- Lack of technical education-the greatest defect in our system.
- No progress without technical education.
- Obstacles in the way of technical education.
- Wrong mentality.
- lack of facilities.
- Expensiveness of technical education.
- Some suggestions.
- More technical schools and colleges.
- Reducing the cost and more scholarship.
- More schools for elementary technical education.
- More publicity in favour of technical education.
- Courses to be more practical and shorter.
- Change in mentality.
There are many defects in our system of education. It is examination-ridden. The system of teaching is defective. There is excessive emphasis on bookish earning. Cramming is encouraged. Courses are unrelated to actual Pakistani conditions. There are too many subjects. The students are not encouraged to think independently. But the most serious defect is that the facilities for technical education are still very limited.
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The need for technical education is very great. Our country is on the way to industrialisation. We are setting up big plants and bigger factories. Huge dams and multi-purpose projects are being set up. We want to change our country from an agricultural to an industrial country. We have realised the need for large-scale industrialisation. We want to compete with the advanced countries of the West. And for this we need technical personnel. We do not have them in sufficient number so we depend on foreigners. This means a lot of money, Foreign exports are very costly. We lose so much of our valuable foreign exchange.
It is, therefore, necessary that there should be a shift of emphasis in our education. More and more people should get technical education. Our own young men should occupy the posts that are now occupied by foreigners. The scope for employment is unlimited in the technical fields. We need as many engineers as we can get. Any number of mechanics can be employed immediately. Our people are not realising the value of technical education.
But, old habits die hard. Office jobs are considered to be more respectable. We have more clerks than we can ever absorb them anywhere. People know this and yet they do not get rid of their fascination for office jobs. These jobs are considered to be more comfortable. Our young men have a horror of doing ‘dirty work with the machines. This attitute is foolish to say the least. It must be given up. A clerk is much poorer than a foreman in a factory.
But there are other reasons for non-availability of technical hands. Although in recent years the old prejudice against technical training has weakened, it has not disappeared altogether. The fact of the matter is that facilities for technical education are very limited even though more and more technical institutions are being opened. The seats are not sufficient for the rest of the country. Only a small number of desirous candidates can gain admission in these institutes. Those who are rejected feel frustrated. They cannot wait for the next chance. So they drift into Arts education.
We have courses extending over three or five years. Many parents cannot afford to keep their children at college for such a long time. Then the expenses are also very high. Only well-to-do persons can send their boys to these schools and colleges. Then these institutes are generally located in big cities. This means living in the hostels. Hostels are very costly. Thus quite a number of good students despair of getting technical education even when they want.
There are scholarships. But how many? The government should, therefore, open more schools at different places. Entrance in these schools should not be made very difficult. Expenses should be kept to the minimum. There should be many more scholarships. The courses should not be lengthy. Students should be able to earn some sort of living after a couple of years of training. Then they can add to their qualifications as they earn. Some of these institutions should have evening classes so that earning hands can also benefit from them. More and much more money should be allocated to education in general and technical education in particular.
Many foreign governments are co-operating with our government in this field. There are several scholarships specially for our students. But these scholarships also go either to the rich or to the most brilliant students. There should be some special consideration for the poor students even when they do not produce extraordinary results. Information about these scholarships should be more widely circulated. Students also should keep their eyes open. There are several government publications which give information about facilities for technical education here and abroad. These publications should be consulted by all students desirous of getting technical training.
Apart from higher technical education the government should expand facilities for elementary technical education. When our country is entirely industrialized there will be opportunities for employment for all sorts of persons with varying degrees of technical skill. Vocational and Industrial training centres should be opened in all district towns where training in local trades may be improved.
Research facilities should also be increased. Those who are interested in research in technology and sciences should not be neglected.
It must be admitted that the task is difficult. It will take time and money. Private enterprise can play a useful role in this. Donors and philanthropists should contribute liberally to the existing instiutes and start new ones. Big industrialists can do a lot in this direction. Everything should not be left to the government.
We should share burdens of the government. We may conclude by stressing once again the need for technical education. “Give me any number of overseers and I will get them jobs.” He should create more facilities for young men who want to become overseers. At the sametime our young folks should change their attitude. They should not hanker after B.A. and M.A. degrees. They on their own should clamour for technical education. The progress of Pakistan depends upon technicians. Let us hope that in the next few years we will have as many of them as we require.