Revamping education in Pakistan

Jun 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan

I don’t think anyone would deny the fact that we live in a cut throat world where time is money and skill is paramount. The practical life knows just one thing and that is how to live the ‘dog-eat-dog-way’, all the while trying to make one-self indispensable. We all know that it comes down to selling yourself, your personality, your traits and of course your skill. The dilemma is that schools, colleges and universities are not equipping students to face the competitive arena where the dynamics of the job market is constantly evolving and raising the bar for new entrants.  Truth of the matter is bookish knowledge and emphasis on grades is not only useless but also pointless considering the current time.

What we should be focusing now is on changing the way we perceive education. The typical classroom environment is no longer viable if a meaningful education is what we are aiming for, primarily because it has become obsolete. This is the age of information technology where individuals are being bombarded with varying perspectives from a myriad of media and communication outlets. Come to think of it, the privileged lot in our country holds the entire world in their smart phone. They don’t need to cram information from books and lectures that can easily be found over the internet. Instead they need practical hands on knowledge that will prepare them for work life.  I am not suggesting that theoretical knowledge should be neglected altogether, but practical education should be given precedence. One way of doing that is by getting students to attend seminars, arranging field visits, incorporating internships as part of the course and encouraging group activities.

Most educational institutes in Pakistan focus on theoretical rather than practical knowledge and in my opinion this just kills creativity. Memorizing mundane books which have little relevance to the real world are an integral part of the curriculum. Schools function like factories that produce batches and batches of the same product that just do not sell. There is not an inkling of zeal in the Pakistani schooling system. However before we can even talk about changing the curriculum nationwide, we need to realize that no good is going to come if the government continues to spend less than 2% on such a fundamental sector. Perhaps the only good that can come from this dismal situation is that when our dear government does decide to prioritize education they can revamp the entire system and implement it across the country. Simply put, starting from scratch and adopting a model that has worked for other developing countries, Malaysia being a case in point. Truth be told, we don’t need private schools that offer Ordinary and Advanced (O and A ) levels if our own standard of education is up to mark like that of our nemesis India.  Another point I would like to emphasize is the relevance and significance of grades, standardized testing systems and overall academic performance. I believe that a piece of paper depicting class performance proves nothing about an individual’s true potential. Instead having hands on experience, an ability to envision novel ideas and a noteworthy intellect is what education should be honing.

Now more than ever Pakistan must focus on vocational training institutes and help people polish their indigenous skills. We have a huge workforce that has the potential to uplift the country’s economy if it is TRAINED. Our abundant population can become a blessing if every able body is trained and given basic level education.

Not every person is cut out to be a doctor or an engineer some are not even bright enough to finish school but that does not mean that they are worthless and can contribute absolutely nothing to society. Every profession from plumbing to engineering is important and we can’t expect people to acquire these skills on their own. Hence, I believe specialized schools or training centers are a must. Getting women on this bandwagon is also fundamental because believe it or not they can offer so much more than child bearing. Hence the important question to ask is this: we have a workforce so why don’t we make it work?

Humaira Ahmad

About the author

Humaira Ahmad Hirose is a freelance writer and blogger who thinks narcissism is necessary for high self esteem.

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  1. a good read, like all other fields, education content & system are stuck in last century. world has moved on & we have a lot of catching up to do.

  2. Good observation and i agree partly because getting employment is not the sole aim of imparting education. Skill development is a necessary thing which enables the individuals especially in the working class to earn a livelihood. While our universities are handing out degrees to thousands and millions every year, most of the fresh graduates do not have any particular set of skills to start their careers especially when their is a shortage of entry level jobs in the market, it is extremely important to fill the gap with the help of certifications and diplomas that would enable these individuals to acquire practical knowledge in their respective fields.
    On the other hand we also seem to be facing a moral and ethical crises, partly because of the profit maximization ideology that the business sector is hinging on (some might call it capitalism) and partly because of the shift in the objectives of getting a good education. Personal development is an integral part of education that is being ignored vehemently, an education imparted without the development of morals produces individuals that are ill-equipped to make a healthy contribution towards society.

  3. Exactly my point ! we don’t need degree holders who can’t add 2+2.
    Education should develop skills and personality of a person. It’s aim should not just be confined to, targeting a high score.
    Pakistan needs revamping in a lot of institutions and Education is one of them.

  4. Excellent article. On the right track.

  5. This is 2015, and we need to implement now strategies to refine our education system in Pakistan.

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