Education is the very vast province of human society. It simultaneously aims at two things importing authing knowledge or skill to learners and building their character. The edifice of civilization rests on education because it enables an individual to seek excellence. We are no match to the developed nations of the world because our education system does not provide our nation a firm footing from where our people may begin their onward journey.
Education has always been the top priority of every civilized society. But unfortunately, in our country, it has been ignored. Only two percent of national income is spent on education. Government institutions are mostly on the decline. Buildings are old and need repair. Furniture and other facilities are almost non-existence. Teachers are low-paid and dissatisfied. Students lack drive and motivation. The syllabus is outdated and textbooks unattractive and uninspiring. This is the sad story of the education system.
Our first and foremost problem is that we do not have a uniform education system. So many parallel systems are running in our country. We hardly realize that the curriculum of a country reflects its ideology. We claim that we have a clearly marked ideology but our education system does not correspond to it.
We have government schools as well as private schools. Their textbooks and methods are altogether different. Then we have matriculation in some schools and ‘O’ levels in others. The curricula of the Federal and Provincial school are also different. We must bring uniformity in the education system to promote national unity.
Private sectors have made education a profitable business. Right from the pre-school stage to the top levels, many educational institutions are promoting snob-culture. Their main interest is making money. These institutions ignore that the basic aim of education is to help humanity. They also forget through education an individual reaches the height of intellect and morality. They have the consideration of cost and benefit only.
The Western education system, on the contrary, aims at a quality education. It infuses the traits of true learning through innovative and original thinking. Our system ignores quality and aims only at results. This is why we find a rat race among our students for top merit. They prepare themselves for this race right from the beginning. A primary school child carries a heavy and purposeless bag to school. It is a pity to see young children with enormous loads on their shoulders.
Our government has taken a few steps for the upgradation of our education system. It has formed Higher Education Commission (HEC) to lead the nation towards excellence in science and technology. Scholarships are being offered to scientist to work on new projects. Researches are being conducted in well-equipped laboratories. This is an attempt to promote scientific culture in Pakistan and it is hoped to pay back effectively.
No doubt, it is good but at the same time we are ignoring basic elements of education. It is not higher education that can bring the real reform but it is actually primary education that brings the desired results. We need to change the infrastructure of primary education. It plays a crucial role in the overall development of an individual. Quality primary education is regarded as the foundation for social and economic progress. It is sorry to say that a considerable number of our children do not have any access to primary schools even. Primary education must be improved and made compulsory.
For the improvements of our education system, we are required to pursue the following four points. Firstly, we should have a uniform education system. It will save us from the culture of the class system. Secondly, the process of education should be reformed ar the primary level. Thirdly, it must be target-oriented and purposeful. Fourthly, it must be compulsory up to the level of matriculation. At the same time, it should be affordable. If we follow this agenda, we will surely become a different nation.