Pakistan is now in its 63rd year of existence but so far we are unable to develop an education structure which can assure access to education for all the sectors of our society.
All the ills in our society are attributed to the prevailing low literacy rate. As a nation we needed a strategy to improve the education ratio and take steps to spread the education to the grass root level. On the contrary the overall education structure especially the school education is going in the hands of business community who seems more inclined to earn money rather then imparting quality education. Standard of education in government schools is further deteriorating and as most of our rural population is dependent on these
government schools, students living in rural areas are struggling to compete with the people of urban areas. People of Interior Sindh and Balochistan are the most effected due to lack of quality schools in their locality. Recently I came to know of a Visa system prevailing in the schools of Interior Sindh. Visa system is that a teacher who is appointed by the Education department pay a part of his salary to his senior and part of his salary to some un educated friend to stand in his place and teach the student and this person himself go to some other area preferably to some city to do a job. Senior citizen living in villages around Thatta and other areas where this system is practiced are pleading for abolishment of this practice but so far their pleas fall on deaf ears.
In the earlier part of Pakistan’s existence, teaching standard in government schools specially those in urban areas was good but the standard continue to dip and now even parents whose earning are low show reluctance in sending their children to government schools.
Pakistan at this moment needs seriousness from the government and private sector to revamp its deteriorating education system. We as a nation need to work on war footings to bring drastic improvement in education system.
Our government as per the budget of 2009-10 is spending only 2% of its GDP on education and they plan to spend 7% of GDP on Education in years to come. Current expenditure is very low and will not be able to tackle the ills of our education system. Onus is now on private sector to take steps for providing better education to the people of country but in private sector mostly business community is coming forward and opening schools with the sole purpose of earning. These private school owners charging large sum of money from the parents but are paying a very low amount as salary to the teachers. Having a brief discussion with some teachers teaching in different schools of Karachi, I found that a teacher’s salary is equivalent to the tuition fees of two children’s. Teachers are in burden and because of low salaries they can not concentrate on their jobs which in turn can affect a child’s future if his or her base not developed during his school days.
90% of people in Pakistan do not have equity of education. It is a sad reality that the quality of education enjoyed by the children of higher class is far greater then the one available to the students whose parents’ earnings are low. Because most of our population is from the middle or low income group majority of the students coming out from our education system are average person who struggle to impart their professional duties in amicable way which in turn hurt the progress of country in many sector and also these average people do not have the ability to take charge of the department they work so they are mostly govern by the person who is from a different side of the society. This difference is mind set of a senior and his subordinate hurt the working of the organization which in turn hit the country specially if a government department facing this situation.
It is now high time that serious steps should be taken to rebuild the education system. Some of the steps taken must include transfer of Education system in the hands of those educationists who love to impart education. Their sole motto must be to provide education and not to earn money from this sector. Similarly people who want to take teaching as profession should have the burning desire to transfer the knowledge to the pupil rather then thinking of earning handsome amount. Another menace is after school tuitions which not only burden the child but also show that something is lacking in school education that parents are trying to cover through tuitions. Lot of work also needs to be done in rural areas including building of proper schooling facilities, appointment of qualified teachers and to make sure that the appointed teachers teach in the schools where they are appointed.
Pakistan is rapidly falling behind in all sectors as compared to other countries’ of the world and the reason of our decline is low education rate. Education is the only tool that if utilized effectively can help us compete in this global world. Now is the time to combine together at all fronts and act in a manner to give our younger generation the type of education that allow them to compete with other countries of the globe and also to take the country forward and put it on the path of prosperity.