Nadeem Murtaza

Education is the most powerful, effective tool in the nation building in this contemporary world, as it helps create an enlightened society. It shapes attitudes and beliefs to enable a nation to resolve interpersonal differences and empower people to stay united by capitalising on the nation’s resources more effectively.

Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and according to the united Nation Education, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO), it is 55 percent and Pakistan stands at 160th in total countries of the world. In the nation composed of a large number of illiterate people, those who can be statistically called literate have yet to reach a point where they can truly and effectively contribute in the journey to Progress. A well educated work force is key to state prosperity.

Education is a means to achieve socio economic prosperity in any country but unfortunately our whole educational infrastructure has been in limbo and largely devoid of comprehensive, concrete educational plans and policies. As a result of which standards of education in the country are plummeting righty pointed out by the annual status of education report, undertaken by a number of organisations, which revealed the shocking facts of the learning outcomes of school going children. Depressingly, more than half the children surveyed could not read a sentence in Urdu or their local language. Around 56 percent could not do two digit subtraction sums while the level of reading and comprehension in English was predictably, dismal.

Whenever I pass through villages and towns and talk to people, I find that there are still hundreds of thousands of children who either never went to school or have dropped out to work along with their parents, Because of extreme poverty. There are many young students who have quit studies after class 7th or class 8th. Some of them who managed to study till matriculation or intermediate have no clue what they should do next.

As per the article 25-A in the constitutions of Pakistan, it is the duty of the government to provide free education to the age group of 5 years to 16 years but this is not being practiced. Reckoning factors which need to be tackled on a war footing, yet being neglected by successive govts, are low literacy rate and poor quality of the education system. Besides low budget allocation for education, political interference, syllabus of slavery days, deliberately created double standards for education like different levels for different classes of people.

Whole nation is swinging like pendulum to and fro because of not being able to determine medium, whether English medium or Urdu medium, system based on learning and teaching like parrot without any explicit knowledge based on 5 years papers which is a real killer, presence of different boards in our education system is the greatest drawback, poor quality of teachers and irrelevant induction of duties and our substandard evaluation systems are major factor that have caused downfall of education over the last 70 years.

In view of this dismal state of education in the country, a renewed emphasis on education is needed. There is a need for implementation of national education policy and vision 2030 education goals. A uniform curriculum must be introduced to provide equal opportunity to the students of rural areas to compete with students of urban areas. Implementation instead of projecting policies must be focused on. Allocation of funds must be ensured from provinces to districts.

Foreign state are using Lss system, this should be introduced in Pakistani schools to improve the hidden qualities of children. Burdening students with so many books will not work. Technical education must be given to all classes. Its high time policymakers, people at the corridor of power brought revolutionary reforms into our educational system to bring education in its original form to masses by keeping above mentioned harsh facts in order to march ahead with the tune, temper and tide of the time.

The reforms in the education system of Pakistan cannot be done by the government alone; public-private participation can pull out majority of country’s population from illiteracy. Similarly, to make the youth of the country an asset, attention must be paid to vocational and technical training.

Education is the only cure of the instability in the state and to bring revolution through evolution by eradicating social evils like terrorism, corruption, poverty. Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. With the above steps and seriousness towards revival of quality education system, the government can leave behind a positive legacy for generations to come.