Dwindling institutions

A lot of friends approach me to write more about problems and challenges afflicting our beloved country. We all know that there is a sea of problems ranging from the very simple to the most complicated ones on multiple fronts, which keep frustrating the masses with almost all governments’ efforts looking inadequate.

Without any claim and false pride in high academic degrees or bureaucratic grades, anyone with the experience of living in a developed and civilised country would know the practical ways of dealing with the menaces permanently afflicting our country. However, nothing seems to work for the simple reason that the focus never shifts to the improvement of human capital and institutions.

Personal experience and a closer analyses of Japan, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and Kazakhstan urged me to write this piece, aimed at drawing the government and public attention towards the revival of the two most essential institutions needed for the production of well-groomed human resources needed to run the state machinery efficiently and honestly i.e. the institutions of mothers and teachers.

Nobody could deny the importance of the role of the mother in building a society. A mother greatly influences a child’s overall development and well-being. The greatness of mother and her sacrifices cannot be ignored by any one. A mother supports and helps her child in improving throughout her life.

The universally accepted important roles and responsibilities of mothers in child development include development of the strongest emotional bond with the child, giving proper environment for the right growth, a child’s behavioural development, instilling trust and security, promoting family bonding, being kind, loving and caring, being thoughtful and sensitive, infusing a positive attitude, establishing role of routine and discipline in life, imbuing hard work, teaching good manners and grooming them as useful members of family and society.

After WW-II, Japan and Germany were totally destroyed and annihilated; however, the roles played by the mothers in re-raising their nation and states as the most developed, thriving and civilised countries in less than four decades is worth emulation.

The cultural invasion of Pakistan by India starting from the mid-70s, the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and the consequent pilferage of drugs, weapons and illicit money, the rise of militancy in the name of religion, the promotion and sponsorship of sectarian outfits, artificial prosperity widening the gulf between the haves and have-nots and the nationalisation of educational institutions wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s society and the state.

The worst hit were the institutions of mothers and teachers who became increasingly extraneous and somewhat castoff. The political elite in Pakistan has throughout kept the masses illiterate, poor, dependent, engrossed in endless ‘thana-katchehry’ circles as a strategy to keep their hold on the reins of power through the exploitation of masses. The only hope for grooming the new generations were the mothers and teachers who found themselves in a dilemma due to misplaced priorities.

Teachers have also been kept deprived of the much needed higher socio-economic status in society by successive governments; thus teachers are forced to indulge in petty ways of meeting the ends. The uneven and visionless education system is not only hurting the students, parents and teachers, but in fact harming the future of the country. Consequently, the last four to five generations in the country are far from the desired level of human index needed to qualify as a civilised youth.

Therefore, the lack of discipline, honesty, corruption, missing hard work, violence and extremism emanate from deliberate failure of these two most essential institutions which build a harmonious society.

If Pakistan is to overcome its perennial problems, the immediate revival of mothers and teachers institutions at par with most civilised countries is considered an inescapable imperative. The positive results would show within two decades. Investment in human capital should be the hallmark of the long-baked but recently announced National Security Policy; otherwise, it would remain a political gimmick on paper and in rhetoric. May Allah bless Pakistan!

The writer is a retired senior army officer with experience in international relations, military diplomacy and analysis of geo-political and strategic security issues.

The uneven and visionless education system is not only hurting students but is harming the future of the country.

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