Education teaches us humanity. It is the only tool that differentiates humans from other species. It has made us what we are today. There is a common saying that tells us that if you want to destroy any nation, destroy its educational system first, and the nation would eventually destroy itself. Similarly, bitter enemies of Pakistan have been trying to destroy the education system in Pakistan to meet their desired ends, that is, turn Pakistan into a slave nation. Unfortunately, our politicians and policy-makers are among their helping hands. We have entered the 21st century, the era of technology, but the education system is still the same as it was during the time of our ancestors.
Coming back to the point, I believe, the education system in Pakistan is a mere joke with the students. Majority of the population in Pakistan is rural based; however, little attention is paid to rural education. The government only constructs buildings and provides one or two teachers per school but doesn’t monitor the quality of education in those schools. The teachers in rural areas are either selected on political recommendation or bribe the authorities to get to that position. Hence, majority of the population remains illiterate.
There is also high social class discrimination in the education system. Every educational facility is available for the rich, whereas, the poor can only think of schooling their children, or perhaps, till the primary or middle level only, not more than that. The upper class can receive education way easily than the lower class.
There is discrimination in the educational system (keeping aside the gender discrimination, which unfortunately, is practiced everywhere), that is, it consists of several educational boards within Pakistan. There is Cambridge System for some and Intermediate System for others. Also, other boards, such as, Federal Board and Agha Khan Boards are also functioning in Pakistan. Everyone prefers the best which is the Cambridge system, but majority of the population cannot afford it, so they are compelled to opt for local boards, thereby, making them feel inferior.
The syllabus that is being followed in Pakistan is outdated. The books which are a part of the syllabus were also part of the syllabus that our elders used to follow, including people who have completed their secondary and higher secondary certificates in early 90s. Proper guidance is not provided to the students. They are not allowed to opt for the fields they are interested in because they have to choose the field that pays the most.
After passing all these stages, if students manage to reach the university level, they are still ridiculed either by the admissions on personal recommendations or based on their intermediate grades. Grades can easily be bought at the intermediate level, therefore, those who can afford, usually buy high grades in order to get admission in prestigious universities, and those who can’t, generally cry on their fate and curse their elders for being so honest and gentle.
In private universities, there is no uniformity of syllabus. If there are five sections of the same batch, two or three sections are taught one book and the rest are taught another book for the same course. The material provided to students is outdated and impractical. In courses like Development Economics, current facts and figures must be provided, but in many universities, students are asked to follow a book that was published in 2000 (Economics Development By Todaro and Smith Eight Edition). In this course book, most of the figures are given from late 90s, and interestingly, this book is followed in many universities. Now, think for a while. Will the students be able to relate this information with the current economic scenario of Pakistan or the world?
Some instructors, while introducing themselves, say that they are teaching this course for the nth time, and from the slides or other material provided by them, students can easily judge that the material has been produced 10 years back because it seems to be outdated. This shows that those instructors are only paid to come and teach the same the thing which they have been teaching since the last many years. From this analysis, I don’t intend to target anyone personally. Teachers are like candles in darkness for our nation, but sorry to say, not all teachers can be candles. A few teachers are actually helping our enemies in destroying our nation. As my honorable school teacher once said that teaching is the noblest profession, but unfortunately, more than 50% of the teachers are not honest with their profession. They are more corrupt than the corrupt politicians of our nation.
In a nutshell, I would still stand by my point that our education system is a sheer joke by highlighting the following points:
- Only 1.8% of our GDP is allocated to education. We stand at 126 in terms of GDP spending on education.
- There is high discrimination in the education sector, gender as well as discrimination in terms of social status.
- Students are forced to choose their fields. Their passion and talent are being ignored.
- Education is all about getting a degree and then a job. It is not about gaining knowledge and information.
- Students with high percentages and high CGPAs are considered to be educated and hardworking and the rest are discouraged all the time, no matter how much talented they are. Nobody considers your skills and competency until and unless you don’t have a good CGPA. You are required to show them a page with your name and shining grades if you want them to listen to you. A serious joke, indeed!
- No matter how much time you spend with books and study hard, but if unfortunately, you don’t end up with good grades, then for your parents and the society, you become a live example of Nakama Sakhs.
- The biggest joke of the year, “degree degree hai, chahey wo jali ho ya asli ho”. No matter how you received it, if you have a degree, you are qualified. Above all, you are even qualified enough to become a politician.
“Educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life”, was said by an anonymous source. Hence, in Pakistan, education should be all about ‘being human and making humanity possible’. If we fix the problem of our educational system, then more than 75% of the problems will vanish right away from Pakistan. Otherwise, hamari dastaan tak na hogi dastaanon main.