It is a fact that our education system is not being operated suitably in order to develop a proper understanding among the people to solve the monster problems of overpopulation, inequality, unemployment, corruption, and to top them all, terrorism and lawlessness. Only the masses (the common people) with a suitable education can throw up national leaders to take the country to the heights of success that it deserves.
It is commonly known now that our education system is not functioning well and cannot be compared favorably with the education systems of the developed countries.
Firstly, we notice two sectors (spheres) of education in the country, from the primary school to the university level-public (governmental) and private. We also have two separate worlds of English-medium and Urdu-medium schools unnecessarily. We have schools, colleges and universities, controlled by the government. At the school level, the syllabi and courses of reading are prescribed by the Boards of Secondary and Intermediate Education and books are prepared and written by the Textbook Boards in the four provinces. The medium of instruction at the primary level is Urdu and the provincial language (Pashto, Balochi, and Sindhi) except in the Punjab where it is only Urdu. In the government colleges, the medium is mostly Urdu though English is taught as a compulsory subject up to the degree level.
In the private sector, the schools and colleges are Urdu as well as English medium. The colleges with post-graduate classes and the universities are maintaining English for technical and science subjects and both English and Urdu for the arts subjects.
How to improve the education system in Pakistan?
About 60 to 70 percent of children in the country do not go to schools at all. Half of the children who de go to schools drop out before completing the primary stage. Then more than 75 percent of the people are practically illiterate.
Most of the students in our schools and colleges are not receiving a quality education. As a result, most of them are neither able nor wise after the completion of their studies. How many of our highly qualified people can’t write correctly, speak coherently and discuss logically our social, political and economic problems. Then many thousands of our well-qualified young men and women can’t get employed for months and years together partly because of the education system.
The children and grown-ups should be made to read, write, and speak both Urdu and English. They should be made to understand social and political problems and to think correctly, and behave properly (appropriately) according to their ages. Without doing this, a stable and balanced democracy and government cannot be brought into being. Nor can social and economic progress be ensured. Nor can religious tolerance (fair understanding of each other), mutual respect and even self-respect be possible. Nor can terrorism be checked suitably.
Firstly, at the higher levels, say after matriculation, the courses or syllabi should be such as to enable our students to get employed gainfully in different professions. Scientific, technical and technological education of the highest order is the need of the hour.
Secondly, there should be much greater scope for original research in our universities, post-graduate colleges, and higher seats of learning. For example, our physics and chemistry departments can research on the uses of atomic energy in Pakistan, the substitutes for oil in its use in cars, buses, trains, planes, factories and in different kinds of machines. The uses of the special kind of coal found in Pakistan in very huge quantities can be experimented with and explored in our laboratories. For all this, superb educational planning is needed.
Thirdly, we have to break up the age-old feudal (jagirdari’) system in our villages and the monetary dictatorship of our big industrialists, capitalists, and traders in the cities. This will help us to get money and resources and freedom to teach the illiterate millions of poor people living in the “darkness of the caves” in the 21st century.