Syed Mazhar Ali Kazmi - The rise and fall of the nations depend on the quality of human resources, which can be properly developed and deployed in the right direction only with right education. The overall position of a nation in the world community at large is generally idealized by determining the standards of its educational system. Education does not mean acquiring knowledge only but in real sense, is a mean for the advancement of personality and character. In fact, education is such a powerful weapon, if properly deployed, can bring every possible positive change in a society. Its role in the development of society is very crucial as it provides right leadership to the society. This is the core responsibility of the educational institutions to develop the people spiritually, socially, psychologically, mentally and physically, which results in promotion of economic, social, political and cultural life of a nation. But this goal can be achieved only with the help of quality education. The vital and unavoidable means to inculcate civilization and development in society is undoubtedly quality education. The quality of education is deteriorating day by day in Pakistan especially the quality of secondary education has an alarming situation needing special attention of the high ups.

According to Ground Water, Brennan McFadden (2003), the success or failure of young people very much depends on secondary school, as the significant identity formation activities take place here which have long lasting impact on young people’s lives. Everyone in the society has fundamental right to acquire education but that education must of some standard which enables an individual to be an active member of the society and unluckily, the standard of education is deteriorating rapidly.

Since its birth, the hottest issue in Pakistan has been standard of education; the educationalists of our country have been really worried about. The individuals of the society have their own view point regarding standard of education in Pakistan. The efforts of every government in Pakistan to raise the educational standards have been limited only to prepare educational policies in papers. No practical implementation of recommendations presented in any educational policy to rise educational standard has ever been found.

The present education system of Pakistan has totally failed to let the young generation know, why Pakistan came into being and what the motive behind the movement for Pakistan was. The devastating result of slackness in improving the education system is evident in every aspect of life. The people in power can easily be held liable for this deterioration. Besides ideological confusion, the most dangerous aspect which is also morally degrading is the deteriorating standard of education. Pakistan’s educational documents are not acceptable abroad due to our poor educational standards. The claims of government of Pakistan regarding literacy rate of 47% is totally wrong. The actual figures of literacy rate is at about 20% at secondary level according to independent analysts and educational organizations.

The private schools are not at all serving the cause of education but only earning money and are playing as tuition centers to prepare students for board exams, without providing any sort of quality education and any kind of opportunities for intellectual growth. It is worth noting to specify that government of Pakistan is paying very poor attention to education by allotting 2.9 percent of the GDP. Educational standards at secondary level are deteriorating due to this less attention

Education is the most powerful weapon and fundamental force in the life of mankind. It plays a vital role in forming the fate of a person and the future of mankind. It provides chances to acquire knowledge and competencies to function in a global environment. The educational standard of education is a direct consequence of the quality of teachers and teaching methods used by them. Competent and effective teachers are keys to a strong and standardized educational system. Teachers are duly expected to be proficient in the use of instructional technologies and class room management techniques. This is also expected from them to have a thorough knowledge of the developmental levels of their students. To acquire, sustain and extend their skills, teachers are also expected to be well informed of commendable practices and to exhibit a plan for professional development. Teacher has to prove the level of competency and effectiveness by taking responsibility for the success of all learners.

Education department in Pakistan has to face brutal criticism for saddening and deteriorating condition of educational system. But the authorities of the department, so confidently, sing songs of success. If government aims to develop the educational standard at secondary level, necessary and sufficient steps must be initiated, because secondary education is a connection between primary and high education and is considered of immense importance for learning of an individual.

The reasons of poor quality of education are Poor Quality of Curriculum, Biased Selection Procedure of Teachers, Poor Incentives to teachers, Inefficient School Administration, Poor Assessment System, Political Influence in Schools, No health facilities in Schools, Non-Availability of Modern Facilities of teaching, Lack of Co-Curricular Activities, Lack of Fair Inspection, and Lack of Financial Support.

Some recommendations for improvement in situation are to develop curriculum of secondary level keeping in view the societal needs and demands, to maintain a strict selection criteria for teachers at secondary level with attractive incentives, to deploy effective and efficient administration in schools with democratic and fair attitude, to use modern techniques for evaluation at secondary level for student’s assessment, to eliminate politics from educational institutions, to provide proper health facilities, to use modern teaching methods in schools, to provide the students ample opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities, to develop a transparent system of inspection and monitoring, to provide teachers quality professional training, to increase budget of education, and to start media campaign for public awareness.

Conclusions:

Secondary education is always taken as first step towards getting the opportunities and enjoying the benefits of economic and social development. If quality education at secondary level will be made sure, it will drive the students a path of acquiring more education either academic or technical and it will have great impact on the enrolment not only at the levels below secondary level but above this level as well. Nothing by only quality education can make young generation better dedicated citizens of the society and drive the country towards the path of prosperity. More focus on the provision of quality secondary education has also become the demand of the time due to the fact that market is in demand of a more sophisticated labor force and only quality education at secondary level can help achieving this goal.

Secondary education has a crucial mission – that is to combine terminal with either general or vocational education. Educationists claim that nations grow only when individuals grow and this is next to impossible without developing quality in secondary education. Email: gratesyed5@yahoo.com