a deeper view at it.
- Low Budget Allocation: Being a country which desperately needs to climb only to save its life, the negligence of each government so far in this aspect is severely condemnable. The budget allocation set apart for education this last session is 2.68% of the total GDP. Most growing countries allocate at least 3% to their education sectors. That said, if our country spent even the allotted amount on productive goals for education, it might suffice. Low budget allocation is a severe issue, but unproductive use of the allotted budget is an even serious problem.
Solution: We need to spend an honest amount of at least 3% on the education sector of Pakistan. This is the minimum. The government needs to get their priorities straight. Education comes first, recreation later, and luxury even later. And there needs to be a team keeping a strict check on the monetary expenditure of the education sector.
- Outdated Syllabus: My own experience in intermediate college has been torturous. The books are so outdated and so lamely written that it was a shame to even be studying them. They indicated no standard of education and the least amount of consideration for it. It has been four years and they are still the same. The books produced by our boards of education are in dire need of being updated and even rewritten completely. Education is not to be taken lightly, and if our books are lacking, how can we expect our children to catch up to this fast paced world?Solution: All books of every level of education need to be reviewed and rewritten, a proper committee consisting of capable experts must be created to do this. They must point out errors, make an outline of all that is needed, they must hire field experts to write new books keeping in view our country’s ideology, they must bring the book into readable and affordable formats, and then they must sincerely circulate those books. If the government was to ask experts to even volunteer for this work, I’m sure a lot of them would come forward.
One most important factor to be kept in view while doing this is keeping in mind the ideology of our country. Our books transfer our values, and so they must reflect the right values in the right ways.
- Inefficient teaching staff and techniques: Just as our books are outdated, so are our teaching techniques. In most government institutions of education, the teaching staff rarely shows up. And if they do show up, they tend to follow the traditional methods to a ruined T. The world has evolved, and our young minds with it. What the past required, the present does not require. There are new demands being made on our educational institutes and our teachers, and we need to be able to rise to them, adapt in order to meet those demands. Technology is now a key factor in transferring knowledge, it must be made use of. Traditional techniques can no longer suffice.
Solution: An efficient and effective teacher training programme should be constructed in order to produce able teachers who can make proper use of all resources available to them and not just that, but those who can fully implement the system; not just following guidelines but adapting it to the requirements of their students.
All institutions should also be given necessary facilities to impart knowledge in the most influential ways.
- Lack of standard institutions and systems: In Pakistan, we have the federal boards, the provincial boards, the city boards, the public and private boards, all with their own rules, syllabus, books and standards. There is no one system that could stand as a model system. Consequently, we have class system even in our education. Quality of education differs in every board and every institution hence affecting the opportunities every student gets.
Solution: Federal government must implicate one standard system of education in order to impart the same quality of education to everyone. The criteria of judging students must be their individual effort and capability rather than the board they’ve studied under.
- Corruption: The whitest elephant in our entire system of education is corruption. Whatever resources our government does give to the education sector is snatched away by corrupt authorities against whom no one dares to raise their voice. No matter how many times this issue is brought to light, our dear lawmakers always make sure to sweep it under their plush carpets. This is one issue which if straightened, everything else may just fall into place.Solution: What can be done for this? We can have committees unsusceptible to corruption overlooking the system, keeping check on the usage of allocated budget. And the rats must be punished instead of being given comfortable cages.
All of this is easier said than done, the writer knows. But if anything is to be done, it will be difficult and it will have to be along these lines. Education is the need of the day especially for Pakistan; we must see this cause to its end.
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