By Nasir Hussain
(TGT, Boys High School, Churka Shigar)
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnaha considered education as a matter of life and death for Pakistan. In pursuit of the Quaid’s vision, the government of Pakistan came up with a document called “Vision 2030”, prepared after a consultative process, and presented as a strategic framework to overcome obstacles and challenges.
Vision 2030 aims to attain a high quality of life by providing equal opportunities for all to reach their full potential. According to Vision 2030, “Education is a key driver of economic growth because of its positive linkages with employability, entrepreneurship, empowerment of women and productivity – conditions that are all conducive to building a knowledge-based productive economy where our youth are better skilled, productive and scientifically trained to compete with the fast changing global trends”. In this context, it states, “The citizen shall have greater access to quality education, as well as basic amenities like health, water and sanitation. Freedom of enterprise and enlarged opportunities will transform the lives of the majority but the benefit of social protection will provide sufficient cushion to the most vulnerable”.
Reflection on the key items of this “vision”, with respect to the context where I am working (district Shigar, one of the districts in Gilgit-Baltistan), reveals that entrepreneurship, employ-ability and creativity are not introduced in practical way in the classroom scenario.
Looking back at the academic year 2019, we couldn’t see any revolutionary steps being taken, except two decision: one important step taken by higher authorities was the creation of a few seats of Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs), and TGSTs, recruited through FPSC, the second step was deputation of professional and qualified Deputy Directors of Education.
It goes without saying that much more is needed to reform the education sector.
Some of the suggestions that can be considered by the authorities are:
- SLO-based teaching and learning needs to be introduced in schools
- Poor assessment system needs to be re-visited
- Students’ autonomy and leadership is demanded for due concentration
- Educational seminars and sharing teachers’ success stories
- Deputation of right people at right place
- Tenure based transfer/ posting of officers and teachers
- Engaging community and NGOs in educational endeavors
- Collaboration with LG&RD department for missing facilities in schools
- Declaration of educational emergency in the region at district administration level
- Most importantly, expansion of primary schools through departmental schemes instead of construing new buildings and upgrading other schools.
- It is being observed that many schemes of up-gradation of middle schools into high schools and high schools into higher secondary schools. Though it is needed for the scattered population but this lacking should be filled by elected representative of the GBLA by giving priority to education sector. Departmental development budget should be utilized for strengthening primary education. Almost 98% of primary schools possess only two rooms. Toilets for students and staff, boundary wall, teaching aids, modern technologies are mere dream for primary section. Therefore, once these schools are sound in infrastructure; positive results of high enrolment, conducive teaching learning environment, less drop-out ratio and public trust can be enhanced and consequently, quality education can be improved.
To conclude, we need to focus on quality of education rather quantity by utilizing available resources, good administration and practicing professionalism so that contribution in achieving vision 2030 along with its indicators could be possible.
The writer is an educationist, graduated from AKU-IED, working as TGT in local high school and can be accessed at firstname.lastname@example.org.