What is needed is a serious overhaul of the system and of the approach stakeholders have towards education
While almost every country in the world is continuously updating its academic curriculum with changing needs and passage of time, Pakistan is lagging far behind in making even the least amount of effort to advance its academic institutions. Even in the supposed Naya Pakistan, purana syllabus still rules the roost.
There are numerous culprits that can be blamed for this criminal neglect. Educational institutes are not entirely to be blamed, however, their role in damaging the system cannot be left undiscussed. Most institutes cannot be bothered to invest their hefty profits to update their syllabus, facilities or faculty to the levels that meet global standards. Owners of schools, colleges, universities along with so-called coaching centers continue pulling each other’s legs, reflective of their hunger to mint money. This hunger has turned this noble cause of educating our young ones into a money-making business. In fact, it has inevitably become one of the most lucrative businesses in the present time.
On the other hand, successive governments have failed miserably to pay due attention to this issue, despite that fact that it should have been the most concerning matter. Every new regime comes up with a revised curriculum that they feel is perfect. However, this makes things worse and confusing. And the irony is that even the revised syllabus ends up with the same content that is absolutely of no use and a sheer waste of public money.
If we talk about the funds to be disbursed for education in budget 2018, the previous government once again has not offered much of a focus to the education sector, which shows their willingness towards improving education. Despite a surge in the allocation of the funds to Rs 97.42 billion in the budget 2018-19 compared to Rs 90.516 billion in budget 2017-18, Pakistan’s spending on education is among the least in the region. This shows previous government reluctance to give education enough funding, which played an immense role in not modernizing our syllabus. However, the strategy of PTI’s six-month-old government regarding education is yet to be understood, as it has promised much in the coming five years.
The role of the teachers responsible for educating our children is also uncommendable. They seem unready for change, are unsupportive and in no way keen on even trying to build the case for updating the syllabus. This negligence of the teachers might be due to numerous reasons like job insecurity, instability in relations with upper management, the unease of doing work etc. But it remains true that the strongest force that can bring change in the fate of our nation builders is teachers.
When it comes to the students, they simply are unable to sense the severity of this issue that has compromised their skills and abilities. Students too are more than happy to continue testing trying curriculum that bears little fruit.
Lastly, parents are also do not raise a voice against the rotten education system. The reasons for that could be ignorance, or sheer pressure of social and financial matters. Besides, education institutes have also taken parents hostage by implementing unfriendly policies and by toying with their emotions.
All these issues need to be resolved promptly by the government through proper intervention. Yes, it is understandable that the government alone cannot overcome the issue. However, the rulers must apply education emergency in which they present a 10-year reform plan by taking education institutes of all cadres and other stakeholders on board.
In addition, reforms can also be implemented by acquiring help from nations that have the best education systems, including Finland, Japan and Singapore. The government must show its willingness to get rid of this outdated syllabus with an immensely improved one that transforms our education system. Educational institutions should also become more responsible and work more towards nation building and less towards making their fortunes. Parents must understand the importance of an up-to-date education and student must work harder to amass knowledge and learn skills beyond the classrooms.
The nation has many hopes with the government of Naya Pakistan regarding education. We all need to step up collective efforts as this is what our future generations depend on. This is the only one way to rise and stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of The Academia Magazine.