We live in that part of the world where education system differs from one family to other, depending on the financial position. In Pakistan, private sector institutions are ‘selling’ education from Rs500 to Rs100,000 per month per child.
There exists a vast variety of educational institutions for fulfilling the basic necessity of every child in the country. Parents just have to identify a private sector school where they can afford to send their children, regardless of the education standard of these institutions only because of the dilapidated condition of the public sector educational institutions.
Pakistan is facing innumerable problems such as poverty, unemployment, economic instability, to name a few, and for that the biggest reason is poor education system. Most of the educational institutions, especially primary level schools, fail in developing character, imagination, creativity, and critical thinking among their students.
Other factors, which hit hard the educational system in the country, are the lack of attention on the part of the successive governments, dearth of basic amenities, the lack of trained staff at the public sector institutions and low wages being offered to literate individuals.
This resulted in creating a gap between the rich and the poor because the rich choose to send their children to private schools, whereas the poor are left with no other option, but to get education in poorly managed government-run schools.
There is a system within the system, as the quality of education provided in a large number of private schools is also not the same. It is linked mostly with the pocket of the parents; the more you pay the more quality education you get.
Ironically, if you cannot pay higher fees, your child is not entitled to quality education because the kid’s aptitude is not up to the mark, but if you pay handsome amount in fees, your child is considered intelligent and can avail best possible education. This is the criteria being practiced in Pakistan, and that is why we are lacking effective human resource.
When a country divides education in different syllabi for the privileged and under-privileged; then one should not expect real progress because across the globe, education is considered key to progress and prosperity of a country.
“Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. The world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advancement in education, not only shall we lag behind others, but may be wiped out altogether.”
(Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
Basic education is the right of every person and no one can usurp this right, but unfortunately, in Pakistan, education is not being considered as a basic necessity.
Mostly people attribute nationalisation of education system, introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 70s, to the current dismal condition of education, but if we look in a broader perspective, the decision was not so bad, but it lacks the will on the part of the policymakers. If the idea was materialised in its true spirit, it might have given desired results.
I still believe uniform education system is a good idea, and if implemented successfully, it will help provide all children, whether of an elite family or from a poor household, get same opportunities to excel.
We should understand that the ability of children cannot be judged with the financial position of parents. Until and unless we don’t change our mindset, we cannot bring any change in the education system, which ultimately gives strength to the persistent inequality in the social order.
Let us rise to the occasion and strive for an educated Pakistan, before it is too late.