Urgent Reforms Needed In Our Education System

Even after sixty years of her existence, Pakistan is yet to bring any major reform in the field of education and even today maintains it’s colonially inherited rote learning system.

Sure we lack the resources of the developed world but shouldn’t we at least try to utilize even the limited resources we do possess.

Most of the government schools don’t even operate properly. Absenteeism among government teachers and school staff is a common practice.

While private schools may present a glimmer of hope yet they are simply too expensive to be afforded by the common man of Pakistan and thus the vast majority of our next generation is condemned to illiteracy from the very beginning.

As for those responsible for maintaining standards, government servants and politicians, their children study in private schools therefore public education is of little concern to them.

Even in the curriculum of schools whereas internationally, most textbooks contain latest information and real-life applications, in Pakistan books designed for schools do not even engage or involve the student’s self, lacking hypothetical questions necessary to develop a questioning mind.

Countries which possess the most well trained labor force have designed curriculums in a manner in which teachers ask students to present their ideas, questions, explanations, etc., about topics being studied. This type of learning involves the learner’s self and positively constructs the minds of students.

It believes in the idea that what students are learning today will help them in their professional life later.

Pakistan on the other hand seems adamant on forcing down knowledge in its future workforce regardless of its long term implications.

Student does not retain what he learns and this impacts his future work performance. Not surprisingly today Pakistan possesses one of the least productive work force in the world.

The elite can afford to send their children to expensive O A levels schools but what about the common man.

A few years back Dr Atta ur Rehman gave the government some proposals to amend the education system and bring it at par with the rest of the world yet perhaps our politicians are too embattled to take notice of that.

Today we have the unenviable distinction of spending less than two percent of our GDP on education. Maybe we simply don’t want to invest in the safe future of our country.

We must understand in order for Pakistan to emerge from its present problems of massive poverty, hunger, deprivation, joblessness and foreign debt, there is no other way except to tap into our real wealth – our children – and migrate from the low value added agricultural economy to a high-value added knowledge economy.