Education is one of the most important features in demonstrating our lives, literacy helps to recognize the right and wrong, and what should say in front of whom. We can say that EDUCATION IS A CURSOR OF LIFE because it’s the major thing that requires in the development of human being. The progress of nations is also inherently dependent on education.
Despite the importance attached to education, its state paints a dismal picture in Pakistan. Our textbooks are primitive, our lessons wary of knowledge. The overall quality of education is nothing less than repulsive.
Alif Ailaan — a NGO that rallies support for education across the country enunciates a frightening indicator. It states that given the current rate of efforts for education, 2088 will be the year when every child in Pakistan will be in school.
Much has been said and written about the quality of education in Pakistan. A string of NGOs and think tanks like UNESCO, Alif Ailaan, I-SAPS etc. have published reports highlighting the pressing concerns in education across the country.
According to a report by the Institute of Social & Policy Sciences (I-SAPS), the literacy rate in Pakistan stands at 58%. With around 225,711 schools across the country, there is a major segment of the population that still needs to be enrolled in schools.
Recent figures state that a staggering 24 million children are out-of-school. Among them, 12.8 million are girls in contrast to 11.2 million boys. More so, 69% children enrolled in primary schools drop out by the fifth year.
There are a lot of factors that hinder progression of education in the country. While our government needs to amplify its efforts for the progress of education, added support from the private sector is also required to truly educate Pakistan.
While efforts are being augmented to make Pakistan more literate, here are a few ways through which we can ensure that everyone has access to education that is not only of good quality, but also inculcates contemporary learning in students.
I-SAPS reported that Pakistan currently spends 2.14% of its GDP on education. This is the lowest expenditure on education in South Asia. The literacy rate has improved significantly from 35% in 1990 to 58% in 2016, but it still lags behind the target of 88% envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be achieved by 2015. This calls for an increase in public spending on education. If the government wants to see some serious progress, then it needs to increase the expenditure by 4%-5% of the GDP.
The city had a sizeable Hindu minority living in relative isolation from the majority Muslims. The principal told me that when the school first opened, the children would refuse to drink water in the same cups as the Hindu children. They said they had been instructed by their parents to do so. The principal tackled this the only way she knew how: her staff made sure there were no separate cups for anyone. They then calmly explained to the children why such discrimination was wrong and soon their students shed values borne out of long-held ignorance and began mingling with the Hindu children. This is just one tiny example of the enormous impact of a good education and educator. Apart from cleansing minds of hatred and bigotry, education can also trigger ambition that is often the first thing to dissolve in the cycle of poverty.
It is the basic right of every child to be given a good quality education. There should be no difference in the standard of education for a child studying in an urban center or one acquiring education in a rural village. Governments must take the foremost step of standardizing education across the country. Schools should be the center of learning that not only sans disparity amongst classes but also quashes discrimination amongst people. The curriculum of O’ Levels and A’ Levels should be used to enhance the quality of education provided by the local boards.
Teachers are the most important mentors for students throughout their lives. They are the first people a child looks up to and learns their virtues from. Hence, teachers should be kept under strict vigilance with regards to their teaching skills, qualification, and conduct. A teacher who teaches Class 1 to Class 5 must have a Bachelor’s degree. From then onwards, all progressive classes should have teachers who possess a Master’s degree in the respective discipline which they choose to teach at any institution.