Education policy Essay
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Security, quality education, access to healthcare, prospects of a reasonable job on merit and sound economy are the ingredients to be provided by the state to its citizens to run the state and the society smoothly. Growth of successful nations is denoted particularly to the education. There was a time when people believed that higher education should be available to people of all social classes and, obviously, it was freely available to all who wanted it. The fact that it is not, that public education was once available and now it is very hard to access is indicative of deep problems in Pakistan.
Encouraging colleges and universities to raise their own resources by charging higher fees has clearly excluded a significant section of students belonging to poor sections of the society. Education in Pakistan is now so expensive that poor can’t even imagine of their children becoming doctors and engineers. Our education system is passing through a very bad phase now and it is regarded as perhaps amongst the poorest in the world. Cream of the Pakistani brain is either becoming idle due to non-availability of ever rising cost of education or going to other countries.
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS Article 1 provides; every child has the right to have equal access to an education, irrespective of their color, creed, nationality, ethnicity, or social and financial status, so they may obtain gainful employment and contribute to the growth of their society, being born free and equal in dignity and rights. Life for a common man in Pakistan in this so called “democratic” regime has already become difficult owing to the all-round price rise across the country. Inflation, combined with policies of privatization, has caused a complete deterioration in living standards of the people.
Frankly speaking, there is no such thing as democracy in Pakistan. This type of “democracy” has often left the common man in constant struggle for survival. Majority of Pakistanis are living in poverty and unsustainable economic conditions; when they are struggling for their livelihood education loses its utility in their eyes and it becomes far from their desire. But for the riches and powerful corrupt politicians, things are very rosy. Pakistan is suffering terribly for that, with socio-political and economic crises strewn all over the society like a straw hut in a typhoon.
Lack of good education and unemployment in Pakistan would contribute many social ills, including crime, prostitution, and the break down in law and order. In Pakistan, providing education to the masses had always been state responsibility. Now there has been a major push for the private provision of educational services. Moreover, corrupt politicians, feudalism, injustice are such problems which have further pressed the most pressed people of the country. Education is a tremendous tool for social change as well as an opportunity out of poverty traps.
People trapped in the lower classes have trouble climbing out of it because they lack the tools to do so, because they live in a feudal society that actively works to keep them there, and education can be a form of escape hatch. But Education System in Pakistan In Human development Report Pakistan is placed at 136th position for having just 49. 9% educated population. In addition to that, Pakistan is ranked at 113th out of 120 registered UN members according to the research conducted by UNESCO et. all.
Some of the very basic flaws of the education system in Pakistan contribute to the economic, ethnic and sociopolitical crisis within the country. Flaws of Education System in Pakistan Firstly, the education system of Pakistan is based on unequal lines. Medium of education is different in both, public and private sector. This create a sort of disparity among people, dividing them into two segments. Such a distraught infrastructure is a basic cause of high illiteracy rate in Pakistan and high drop out rates in rural areas and public school.
Secondly, regional disparity is also a major cause. The schools in Balochistan (the largest province of Pakistan by Area) are not that much groomed as that of Punjab (the largest province Of Pakistan by Population). In FATA, the literacy rate is deplorable constituting 29. 5% in males and 3% in females. The third major cause of flawed education system in Pakistan is gender discrimination. The current primary school ratio of boys and girls is 10:4, which is a cause of huge concern. For the last few years there has been an increase in the growth of private schools.
It is believed that Pakistan is among the most prominent states affected by gender discrimination. That not only harms the quality of education in Pakistan but create a gap among haves and have nots. Fourthly, the lack of technical education is a biggest flaw in the education policy that has never been focused before. Therefore, less technical people means low standard of education. Fifthly, the allocation of funds for education are very low. It is only 1. 5 to 2. 0 percent of the total GDP. It should be around 7% of the total GDP.
At that budget allocation, the illiteracy rate in Pakistan would not decrease but rather increase. The federal and provincial governments need to cut down their expenditures in other areas and spend a bigger proportion of income on education. Moreover, the quality of education in most of the public schools and colleges is well below par; the teachers in government schools are not well trained. People who do not get job in any other sector, they try their luck in educational system. They are not professionally trained teachers so they are unable to train a nation.
Quality of teaching needs special attention in rural areas where the teachers lack in all departments. In America, Europe and most of the developed countries, the emphasis of the states is on developing virtual education systems i. e. provision of education through online networks. The idea of online education is gathering momentum and many online institutions have been set up which offer online courses and online degrees. The Higher Education Commission and Education ministry need to focus on developing a strong online education network so that students through out the country can benefit.
Universities such as Harvard, Berkley and MIT are offering online courses and degrees. It reflects the importance of online education in today’s modern high tech world. Finally, Poverty is also another factor that restrict the parents to send their children to public or private schools. So, they prefer to send their children to Madrassas where education is totally free. The government has to make changes to financial infrastructure to improve the situation. Bank loans for education purposes should not be interest based as it discourages the people of Pakistan to acquire loans.
Education loans are offered at low rates through out the world and it enable people to acquire quality education. Social awareness regarding all these issues need to be spread and we, the people of Pakistan have to work hand in hand with the government authorities to improve the current system. Our children should not be deprived of their basic right to acquire knowledge. All these issues contribute to high illiteracy rate, which in turn result in economic crisis in shape of high unemployment rate and below-par quality of labor.
Moreover, the country suffers on social, political and technological front! There are hundred other problems which need attention but the core-issues need to be addressed as soon as possible. You can read my article Pakistan’s Educational System which is an overview of the education infra-structure within the country. In today’s world, the benchmark for excellence is education. Moreover, if a country has a distraught academic infrastructure, the chances to survive in current competitive world are petite. The illiteracy rate in Pakistan is alarmingly high which calls for critical attention.
The federal and provincial governments need to work together towards elimination of flaws of education system in Pakistan. The first time I thought about education and its significance to this society was when I went on a field trip to a school set up by an NGO in the late 1990s. It is now a rightly famous NGO but back then during my sixth grade field trip it just seemed like a project of a group of cranky Karachi businessmen who had decided to spit against the wind of the government’s non-interest in providing education to its people.
These rich grouches had gotten together in the chaos of 1995 Karachi and seeing the government more interested in massacring hard-boiled militants than provide social services, they decided to simply pool their own money and build their own schools. How benevolent of them. I would love to see these rich men’s tax receipts. The citizens of a country shouldn’t be dependent on the benevolent charity of rich men. Through their own democratic political process, citizens must enforce upon their richest members the income taxes necessary to fund an education system that reaches every child in the state.
The fact that Pakistanis have not done so points towards the weakness of their political system in dealing with its population’s educational needs. There is no real shortcut from the state actually enforcing a tax system that extracts the adequate revenue needed to fund the creation of a school near every human settlement in Pakistan. The goal I have described of having a school near every human settlement in Pakistan, is what Pakistan is obligated to do under its current international treaties and the simplest and most straightforward way it can be done. It is certainly not impossible.
Pakistan has managed to make sure that no human settlement lacks a mosque. The same needs to be done for schools. Where we went wrong Nationalisation of schools, as was done by the Z. A. Bhutto administration, was a shortcut that cannot be used, and was actually instrumental in ruining government schools. The provincial governments that ran education departments became overstretched then to the point of breaking. The schools that were nationalised saw the prospect of future capital and human investment in them pointless, as the former owners were now dispossessed of their old stake in the schools.
Good teachers left, rather than become government employees to be posted in far flung places, and the lack of good teacher training colleges, a necessity unacknowledged up until recently, saw little competent replacement. By nationalising the missionary (Christian), faith-based (Muslim) and private schools, an unwieldy, unplanned expansion of Pakistan’s school system reduced the status of government school teachers to the corrupted, incompetent, ineffective place it finds itself in today. Teachers do not come to classes, and if they do, they are ill-prepared to teach.
It becomes difficult to weed out and penalise underperforming teachers because their status as government employees prevents them from being penalised as they would be in the private sector. As much as this rhetoric may sound similar to the United States, Pakistan’s teachers’ unions continue to shelter wildly incompetent teachers, who beyond being simply bad at teaching, many times do not even show up. Anti-participatory environment We are not helped either by large class sizes, low teacher to student ratios, non-production of teachers in a sufficient quantity and quality by the low number of Pakistani teacher-training colleges.
Central to this remains the criminally low expenditure on education by Pakistan, and the failure to collect or divert enough revenue to the education sector. Taking the education emergency of Pakistan seriously would mean finding means to increase the amounts spent on education in Pakistan, on a war footing. Students cannot themselves push for an effective learning environment. Despite the fact that some students actually do want to learn, the environment that exists in classrooms, does not brook dissent. This discourages students from bringing up flaws in their educational setting.
This anti-participatory environment in classrooms is facilitated by excessively large class sizes, which discourages teachers from having more individualised interactions with students. This anti-participatory trend in classrooms is complemented by an anti-democratic trend in schools, where no voting is done to elect new prefects or monitors, rather the relevant students are appointed by the school administration. Giving students an opportunity to actually vote for their school leaders might inculcate democratic and participatory values in them at an earlier age, and teach them the responsibility of making their own decisions.
If and when these students reach Pakistani universities, they can adequately recognise the entrenched authoritarianism accumulated in many of Pakistan’s universities over the last three decades. Student politics This persistent anti-democratic trend within Pakistan’s educational establishments has reinforced the low academic quality of these institutions. There is little legitimate input from the student bodies on how their education is conducted. Since the 1980s student union elections have been either banned or delayed, witnessing unrest in a violent country like Pakistan ripple into campuses as violence, as opposed to measured debate.
The situation turned chaotic in the 1990s when the general mayhem of the city of Karachi coincided with violence on the Karachi University campus. The presence of such violence made the students of that decade disinterested in participatory politics. This suited the authoritarian and bureaucratic administrations of varsities, as well as the sclerotic, unelected leadership of Pakistan’s political parties. They did not mind that the students of Pakistan slid into political apathy.
However, the importance of student politics was re-kindled in the 2007 lawyer-led movement against the dictatorship of General Musharraf. The importance of student politics was even acknowledged by the government that won against Musharraf in 2008, when it lifted the ban on student and trade union elections. However, the twist in the tale has been the glaring domestic democratic deficit of this government. The anti-participatory atmosphere on campuses has not lifted as no memorable student elections have been held. Neither have any well-publicised trade union elections been held.
And most significantly, no internal party elections have been held in any party that maintains a decisive number of seats in parliament. What the lack of student democracy has to do with Pakistan’s state of education is that there is no feedback from students, who are the objects of education. There is no diminishment in the cruel authoritarian atmosphere of Pakistani government classrooms, where teachers, in negligent enough environments can still use sticks to punish students. I never really thought about education in society as a child. That would have been expected of any 11 year old.
But when I visited a third grade NGO school classroom in the late ’90s and saw another 11 year old struggling with phrases I would read just for fun, it hit me how serious the problem of illiteracy was for Pakistani society. In a misbegotten decade as that one, beyond the Gordian knot we had witnessed of Karachi’s bloody politics, the reality of children’s mis-education struck me as a crueler fate, a dire issue that had to be resolved immediately. That’s because these ill-educated children would not remain children much longer. They would soon be badly-educated adults.
And if this cruel act of omission by Pakistani society was not amended quick enough, then one more generation would see their adulthoods wasting away under the 21st century curse of illiteracy. Tax the rich, teach the kids. We have an education emergency on our hands. The Education System of Pakistan is divided into five levels 1. Primary level (Class 1 to 5) 2. Middle level (Class 5 to 8th) 3. Secondary level (S. S. C) 4. Intermediate level (H. S. C) 5. University level (Graduation, Masters and Research) Another division of Education System in Pakistan according to the School System 1.
1. Public Schools or Government Schools These schools are managed and financed by the government. Unfortunately, the majority of the schools are in poor condition. » There is no any merit system; teachers and other staff are appointed by the ministers on their own wishes. » There is no any accountability; a large number of GHOST SCHOOLS AND GHOST TEACHERS are listed in the documents. They are receiving funds and pays, but, in reality they did not exists. » In Rural areas, the buildings of public schools are mostly held by Waderas and Feudal. They use them as marriage halls, otaks, bethaks etc.
“Public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality. ” (Henry Fielding) 1. 2. Elite Class Schools (private schools) Due to badly failure of government in providing the Education, the Elite Class Education System in Pakistan got successes very quickly. Today, even poor prefer to send their child in these private schools but because of high fee structure many aspirants are unable to part this Education System. It is generally accepted that, the standard of Elite Class Education System is more reliable and first-rate than Public Schools and Madarsas. There is accountability, transparency and checking system.
Generally, the students of private schools are more competent than those of public schools and Madarsas. The government should take lessons from this Education System. These are successive models for the government i. e. CITY SCHOOL, BEACON SCHOOLS, PAK-TURK SCHOOLS etc. 1. 3. Madarsas Madarsas are the largest NGOs of the world. Today in Pakistan about 8000 Madarsas are working. They provide not only Education but also accommodation and food. They provide Islamic as well as worldlyEducation. Mostly, poor parents who are unable to educate their child prefer this Education System.
The government should introduce the reforms for the Madarsas and improve their standard. This will be helpful in two ways. Firstly, it will provide free of cost education to poor child. Secondly, it will lessen the burden the government. Before the 18th Amendment, the EducationSystem in Pakistan was the responsibility of Federal Government. The Ministry of Education at Federal level was responsible for formulating Policies, Planning and Promotion of Educational facilities across the country. But, after the passing of 18th Amendment, the responsibilities of Education System are divided among the Federation and the Provinces.
The responsibilities of the Provinces 1. To set the Curriculum 2. To set the Syllabus 3. Standards of Education up to Grade 12 (F. Sc, H. S. C, I. Com, etc). 4. Islamic Education The responsibilities of Federation are following 1. Planning and Policy 2. External Affairs; Signing, implementation and monitoring of Bilateral and Multi-lateral Educational Agreements, Pacts, Protocols, MoUs 3. Controlling of Libraries, museums, and similar institutions 4. Federal agencies i. e. FATA 5. Special Studies 6. Inter-provincial matters and co-ordination. ” 7. Legal, medical and other professions.
8. National planning and national economic coordination including planning and coordination of scientific and technological research. 9. National Education Policy and clear cut Domain over the following acts. 1. 1. Centres of Excellence Act 1974 2. Area Study Centres Act 1975 3. Pakistan Study Centres Act 1976 4. National Book Foundation Act 1972 5. Fed. Board of Intermediate & Sec Education Act 1975 6. Federal Directorate of Education Isb. [Article 142 (d)] 7. Federal Supervision of Curricula, Textbooks and Standards of Education Act 1976 8. National Education Foundation Ordinance 2002.
Source: http://www. defence. pk/forums/national-political-issues/125588-education-system-pakistan-good-bad. html#ixzz2PKkMjbtM Flaws hovering over Pakistan’s education system Filed under ISSUES 0 According to the reports of Human development our country is placed at 136th with just 49. 9 percent educated population. There is lack of uniform education system. Private and Govt. educational institutions has different syllabus. The flaws in education system lead to sociopolitical, economic and ethical issues in our society. Our education system is based on uneven lines.
Even the medium of education is different in private and public educational institutions. This inequality has divided people among two segments. Such a distressed educational infrastructure is a crucial cause of increasing rate of illiteracy in Pakistan. The regional discrepancy is also main reason illiteracy in Pakistan. The schools in largest province of Pakistan Baluchistan are not establish and sparked as schools in Punjab. There is lack of awareness among people about the significance of education. In FATA the literacy rate is very poor constituting 29. 5% in men and 3% in women.
The gender discrimination is also one of the major causes of educational flaws in country which is projecting the boys and girls primary schools ratio 10:4 correspondingly. In the last few years many new primacy schools for girls and boys are established but still there is need to establish more and more primary schools to meet the educational needs of increasing population. In the last decade the growth of private sector schools is tremendously increased. The private schools trend not just harms the quality of education but also created a huge gap between rich and poor.
The people of lower class couldn’t afford the fees of private educational schools and colleges. In public schools there is lack of quality education. There is also shortage of required facilities like qualified, train staff, furniture and school buildings etc. Our educational policy doesn’t focus on technical education. There are very few technical institutions and less technical trained people in country. The funds allocated for the education are not sufficient the funds are just about 1. 5 % to 2. 0% of total GDP. Although to promote the education the funds must be about 7 percent of total country GDP.
With increased education budget the literacy rate in country will surely increased. The provincial and federal Government both need spend a larger portion of their income on promoting education. Author: Rizwan Ghani Posted On: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 Source/Reference: www. pakobserver. net Total Views :1320| After 18th Amendment, improvement of education in Pakistan to international standards can be done with help of international frameworks including Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and boards like National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
Federal and provincial governments have to address the issue of teaching language (English, Urdu or regional languages), standardization of curriculum, and dealing with two-track education system- Urdu and English medium to take local and international exams. These tested frameworks can bring the progress of decades in Pakistan while saving billions of dollars. Thus, Pakistan needs to adopt appropriate policies to raise education standards, sustain economy and earn foreign exchange. The political, social and education complexities of teaching language can be controlled with help of international frameworks.
PISA does not require the member states to change curriculums, teaching languages and teaching methodologies. It allows governments to periodically monitor outcomes of national education systems within internationally agreed framework. It provides a basis for international collaboration in defining and implementing educational goals and skills that are relevant to adult life (professional and social). PISA reading, mathematics and general science frameworks help bring national education at par with international standards.
Around half a million 15-year-olds from 75 countries representing 28 million students, participated in PISA 2009 assessments and surveys. Pakistan can use PISA to improving national education standards in all provincial languages (www. pisa. oecd. org). Teaching in local languages can improve Pakistan’s education standards internationally. According to the 2011 Writing Framework for National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) of America, good writing instruction empowers students to acquire new knowledge and to develop critical thinking skills.
This is true of writing in all subject areas, not just English language http //www. state. nj. us/education/assessment/naep/results/writing/2011naep. PISA and NAEP framework rubrics allow student evaluations irrespective of language. Learning and teaching in mother tongue is a universal human right recognized by UN. China, was a top scorers in 2009 PISA testing http //www. nytimes. com/2010/12/07/education/07education. html. It shows education in mother tongue does not affect nation’s international competitiveness and national education standards.
Since education is a provincial subject, therefore provinces should be free to impart education in local languages, make English and Urdu as optional languages. Provinces can issue degrees with pass/fail with English/Urdu or both to free the country from politics of language. It will allow students to continue higher education without passing compulsory languages, which is a major contributor to school and college dropouts. It will allow the students to join job market who do not wish to continue with further education. The employer can omit or consider language(s) pass/fail status of candidate at the time of employment.
On the other hand, the higher education institutions can keep compulsory languages as part of admission criteria. In line with many American universities, a six months period can be given to first year university students to clear compulsory languages. In terms of syllabus, international frameworks and boards can help Pakistan’s policy makers develop required syllabuses, fulfill demands of local market, and meet national education objectives to bring national and international education at par. They allow improving exam testing and incorporating modern technology in reading and writing.
In addition, they facilitate linking of national boards to international boards like NBME (www. nbme. org). NBME model allows state medical qualified doctors to take national level exams, upgrade national education and examination standards and link them to rest of the world. It allows tens of thousands of international medical graduates to take United States Medical Licensing Exam without actually studying in American medical colleges. It is equally true for British, Australian and New Zealand medical boards. This model can help cut cost of professional education and fight poverty in Pakistan.
Based on these frameworks and models, federal and provincial governments of Pakistan should collaborate to standardize local education and bring it equal to international standards. Islamabad should hold annual summits with China and western countries in line with reports of annual Indo-US higher education summits planning collaboration of universities in both countries. In addition, Pakistan needs to allow private publishers to print books according to the contents of given courses. It will improve concepts of students, standard of books and education.
The existing control of federal government on higher education needs to be changed by allowing provinces complete control of universities, scholarships, hiring, training etc. Federal government needs to become a regulatory body instead of controlling authority and facilitates provinces to standardize higher education, provincial education and bring it equal to international levels. Federal education setup should work with ministry of labor and manpower to identify and develop human resource for interprovincial and overseas market, work with foreign missions to issue annual forecast of overseas jobs and train foreign workers and students.
Pakistan needs to organize education to cater to local and international needs, attract foreign investors and earn foreign revenue. Reportedly, America and Britain earned $31bn and ? 8 bn in 2010 from foreign students respectively. China is charging $5333 boarding lodging fee annually for a five-year MBBS and one-year internship. It is also offering seven-year specialization degree programs (5 years MBBS and 2 years specialization) in most medical fields. Beijing has gained international recognition through standardized tuition fees, transparency, qualified staff and allowing foreign students and teachers in local universities (http //www.4icu. org/cn/).
The Chinese model can help Pakistan cut prices of professional education by 50 percent and train surplus number of local and foreign students to sustain domestic and international needs. In line with China, Pakistan should also take necessary steps to attract flocks of foreign students, interns and investors. Finally, a debate is going on in China on two-track system- one for national college entrance exam (the gaokao) and other for international exams. Imran Khan’s PTI is deliberating about single education system.
Pakistan can overcome challenge of teaching language, two-track system (English and Urdu medium) and bringing local education at par with international with help of international frameworks, NBME and more freedom to provinces. | Pakistan’s Education System and Links to Extremism Author: Jayshree Bajoria October 7, 2009 * Introduction * A ‘Dysfunctional’ System * Government Reform Plans * The ‘Madrassa Myth? ‘ * Reforming Madrassas * U. S. Policy Implications.
Pakistan’s poor education system has increasingly become a matter of international concern. Lack of access to quality education, which in turn limits economic opportunity, makes young Pakistanis targets for extremist groups, some experts say. The World Bank says nearly half the adult population of Pakistan can’t read, and net primary enrollment rates remain thelowest in South Asia. Experts say the system suffers from inadequate government investment, corruption, lack of institutional capacity, and a poor curriculum that often incites intolerance.
In August 2009, chief counterterrorism adviser to the White House John Brennan, summing up a concern held by many U. S. terrorism experts, said extremist groups in Pakistan have exploited this weakness. “It is why they offer free education to impoverished Pakistani children, where they can recruit and indoctrinate the next generation,” he said. There have been some efforts by the Pakistani government, Western governments, and the World Bank to reform the system, but serious challenges remain.
A ‘Dysfunctional’ System According to the Pakistani government’s National Education Policy 2009 (PDF), three parallel streams in education–public schools, private schools, and Islamic religious schools, or madrassas–have “created unequal opportunities for students. ” Of the total number of students going to primary school (grades 1 to 5), 73 percent go to public or government schools, 26 percent to private schools, and less than 1 percent to madrassas, according to the Karachi-based policy research institute Social Policy and Development Center.
Within the public and the private sector, there are elite schools catering to a small minority of students. The majority of students attend low-quality private and public schools with poor curriculum, limited teaching materials, and inadequate number of properly trained teachers, or in many cases absent teachers. “[N]o Pakistani leader has had the courage to implement serious [education] reforms”- Pervez Hoodbhoy The government-mandated curriculum is a major concern for Western observers who say it encourages intolerance and a narrow worldview.
Except in some elite private schools, which do not follow the government-prescribed curriculum, all public schools and registered private schools have been required to teach Islamiyat, or Islamic studies, for nearly thirty years. In addition to Islamiyat, “many scholars have noted that the government curriculum uses Islam for a wide array of controversial ideological objectives,” writes C. Christine Fair in the 2008 book The Madrassah Challenge. A 2003 report on the state of curriculum and textbooks by the Islamabad-based independent Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) said that for over two decades.