Educational Emergency in Pakistan
February 21, 2012 Leave a comment
Whatever it means, we’ve got to do something about it. By the way, when, in the history we had not been into educational crisis. We only declared it now.
I have few questions in my mind…
1- What made us realize that we are facing a nation-wide educational emergency – general moral decline, increasing street crimes, extremism in behaviour, rising family issues, obscenity, students’ inability to read/write/understand/solve problem or something else?
We usually use the word ‘education’ as a solution to all problems. If I say yes to all these elements, then obviously education alone can’t serve as an antidote. Education is a process of academic activities that spreads over many years. It doesn’t work like a magic wand. People can’t be excused for their moral misbehaviour just because they have never been to school. Street crimes aren’t only the result of economic crisis but a youth adventure and part of political games too. Family issues rise because of injustice and conspiracies. Extremism and obscenity are the matters of self control.
It is actually “students’ inability to read/write/understand/solve problems” which has proved parents, school administrations and the ministry of education a big failure. Parents actually are the key investors, they should set a guideline for themselves, use their rights to interfere in schooling system, pressurize the ministry of education to take right steps for quality education. Parents should learn how to deal with children, how to motivate them towards learning, how to discipline them, how to evaluate their intellectual skills, etc.
Remember, a society consists of families, which are led by parents. Good parents means good society.
2- Who declared this emergency or is it a divine declaration?
This emergency must have been declared by very concerned patriots of Pakistan. Otherwise, parents only care about their own children, rest go to Hell. Ministry of Education is aimless and incompetent. School administrations are mostly run by or are influenced with political parties – and we know the fact that political parties would never support a ‘strong Pakistan based educational system in Pakistan”. English medium schools of Karachi and Sindh and many colleges are good example of it.
3- Which people exactly have responded worriedly about this emergency – parents, higher level students, teachers, school administrations, ministry of education, government, illiterate majority or literate minority?
I think that parents, teachers, school administrations, ministry of education, government and illiterate majority are worried about this emergency. They have been playing a very set monetary game so far, they wouldn’t want to see things improving. Higher level students are more worried about the utilization of their degrees, how to gain what they have spent on education.
4- Which elements have caused this disastrous situation – over population, imported curriculum, non-qualified teachers, inefficient school administrations, parents’ illiteracy, television programs, overall negligence of our society?
If everyone, which means each one of us, agree upon all of them – what would then each one of us do something about them? Teachers school staff come from common houses. Parents can’t control television channels but can control the television set in their home. Parents, women especially, can sacrifice two hours stupid morning shows and use that time to improve their literacy and ILLITERACY even after achieving a degree or diploma.
5- What state of educational crisis are we in?
a) The students in schools and colleges are unable to read and write independently – an essay, an application, an article, an incident, an event, a story, even a paragraph. They have no habit of using a dictionary or a thesaurus. They are unable to do even simple mathematical calculations.
b) About 7 million children in Pakistan do not go to school.
This simply means that the tinee tiny official funds for education and parents’ money that they spend on their children’s education, all have been wasted – by whom? – by parents, school administrations and ministry of education.
There is no planning for non-attendees to learn to read and write.
What is education?
Dictionaries say: Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. It is the act of imparting or acquiring skills as for a profession. It is a kind of schooling.
“Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.” Jhon Dewey in Democracy and Education
Pakistan is a gender-based, family-oriented, feudal-minded society. Gender-based in a sense that different standards are set for boys and girls. Family-oriented because children are not allowed to violate family tradition and decisions taken by elders no matter how stupid they sound. Feudal-minded – showing the attitude of ‘might is right’ so people, instead of focusing on rights, consume their efforts in gaining authority.
In Pakistan, the general concept of education is limited to financial gains and loss; a degree or diploma or any state which can enable to earn livelihood. They find it totally useless if degree fails in getting them a job of standard they have set. The majority of Pakistan want to spend not a single paisa and no time on education, all they want it for free.
Education in Pakistan has no value for elite and show-biz people, they have no reason to think about it. Most educated lot, thinkers and NGOs are influenced with western style of education – they are obsessed with English – their children speaking English and that’s it – what are they learning in English and its effect, they don’t care about it – Pakistan is none of their concern.
WHAT SOULD BE DONE IN THIS SITUATION?
1- This is very unfortunate that there are all kind of television channels running in Pakistan but an educational one except Virtual University which is for higher level students.
In America, PBS is dedicated to children’s program, teaching them letters, vowels, words, rhyming, syllables, sentence formation, politeness, communication skills, friendship, kindness to animals, caring animals and plants, etc.
2- While introducing imported curriculum in Pakistan, we totally ignore the fact that those high standard curriculum are not ‘high standard’ for where they are taken from. Those are English countries. Their children are born in an English speaking environment so they make their curriculum not to introduce a second language to their children but to learn skills in their own language. When their teachers say ‘what is this?’, their children know what she is saying.
For our students, English is a second language. Our children don’t even watch English cartoons or movies in English but Hindi. So they don’t get to hear what they are forced to excel in at the age of 4 or 5. This is not the matter of English or Urdu, very wickedly, Pakistani children are attracted to adopt Hindi through commercials, cartoons and movies.
3- Schools and colleges should be free of political influence.
4- Montessori syllabus and the categorization of subjects in 9th and 10th grade are both perilous.
Montessori syllabus in Pakistan is a violation of its own objectives and a great burden on little minds, which results in losing interest in learning anything by the age of 10.
This weird classification of subjects restricts growing minds from thinking extensively. Science, Arts, Home-Economics, Computers – all divided in main groups – this is non-sense.
5- For those have no chance of going to school need to be placed where they can spend at least half day to learn unlike schooled children.