Recently, on 24th of January 2019, World Education Day was commemorated in a number of institutes and organisations in Pakistan, highlighting the importance of education and its promotion throughout the world. While on the other hand we have a recent case of a government school female principal harassing a student accusing her of theft. According to World Education Forum meeting conducted in 2000 by UNESCO, Education for all was a fundamental responsibility that would be fulfilled to such a deal that education problems would be eradicated by 2015. Here we stand as an illiterate nation still by 2019. Why it is so??

Considering the current situation of Pakistan, one can say easily that Education for All (EFA) is an ambitious concept because we are trapped in an unending discussion that is perhaps not bothered in many of the countries who aim at improving their ratio of educated population. First and foremost, let’s consider the basic primarily level education.  Pakistan has divided its primary systems into two categories i.e. the public and the private sector. Right now we are discussing on the topic of fee structures in elite schools and their activities while a great majority of our children (age 4- 13) are still not getting any education. Going to school for them is impossible and they are perhaps sweeping and getting beaten by their lords who have bought them at a very meagre price. While community schools should be a workable solution for the present situation, the government is targeting already established systems of primary schools and perhaps in the recent future, there will be more than 500 schools that will have to pass through the pains of accountability.  In this time of crucial crisis in education, is accountability on the basis of school fee really an issue? When we are already way behind our goals of EFA, do we really have to close the already establish institutions in Pakistan? 

To blame the government is not the sole purpose and it is not the only problem behind all this failure, the institutions have also failed in determining good education for the enrolled students. If we have an overview of 2017-2018, there were drastic cases of Plagiarism, unrecognised degree and even fake institutions not even enrolled by HEC. Even in some of the enrolled institutions had issues with the degree programs they were offering and were under question by HEC.  In this situation, we had seen students striking on the roads for the paid degree programs. We had cases of potential threat to the university authorities and then we had Vice Chancellors going to jail. In a situation where the youth is already suffering from unemployment issues and sense of unbelonging , do we need to reconsider our structures and most importantly , where do we have to start ??

If we view from a broader lens almost every problem in Pakistan is arising because of lack in education. May it be a horrific problem like terrorism or as minor as public abusing, these all are instances of uneducated people who are not aware about right and wrong. If a person is not able to sign his documents, or cannot read basic newspaper information, than he is no different than an animal whose basic purpose is to eat, sleep and procreate. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The current situation of education needs way more attention than one can even image. Highlighting the fee structure, improving the quality and taking strict actions for accountability are important factors but this should not result in reduction of pre-existing degree programs and schools in Pakistan. In these crucial times, a good solution can be community colleges and schools. For a long time, we have been ignoring the importance of basic education and technical education in Pakistan. Technical courses and basic primary level courses should be offered free of cost to all the children who are not getting school education. For the purpose, one can use the facility of already existing schools and universities. As a community service, the students of that university can teach these underprivileged children who are not able to get education in the first place. This can solve the issue to a great deal. Most importantly, even if the university or school facility is not an option, then one can always opt for personal level individual basis volunteering services. If one individual is teaching one underprivileged child in his/her locality than the difference could be visible in a few months.  This is high time for all the Pakistanis to plunge in this cause and try to resolve this problem of education in Pakistan so that our coming generations can be a better side of this country.

 

The writer is Mphil in English Literature and can be reached.

 https://areebatayyab.com/

areebasohaali@gmail.com