Various factors are responsible for the lack of a proper education system, including absence of infrastructure, proper planning, expert teachers, and modern teaching techniques, coupled with the presence of a robust curriculum and an enabling learning environment.
In Pakistan over 25 million children are out of school, and many of them are victims of child labor, which is a tragedy in itself, but even those going to school are not getting satisfactory education, compatible with the modern world.
Among other things, Pakistan has failed to modernize its education system, especially in the field of modern information technology. Due to the spread of COVID-19 education institutions were closed all across the world, but several countries responded to the crisis by starting online education using “modern technology”, like the internet! In Pakistan, however, our system failed to deliver online education at school, college and even at the university level. The whole country was deprived of education, except children of well-to-do families who could afford get quality internet. The stark failure was because of the absence of proper educational tools and technology.
I do realize that emphasis on modern technology may be misleading, but majority of the public schools in Pakistan lack even the basic facilities. Our education system is facing a paucity of resources as 89% educational budget is allocated for salaries of teachers and staff and only 11% is left for development. Pakistan’s government is spending a large chunk of the budget on defense, and other non-productive areas, and they do not pay attention to the education sector. Pakistan should make peace with the neighbor countries to spend budget on education.
Education is the most powerful weapon. We need to equip our students with the quality of education so that they are able to compete in the world on the economic, political, educational, and technological fronts.
Apart from this, we also have a lack of expert teachers. Our educational institutions, especially the private ones, are the hubs of business. The private schools, who could otherwise offer some hope, acquire services of teachers who are happy with the least salaries possible. Therefore, most of the teachers are inexperienced and untrained, incapable of imparting any meaningful education. This is despite of the immense potential and resources our country has. On the other hand, Finland is a small country with a 55.5 million population, but Finland has the best education system in the world. We can try to adopt all possible and good strategies from Finland’s educational model.
Pakistan is in a dire need to reform the education system with the influence of the latest technology tools and software. Moreover, a bigger amount of the budget should be allocated to reform and upgrade the education system. We should learn from those countries that have the best education system in the world. “Perfection is not attainable but if we chase perfection can catch excellence.”
Apart from that Pakistan’s curriculum is based on olden concepts. There are different curricula for different classes, the 1% super rich of the population enjoys modern European education at door steps, while the majority who go to the government schools are being taught a curriculum which not updated. On the other hand the madrasa system is providing a huge majority of the population just religious education leaving aside the modern demands. Which is a huge burden on the shoulders of this nation.
The present government of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf is trying to bring in the “same education system” for all, by working on a “single syllabus”. But experts have already identified a lot of wrongs in the curriculum designed by the education ministry. For example a physics book starts with religious institutions laying over multiple pages. The book is said to have been designed by religious clerics who have equal to no knowledge of modern science. A science book should be written and designed by an expert of the subject not by those who do not have any clue of the field. This kind of skepticism of science and the prevailing misunderstanding of the field have already damaged national progress. So if we want to compete with the modern challenges we must adopt realistic approach towards all disciplines of knowledge. And, spend more on education than any other field.
The contributor is a student of Karakuram International University, Gilgit