Abdul Rahman Malik
Education in Pakistan is the most neglected sector as the just meagre budget is allocated for it. The dilapidated buildings, shortage of staff and lack basic facilities present a grim picture which should be the eye-opener for the present PTI govt headed by the most charismatic leader Imran Khan -The prime minister of Pakistan. As a general analysis on basis of recent reports that the govt schools where polling stations were established, lacked the basic facilities of water, electricity, washrooms and furniture
Even, the buildings were old and in very dilapidated conditions posed a grave threat to the polling staff who stayed there. If we categorize the educational standards of Pakistani provinces, we’ll surprisingly reach at the point that education standards in Punjab are considered higher, followed by KPK ranked as 2nd, the Baluchistan ranked as 3rd and unfortunately, Sindh has been ranked as fourth in Pakistan as per the statistics of Aser Pakistan and other development sector institutions conducting various social surveys on education, health, poverty time to time . This grave and abysmal situation of Education warrants the present PTI govt to focus on education making effective policies to adopt the uniform educational system throughout Pakistan as envisaged in their political manifesto. Subsequent to the 18th amendment, the Education and Health departments became the provincial subjects along with few others resulting in the decline in education and health indices whereas the poverty and illiteracy increased manifold. PTI seems to be eager to amend the Constitution so that health and education may be made Federal subjects.
Furthermore, the inefficient PPPPs successive governments have failed miserably on policy-making grounds to reform and revamp existing educational system Sindh. it failed to curb the use of unfair means in examination system and bartering of various BISEs regarding marks depriving the talented and deserving students of their right.
Such a high-level corruption has wreaked havoc with existing educational systems that prompt the Federal government to intervene and boost the provincial education standard, especially in Sindh through legislation against this social evil that has plagued the very fabric of education –the copy culture. It is termite that has weakened the roots of Education and the main reason for Substandard Education and incompetence amongst the Youth. In the connection, the Federal Education Ministry may frame a committee with equal representation from Four provinces to discuss, evaluate and frame uniform education policy so that same may be implemented in letter and spirit.
Pakistan’s educational system has remained a neglected sector in subsequent governments. None of the Governments gave priority to education sector instead gave priority to PSDP projects to gobble and loot the wealth of Taxpayers of Pakistan in the name of development. Whereas, the developed nations, such as Japan, UK, Russia, Canada and Italy have achieved their success through education and raised their Literacy rates to almost 100 %. Our literacy rate presents a grim and abysmal picture despite the passage of 71 years. We have hardly managed to cross 50% which rings the alarm bells.
The primary education has almost become obsolete and the same is the condition of secondary and higher secondary standard. Most of schools are in dilapidated condition and being run in just records as there is no such physical existence of such schools. There is great dearth of Science, Arts and commerce colleges throughout Pakistan for both boys and girls. Especially, there is a great dearth of the girl’s colleges since the female literacy rate is very low throughout Pakistan especially in Sindh, KP and Baluchistan due to societal challenges that hamper girls’ education in villages, towns and cities owing to tribal customs and Traditions. The education of girls in rural areas is the distant dream and the poor girls get married in early ages which creates several domestic problems for them owing to these childhood marriages. Sindh government despite imposing Education Emergency in Sindh , did nothing for the education. It is just being managed by some high rank Bureaucratic Regime. The Corruption is Rampant in Education at Top Bureaucracy, Directorates and District Headquarters.
There is a dire need of Adult Education and Non-Formal basic Education to help boost the Literacy rate of Pakistan. The adult education initiative will provide an opportunity to those who could not get education owing to their weak financial strength and Poverty. Poverty is the main issue to be addressed since the dropout ratio at Middle, Secondary, College or Graduate Level is very high as compared to the Primary Level since only 50% of Enrolled Students move to Higher Classes due to enormous reasons such as unavailability of middle and high schools, Unavailability of higher education institutions and universities, Lack of support from the parents due to poverty, Lack of support from the guardians in case of death of their parents, Societal problems ,the social challenges and responsibilities .
There is a grave need of Orphan Education Policy since orphans are always left at the mercy of their guardians either maternal or Paternal. Some guardians support their guards but in many cases, some guardians stop the orphans from getting the education since they declare their inability to support their Educational Expenditure. Such guardians compel their guards to learn Technical Skills from the traditional Mechanics, Electricians, and Automobile Mechanics or forced them to work in Restaurants as waiters to earn their living to support their families.
Devising an orphan children education policy along with child protection policy may receive the welcome response from all the quarters. Similarly, such an initiative will be beneficial for the orphans to continue their education without any hurdle as mostly orphans cannot continue their education due to financial crisis . The federal government may establish residential schools through Pakistan on the lines of The Danish schools of Punjab by providing a Modern Education without any cost. The Danish Schools Model is the best one to bring out of Schoolchildren back to School and provide them with education, residence, food, washing and other domestic necessities.
Finally, If government is serious in devising an effective Policy to promote education throughout Pakistan, it must adopt Uniform Education Policy to create competitive Environments since FPSC and Provincial Public Service Commission reports suggest a major overhaul in education system to bring it at par with global education standards.
Government needs to set up world-class universities and adopt a standard competitive Recruitment policy for the appointment Education staff specially the teachers since the experienced, efficient, hardworking and dedicated teachers lead the students to the heights of success in every field of Education –be it Medical , engineering , science , space , arts ,culture ,history , economy and business studies .
The Government must form an Education Advisory Board containing members from all federating units to research, devise and recommend a uniform education policy so that educational boom could be brought in Pakistan as Great Nations win with the power of education not with guns.