Hope for Our Outdated Education System

Quality Education is a key driver of socioeconomic and political transformation in response to global, technological, and democratic advancements. The quality of basic education is critical not only for preparing persons for higher education levels but also for providing them with the necessary basic life skills and social norms. Quality education also promotes access and equality. Education is the key to national progress. It fosters a sense of duty among the people. People who have gone through an effective education system understand not just their responsibilities, but also how to exercise their national, societal, and individual rights. One of the purposes of education is to empower people by raising their overall awareness of their national and international status as global citizens. This fulfillment fosters an attitude of trust and collaboration in society. Education stimulates economic development, which leads to people being prosperous and contributing to the growth of the country. Education is a nurturing force which is a positive aspect of any culture.

Pakistan has one of the world’s lowest literacy rates, with an estimated 22.6 million children out of school and a literacy rate of just 58%. Pakistan’s economy is gradually shifting away from agriculture and toward a growing percentage of industry and services in its GDP. Pakistan is a developing country. Its economy is fragile. The country suffers from political instability. Furthermore, the country is gripped by rising political unrest, spreading terrorism, ongoing sectarian violence, social instability, and economic decline. All of these issues are directly or indirectly the result of a weak, polarized, and fragmented educational system. Today, Pakistan faces numerous challenges, including poverty, instability, sectarianism, and terrorism. These issues arise from a lack of tolerance, a lack of general understanding, and illiteracy, all of which are exacerbated by an inefficient education system. The critical function of education has been overlooked in Pakistan, resulting in low progress in all aspects of life. Education has been viewed as a stepchild. The education system has received the lowest budget, weakening the foundation of excellence in the educational system. As a result, the educational system has failed to improve the nation’s economic, political, and social standing. After half a century and the implementation of more than 25 educational policies, the education system has failed miserably to lift the country out of its deepening economic, political, and social problems. The problems associated with Pakistan’s education system are lack of adequate budget, lack of policy implementation, defective examination system, poor physical facilities, lack of teacher quality, lack of implementation of education policies, directionless education, low enrollment, high dropout rates, political interference, outdated curriculum, corruption, poor management and supervision, lack of research, and lack of uniformity. The challenges listed above could be rectified by developing reasonable policies and plans, as well as ensuring that the policies are properly implemented.

Education in Pakistan is currently a provincial topic as a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, which was passed by the parliament in April 2010. Provincial governments have greater autonomy in a variety of social and economic sectors, including education. At the federal level, the Ministry of Education and Trainings and Standards in Higher Education (MET&SHE) coordinates with international development partners and serves as a platform for provincial education departments to exchange information and create synergy, synchronization, and harmony. One of the key problems that have hindered modernisation of Pakistan’s education system and left the country with a dysfunctional educational system is the lack of a single unified policy formulation and implementation system. Pakistan has had several plans of action regarding educational reforms but the political divide manifested through provincial governments has always halted the process. Moreover, bureaucratic red-tapism and longstanding structural flaws have equally disrupted the process of reforms as well. In current times an alternative, SIFC has been developed, mainly focusing on attracting foreign investment through one-window operation while solving issues of a similar nature. This highly innovative approach has brought all provincial governments to the same table while bypassing red-tapism and structural issues. SIFC has great potential to act as a possible remedy to a lot of Pakistan’s core issues including educational reforms and policy. SIFC can be a source of a single unified educational policy that not modernises Pakistan’s education system to the needs of time but also unifies the nation through a single curriculum. With SIFC’s and other relevant departments’ input, the responsibility for articulating and implementing education policies will continue to wrest with the provincial governments. SIFC’s influence on the national direction of education, through its policy initiatives, investment in youth, and commitment to fostering a skilled workforce contributing to Pakistan’s socio-economic development should welcomed as it is direly needed in the grand scheme of things.

Ahmad Ali 

The writer is a research fellow at Epis Think-tank Germany and an intern at Kashmir Institute of International Relations. He can be reached at Ali7664556 @gmail.com

Ahmad Ali

The writer is a research fellow at Epis Think-tank Germany and an intern at Kashmir Institute of International Relations. He can be reached at Ali7664556 @gmail.com

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt