Education System in Pakistan
1. Meaning of Education
2. Education is the light of life
3. Education in the light of Islam
4. Education is vital for the development of a country
5. Education in Pakistan
a) System of education in Pakistan
b) Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan
c) Literacy rate in Pakistan and other developing countries
d) Human Development report
6. Problems of education in Pakistan
a) Inconsistent and conflicting policies and political interference.
b) Low education spending
d) Blind imitation of western curriculum and modes of teaching
e) Private sector's lukewarm participation
f) Teachers related issues
g) Examination system
h) Gender discrimination
i) Lack of technical education
7. Impacts of these Failure
a. Failure of democracy
b. Degradation of society
c. Hampered the economic progress
d. Agriculture and industrial sectors have suffered
8. Government's attempts to amelioration of this sector
a) Increase in spending on higher education
b) Establishment of HEC
9. Reforms made by HEC
a) Faculty improvement programs
b) Tenure Track System for faculty remuneration
c) provision of laboratories, equipment and scientific material
d) alignment of academic degrees with international norms and standards
e) Exploitation of the potential of distance learning
f) provision of scholarships
g) Accountability in universities
10. Impacts of these reforms
a) Enrollments experienced a robust growth
b) Recruitments on merit
11. Suggestions for improvement
a) Implementation instead of projecting policies
b) Education Spending should be increased
c) Promotion of primary education
d) Maintain balance between public and private institutes
e) Hiring of talented and qualified staff
f) Higher Education-A Panacea for Pakistan
g) Infusion of technical education
12. Future of education in Pakistan
a) Global Monitoring Report
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world Nelson Mandela
The word "Education" has been derived from the Latin term "Educatum" which means the act of teaching or training. A group of educationists say that it has come from another Latin word "Educare" which means "to bring up" or "to raise".
All these meanings indicate that education seeks to promote the good qualities in man and draw out the best in every individual. Education seeks to develop the distinctive inner capacities of man.
Education is the light of the life. It frees an individual from misconceptions and blind beliefs. It enhances human status and leads everyone to respectability.
Education has been accorded great importance in every religion and society. Islam also attaches utmost importance to it.
The first word of the Holy Quran was IQRA (READ) and Holy prophet (S A W) said
Education is mandatory for men and women.
The above hadith does not discriminating gender that means it is not only mandatory for men but also for women. Holy prophet (S A W) also said
Seek knowledge even you have to travel to China.
Muslims ushered an era of glory only with education but when they renounced it, they fell into the depths of gloom and dejection. The west, today, dominates the world only because it realized educations vitality to development. Article 26 of the UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: Everyone have the right to education. It is the second objective in UNs Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs) which requires education for all(EFA) by year 2015.However the state of education in Pakistan is far from satisfactory.
The education system in Pakistan is generally divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate or SSC); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary (School) Certificate or HSC); and university programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Education in Pakistan is overseen by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Pakistan as well as the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and in the financing of research and development.
Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law. Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year.
Despite these statistics, Pakistan still has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world and the second largest out of school population (5.4 million children) after Nigeria.
The literacy rate for age 10 years and above in Pakistan, according to World Bank, is 55 percent (67 % for males and 42% Females). This is the lowest rate in the developing nations of Asia. Silence has 90.7%; Indonesia has 90.4%, while literacy rate in Vietnam, Iran and India reach 90.4%, 82.4% and 61% respectively. In contrast in developed countries it is almost 100%.
In the sphere of higher education only 3.7% of Pakistani youth of 18 to 23 age group is enrolled this is also very low as compare to other developing countries as India has 7% while Malaysia has 12%.
In Human development Report, Pakistan is placed at 134th position out of 177 countries of the world and education is a major indicator in human development index. We may be conclusive about the ground reality that people in the 6th largest country of the world have no access to the basic education even.
This is because Pakistan is still struggling with its problems of Education system. At the first place, the problems have arisen due to lack of commitment and inefficient management on the part of state. The policies lack long term vision and its implementation strategies are being affected by unnecessary political interference. Over the span of 66 years, the nation has been given the 23 policies and action plans but we could not start the march towards success and are waiting for a savior who could take the system out of confusion. The National Education Policy (1998-2010) was developed previous to Dakar. It has a clear cut vision and direction to support the education department. Since the 2001, the Ministry of Education has developed a number of policy documents including that of National Education policy (2009) but the activities remain focused on paper work more rather than the operationalization. The simple reason is that the coordination is missing between the federal and provincial governments which cause strong problems in the policy implementation.
The policy formulating, planning and implementing bodies work in isolation as the water tight sections. The government's consultation is very much restricted and does not go beyond its specific quarters. It should have to be extended to non-state sectors to initiate and mobilize the action. Teachers does not normally form the part of policy making process, hence the process of sharing and consultation remains missing. It leads to implementation of educational policies without consultation, thus the efforts go in vain. In addition to it, the measures taken are not evidence based and geared by the assigned interests of the authorities. Whatever strategies have been applied failed to promote the rational and critical thinking skills amongst the students. Because there is a need to continuously update the syllabus because if it goes old, it does not prepare the beneficiaries with the saleable skills and expertise.
Secondly the allocation of funds for education is very low as it never went beyond 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the total GDP. Even this amount was not utilized and had to be surrendered back to the government as about 10 to 30% of education budget remains unutilized.
In spite of allocation, the amount is not spent for what it was meant for as the corruption is found in all the levels of education. Corruption causes the educational policies, plans and projects to fail because of being the major contributing factor. There is no accountability and transparency in the system, the salaries are low, the incentives are too less to be accounted and even those are uneven.
Thirdly the system of education in Pakistan is working in match with the local needs and ground realities. It is almost a key factor that the education in the mother tongue surrenders more dividends but we have the system more separated and expanded just opposing to our requirements. A good example of it is that we fail to decide about the Medium of education over the span of 64 years. Different mediums are operational in both, public and private sector. This creates a sort of difference among people, dividing them into two segments. In the elite private schools where the quality education is offered, a heavy fee is charged that continues to be a problem. These private sectors schools are meant only for a special sector of the population and are out of the reach of general masses. The quick growth of private schools and academies of teaching reflect the people's lack of trust in the public sector schools coupled with a deficiency of sufficient educational institutions to cater to the needs of the fast growing population. However, there are certain private schools which are slightly better than the public ones. Private Schools in Pakistan enroll more students than in other countries of the region. They least problem about the capacity and facilities available, they rather over burden the teaching staff. Education has been followed by these people as an industry and they fail to cope up with the required standards. The leader with vision spoils the mission as well as the projects undertaken. Their only committed is money making that has caused the decay in the standards, introduction of sub-standard staff, and inexpensive the deserving to grow. They dont want to catch with the move of success but they try to be good businesspersons.
Fourthly, Shortage of qualified teachers is main cause of less interest of young students towards education. Only 25% of university teachers are of PHDs and only 20 % of them are active researchers Student-teacher ratio is very high in Pakistan. So the teacher cannot properly treat students. Teachers are not given any motivations for dedication to the profession. Salary and other facilities especially at the lower levels are very disappointing. Training and refresher courses are also insufficient. New techniques of teaching and facilities needed for good teaching should be provided to the teachers.
Fifthly, Examination System remained a problematic issue in Pakistan. How to judge the performance of students is a difficult question. Instead of comprehension and depth of knowledge importance is placed on test of memory. Learning is geared to passing the examination. Some people work only at the end of the year and get good marks due to fault in the system. Some of they use unfair means. Students have were little knowledge of how the papers are actually graded. This becomes a serious problem at the higher levels. Still there is a debate that whether Annual system or Semester system should be adopted.
Sixthly, the gender discrimination is a cause that is contributing towards the low participation rate of girls at the basic level of education. The male and female participation ratio is projected at the primary school in the shape of ratio of boys & girls as 10:4 respectively. Only 22 percent of girls, compared to 47 percent boys, complete primary schooling. Female literacy in rural Baluchistan is only 32 percent compared to high urban male literacy rates.
Seventhly, We could not attract the general masses towards technical education making them to earn of their own and make their living without being the burden on the government. Education system is needed to be restored making a space for the science, IT, management, and pupil with the excellence to go to the higher education following the education of their own choice. Lesser importance on technical education means the lesser manpower for industry and hence the lesser.
Eightly, Student groups have political links with outside groups. Political parties have their sub units in educational institutions, which result in use of violence and threats. This also damages the educational environment.
Lastly, the increase of poverty has restricted the parents to send their children to tasks for child labor. Poor parents are forced to send their children to madrassas where the education is totally free. Madrassas are preparing people who finds very difficult to adjust in the modern society. Sometimes it seems that they are from another planet.
A madrassa student cant compete even in our country then the World is so far from him. He finds very difficult to even speak to a school boy. It is crystal clear that Islamic Education is necessary for Muslims but it is also a fact that without modern education no one can compete in this world.
There are many examples of Muslim Scholars who not only study the Holy Quran but also mastered the other subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and many more, with the help of Holy Quran the other hand The students from the leading class have little or no awareness of their religion and culture whereas those passing out from Urdu medium schools are usually designed to work in religious and lower level positions. We have to find a way to bridge this gap between school and madrassa.
The above mentioned problems affected our society in many ways like failure of democracy, bad governance, and degradation of society and also hampered the economic progress. Due to lack of education, our work force consists of only tiny part of population. Agriculture and Industrial sectors have also suffered because of lack of research.
The governments of Pakistan have taken some steps for the betterment of education system which includes the establishment of HEC and increase in spending on higher education.
HEC introduced many reforms in the education system. The effective reforms include faculty improvement programs, tenure track system for faculty remuneration, provision of laboratories, equipment and scientific material, alignment of academic degrees with international norms and standards, exploitation of the potential of distance learning, provision of scholarships and a culture of accountability in universities.
These reforms resulted in the robust growth of enrollments. Recruitment procedures for academic staff are now explicitly based on merit due to the efforts of HEC.
In spite of these results still education system of Pakistan needs to be improve and following measures can be taken for the improvement of system.
In the view of importance of education, the Government should take solid steps towards implementation instead of projecting policies. In this regard, the allocations should be made easy and timely from provinces to districts and then to educational institutes.
Allocations are supposed to be made to the aspired levels as UNO suggests a country to allocate at least four percent of its GDP towards education there is also a need to justify the share at the different levels not ignoring any.
Primary education should be made compulsory. The textbooks and uniforms should be provided free of cost to the indigent children and rewards may be offered to them on passing examinations.
There should be a balance in dependence on public and private for enabling education to reach the general masses in its true shape. Government should strictly check all private educational institutions for keeping a balance of standards and level of practices.
Hiring should be made from amongst the highly qualified and the teachers should be paid not according to the level of education but the qualification of the staff. Efforts should be made to bring down the student-teacher ratio to 15:1 in lieu of current 40:1. Therefore, the number of teachers will have to be enhanced, leading to the rise in number of teachers and enabling the competent persons to be inducted to the system of education. Workshops must be arranged for teachers as a continuous feature for learning.
It is advised that the Universities should be the research centers and must not be allowed to act as the examining bodies for graduate or post-graduate examinations.
Higher Education deserves serious attention in this regard. Steps should be taken to attract youth to higher education. The investment is this sector should be increased to meet demands of universities.
Technical education should be filled into the regular system stream. As the education board of Punjab has projected a plan to give tech- education to the children of industrial workers. Introductory technical subjects should be taught at the middle level to enhance awareness and encourage interest of students.
With a surprising 5.4 million children out-of-school, Pakistan is likely to miss the Education For All (EFA) target that was set to be achieved by 2015, according to EFA Global Monitoring Report.
Projecting a grim future, the report states that if the country moved at current pace the adult literacy rate (15 and above) by the year 2015 will be 60 per cent of which female at 47 per cent and male 72 per cent. Besides, the adult illiteracy rate by 2015 also seems to be estimated at an appalling 51 million of which 65% will be females.
The report reveals that if Pakistan were to halve the inequality in access to education to the level of Vietnam, it would increase its economic growth by 1.7 percentage points.
Alarmingly, Pakistan is very far from meeting the 2015 deadline and ranks among nations like Mali, Niger and Lesotho in the countries list away from achieving the education goal, the report further states.
Highlighting the dismal progress in education sector, the report states that around 59 per cent of women would remain disproportionately affected by illiteracy by 2015.
Commenting on the issue State Minister for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education said that Pakistan would be unable to achieve the EFA goals within the deadline. However, the government was taking measures like National Plan of Action to include all the out-of-school children with special focus on girls of rural areas.
It is an established fact that education serves as the backbone for the development of nations. The countries with the effective impressive need oriented, saleable and effective system of education comes out to be the leaders of the world, both socially and economically. It is only education which can turn a burden of population into productive human resource. Pakistan's current state demands that the allocations for education be doubled to meet the challenges of EFA. We have to reconsider our priorities to keep the country on the track of progress. As education is the only cure of disability of the state and for bringing revolution through evolution and by eliminating the social evils through education.
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Education System in Pakistan