By Khalid Pervaiz (Booni)
Currently, our education system is riddled with a myriad of drawbacks. Lack of physical infrastructure, mushroom growth of private educational institutions, use of unfair means in examinations, plagiarism in research works and dismal budgetary allocation contribute to the decline in the quality of education in the country. The parallel systems of education in vogue in Pakistan churn out graduates with divergent mindsets that in turn lead to a polarized society. Lack of uniformity in education tends to create an atmosphere of acrimony in the society.
The powers that be are adamant to step up efforts for the reformation of education system. They are the ones whose own children go to the leading English medium schools of the country and later on they send them abroad for higher learning. That’s why the public sector education system has never been a priority for them to focus on. The reformation of education system appears to be in a doldrums in view of the allocation in the annual budget that stands at a meager 2% of the GDP. The highest illiteracy rate in the country is a manifestation of this apathy from those at the helm.
Recently, the Higher Education Commission has decided to phase out the two-year program at the graduate and the Masters level from the colleges and Universities across the country. This is deemed as a first step towards quality education as the BS. 4-year program will end the traditional mode of rote learning from the educational institutions. Ostensibly, the semester based examinations and internal assessments in the 4-year BS. Program will engage students in extensive book reading creating in them the tendency for critical thinking and analytical reasoning.
As of now, our universities and colleges present a picture more of theatres than research institutions. Our youth presume that their sojourn on the campus is to obtain a degree after the completion of a two year academic session. They seldom visit the libraries and spend most of their time on amusements and recreations with the object of enjoying the ‘university life’. Sitting late into the nights is a common phenomenon in the University hostels. Barely two months before the commencement of the exams the guys get hold of readymade notes for memorization to reproduce the same in the examinations. Thanks to our lackadaisical education system, the universities award them half-backed degrees.
The current misfortunes can safely be attributed to our failed education system that has eaten into the vitals of this nation socially, politically and economically. This system of education needs an overhauling on a war footing to keep pace with the technologically advanced nations of the world. Our heads bow down in shame when we see our universities among the lowest ranking universities of the world. There is certainly no dearth of talent in the country, but what we lack is the will to exploit the latent potential and that will happen only when we have a sound education system in place.
By Khalid Pervaiz (Booni)