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Old Tuesday, November 17, 2015
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Post Critical analysis of our Education system

1. Introduction
1.1: Definition of education
1.2: Education is related to economic prosperity
1.2.1 A comparison of developed vs developing nation on the basis of literacy rate
1.3: Education produces responsible citizen and good human
2. Flaws/problems with current education system
2.1: private vs government sector
2.1.1 More than one education systems create discrimination among different segments of society
2.2: meaning of education is misunderstood
2.2.1: education is treated as a business
2.3 lack of attention of government
2.3.1 Lack of resources i.e. Budget, infrastructure
2.4: lack of faculty
2.5 lack of training opportunities
2.6: low incomes causes to look for the other means of income
2.7: wrong and outdated recruitment methods
2.8: more focus is given on university education
2.9. Copy Culture
3. Student politics
Introductory paragraph:
The word education literally means the learning of skills, knowledge and information. In today’s’ world, education has become the key to success and of respectable survival. Along with worldly benefits, it also teaches about the Do’s and don’ts as per the religious, social and legal requirements. It makes us aware of our rights and duties as being a member of this society and nation. Our Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said seek education from cradle to grave. This emphasizes the religious importance of education. Besides, education helps to achieve economic prosperity by imparting the learning of methods of earnings to individuals. If we see the developed nations and investigate on the reasons of their success then we will find no other reason than education because education is vastly related to economic prosperity. The same can also be justified by looking at the causes behind the very state of affairs of developing nations. But in our country, one thing less focused and frequently neglected/ignored is education. Difference in education system for different segments of society, Lack of government plus public attention, insufficient budget allocation, inadequate resources, inappropriate recruitment methods, understaffing of teachers, few training opportunities to them, copy culture, student politics and our deviated focus are the few reasons behind this critical stage of education system, today.
Education and economic prosperity: This is no denying fact that the most needed tool/weapon to fight t all the problems existing in our society is education because it provides the basis for making rational decisions in all matters of life. Nations striving for development list/consider education as their top priority and take adequate measures to provide quality education and ensure its reach to all the groups present in society. Take a glance of world’s developed nations, and check their literacy rate, and revise the same for developing nations, you will find the reason of prosperity as ‘education’, and cause of backwardness as ‘illiteracy’. One thing that becomes obvious is the relationship between poverty to illiteracy and affluence/wellbeing to education. In our country, literacy rate is shockingly low 58%-A nation, already stuck into several problems, with such a low literate population has a little potential to have a respectable survival in this world of competition.
Flaws: presently, our education system is flawed. It is divided into two segments… private sector and government sector which creates discrimination among different segments of society. Private institutes, target usually to the elite/affluent class of society who can afford to send their children to expensive schools and cannot compromise on the quality of the education of their children and their future. On the other hand, the poor, who are left with no other option, but to send their kids in government schools and leave them on the mercy of Almighty only as the facilities available in government institutes and their infrastructure even the staff isn’t of the level that can better prepare our children for the future needs. Not even all the private schools are good and provide quality education but if relative comparison is considered then private schools surmount the government schools in attracting the number of people, and providing quality education.
in addition to this, government can also be held responsible for this because financing is to be done by the state so when it comes to talk about the lack of resources, inadequate budget and understaffing at schools then these all factors are to be handled by the state and any discrepancy observed then is to be rectified by the state itself. Current year education budget was 2.4% of GDP as compared to 15.74% budget for defense purpose. This is how we have set our priorities. Education budget in any country should not be less than 7% at least. There is nothing wrong with allocating huge portion of budget for defense purpose but ignoring of an equally important sector is quite objectionable. Education is far more important for a nation than its defense. Bad management of these funds is another issue, even if half of the allocated budget was utilized on education; things haven’t got worse to current situation. A state like Pakistan which is already being hit by militants and religious extremists requires not the armaments to tackle this terrorism and religious intolerance but the educationists with right approach who can preach and propagate humanity and religious harmony to erase the hatred and revulsion that is cultivated in our institutes. Above cited 2% budget includes the salaries paid to employees in education dept. plus infrastructure of schools. You can imagine what remains left then for making any reforms in prevailing education system. This is why budget allocation for education is required to be increased with proper accountability for its usage.
Another factor frequently observed and thereby complained is the quantity of faculty hired both in private and government sector schools. There use to be understaffing in both cases which results in burden of subjects for teachers. It becomes difficult for them to teach all the subjects with same proficiency as they may be skilled in one field but due to lack of staff, they are forced to teach all the courses and then teachers focus on just one subject and the rest are neglected or not taught with the same interest. Understaffing creates burden on teachers and thereby reducing their morale for efficiently performing their duties.
Teachers also complain for the lack of training opportunities and describe it a reason for which they aren’t equipped with modern techniques of teaching. This is particularly with reference to the government schools where still old methodologies are followed and this is also a reason for which quality of education suffers. Today’s kids are born in computer age, they play with mobile phones, computer, use internet, watch TV and cable since they are raised in a totally changed environment than what we had been. Their needs are change as that of ours, they question about so many new things in every new class so when a teacher doesn’t come prepared in a class or comes with less preparation then he will not be able to deliver to them. Hence government needs to realize this thing and make certain changes in course and the teaching methods. On contrary, if at a few schools, training opportunities are provided then teachers are reluctant to attend the training session because they are so use to with old practices of teaching that they feel hesitant while adapting new ways and this thing should be removed by properly communicating with them and convening sessions with teachers.
Low salaries of teaching staff have also caused education to suffer. Consequently teachers look for other means of income and have become reluctant and unwilling to teach on this salary package. This is specially noted when the same teachers teach in good way at their private academies which they don’t teach at their schools. Thus raise in pay remains a motivational factor behind delivering the same knowledge in effective way and the same can address this issue to some extent.
Recruitment techniques for teaching staff require to be updated. This is generally commented and perceived that one who doesn’t get job anywhere or one who doesn’t get selected in some good/desired discipline, opts teaching as a career, and he is best suited for the same. Means, entrance to this field is made very easy which makes this perception valid somehow. Recruitment is also not carried out via meritorious process, in so doing incompetent and ‘sufarshi’ people are selected and competent and eligible are rejected. Political involvement in said process can also not be overlooked. Now the issues have turned to such at a peak that has spoiled people’s trust over government institutes. Competent people don’t apply at all or apply in fewer ratios as that of before. Thus, recruitment methods need to be amended.
There has always been something wrong with our priorities. Our educations system is damaged from its roots and whatsoever few remedial measures are taken, that aims at improving our higher education i.e. university/college level education whereas a need is to bring the changes in our basic education that is the primary education. An institute like higher education commission can be established to check and monitor the performance of primary/secondary schools. Thus when assessment institutes are inefficient and set their subordinates free then we are to expect the same situation which is popular to our education system. We need to reset our priorities.
Copy culture is another disease which has destroyed our education system. It is eating up the creative faculties of our students. Parents, teachers and students are collectively responsible for creating this mess. Teachers have contributed in growing this culture by not attending at schools, not covering the full syllabus and not maintaining the students’ attendance in the class. Parents’ negligence from their children’s behavior has also encouraged students to carry on with this practice. And students themselves are responsible for not working hard and then pass examinations by cheating. Thus this virus of copy culture is grown with the negligence of al.
Student politics is one among other several reasons which stands a reason in way of establishing an effective education system. There is no harm in having student wings in institutions for presenting the collective voice of students to management, but misuse or overuse of it will create the same problem which our institutes and specially government universities and colleges are dealing with. Thus student politics has spoiled the image of government institutes and management has widely failed to control them.
We have also deviated from the sole purpose of education. A good education is deemed one that guarantees a future job. A good institute is thought one that produces graduates earning high profile occupation in reputable companies i.e. MNCs. Institutes have entered into the competition. If they were any manufacturing companies and looking for maximum yield. Means when institutes are judged /rated/assessed as good or bad upon the number of graduates that earns a good job, becomes engineers, doctors or other professionals but not on the impact of education that lasts in their lives and they leave on this society, then private institutes are not at fault when they treat education as business nor they are to be held responsible for not playing their due role in this regard. Parents want their children to earn a good job; they seek from institutes to impart their children with such skills and qualifications that help them getting a good job. They are less concerned whether or not their children become good human, responsible citizen or good Muslims. I have never heard anyone blaming any institute for such reasons but people only talk about the unemployment and compare the volume of students getting jobs from different institutes. Thus the psyche of people needs to be changed but this will be possible only when people have sufficient economic resources and they don’t get education for the purpose of job only.
First of all there is a need to understand the real meaning of education and its purpose. It is something which must not be measured in monetary terms at least. No doubt, one of the several purposes of the education is to get a job, but this is not the sole purpose of it nor it should be considered ‘primary purpose’ of it.
Government should allocate a sufficient portion of budget for this dept. along with this; a serious attention of government is also required to this sector as this suffers from lack of attention/accountability more than the inadequate budget. District education offices are already established countrywide but these aren’t delivering up to the said standards. This is a notorious fact that they take bribes from teachers and school principals against the leniency they grant them in terms of attendance of teachers and reports of the schools. An independent institute should be established to assess and assist the performance of District Education offices and monitoring of schools as well. And then if any officer is caught taking or receiving the bribe for said purpose, should be terminated without any prior admonition.
Salaries of teachers also have to to be increased. Besides, if some teachers are teaching at private academies then there should have some conditions for that as well, because in most of the said cases, same teachers don’t even attend at their schools.
There should also be trainings for teachers to bring innovation in teaching methodologies and if some teachers are unwilling to attend, they should be guided about the varying demands of the system in general and education in particular.
Recruitment should be done via considering fair process so that only eligible and competent people are selected. This will also remove famous perception that becoming a teacher is the easiest thing of the all careers.
Primary education is drastically damaged, so there should be more focus on it. There are many scholarships for higher education, no doubt it’s expensive as compared to primary education, but if we promote scholarships for primary education then there would be increase in number of children at schools because many parents don’t send their children school as they force them to work and earn for them. Introducing scholarships at primary education level may also decrease the ratio of child labor in our country.
Education is regarded key to success. There may be varying definitions of success but this point is undisputable that the success which is followed by education, will address the solution for all major problems existing in our society. Therefore to ensure that level of success, all which is required to be done is few immediate changes in our education system. Our education system is flawed from the roots, introducing ‘reforms’ in higher education will not resolve the issue. A need is to work from the beginning i.e. primary education. Private institutes have more decreased the reputation of government schools, lack of government attention, scarce budget and few resources have further strengthened the negative perception of government schools. Institutes established for monitoring the Govt School performances are themselves corrupt. They have totally failed and are frequently blamed for taking bribes for not uncovering the inefficiencies present in the system. Outdated recruitment practices and nepotism culture have brought incompetent people in education sector and they all are collectively destroying our education. All those silent on this destruction are also responsible for this very state of education. Policy makers, govt officials, educationists, teachers and we the public have responsibility to re make the entire system by introducing certain changes and prioritizing this sector, only then we will be able to make good image of country and fight against extremism, poverty and social evils. Thus education is a must for effective solution of all problem and economic prosperity.
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Old Thursday, January 14, 2016
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