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|Wednesday, December 31, 2008|
|Pakistan's Existing Education System: Guest Post by Mr. Fida Hussain Sayani|
By Imran Ghazali | 21455 Views |
21 Comments |
Pakistan's Existing Education System:
Guest Post by Mr. Fida Hussain Sayani
Before I elaborate on the existing education system, it is important to highlight the system we inherited from the British Raj in 1947. A classic example is NJV High School on Bunder Road, presently Mohammad Ali Jinnah Road. I joined the school in 1949, at that time this Sindh Government School was considered the elitist school where the cream of the crop of Sindh used to send their children for education from class 5 to 11. After graduation the student had to move to the college for intermediate education. This school was not only for the children of elite of Sindh but also for the children coming from all walks of life including the orphan children of Vazir Rahim Boarding. The School by having the children coming from different strata of Sindhi culture both Hindus and Muslims and gave them the same standard education, hence a bond was created between the rich and the poor resulting in a homogenous environment.
Today the government school system does not offer that environment and opportunity. Ours is a very divisive education system which has created a huge gap between the have's and have not's, hence we have Babus and Seths. This divisive system having penetrated deeply in to our culture, the results of which are right in front of our eyes. The different tiers have been created in our system over a period of 60 years to facilitate the hold of the elite over the governing of our nation. Until and unless drastic action is taken to correct the education system we are bound to end up in chaos, the rays of which are already showing.
Today our multiple tier education system can be highlighted in the following categories:
Cambridge Education system: This foreign education system is exclusively for the children of very rich so that they can after graduation go overseas for higher education on the foreign exchange provided to them by Pakistan Sate Bank.
Pakistan Secondary Education system: This is provided by private and government schools, one for the middle class and other for the poor. The one for the middle class has medium instruction in English and the other one in Urdu. The children from these institutions, if they happen to have good grades and the parental financial capital go to the colleges of their preference and the rest either become clerk/ cashiers/ sales person in a shop/ worker in the factory/ any other work which comes in there way.
Maderessah Education System: This is supposed to provide religious education; however, the results in front of us provide a very dangerous scenario.
This one has no name and consists of children who are born in misery and die in misery.
Can this above scenario be corrected? Definitely YES.
Can it be done in one Massive surgery? Definitely NO.
The course of action is that it has to be corrected over a longer period of time; any quick method in correcting the present different tiers of this system will create a chaos which will dwarf the nationalization of banks and insurance companies by Z.A. Bhutto.
The most immediate action would be to create a one tier system on paper after thorough research to be done by educationalist and men of science, technology, business, finance, law, agriculture and others. Once the system is in place, the next stage will be to bring the existing government schools in compliance with the new one tier system of education. This goal can be achieved in 2-3 years if done in a crash course. Once the middle class comes to know that the free government schools are offering a same or better education than the private schools charging fees, they will immediately switch the school for there children, Once this is achieved, the time will be perfect to ban the Cambridge system of education in Pakistan.
In a unified Pakistan, there has to be one education system for all the children of Pakistan. This will lead us to Unity, Faith and Discipline. The cry of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam.
Primary and Secondary Education in Pakistan, its Deficiencies and Rectification:
Education is a must for civilization. Today a dark clouds hovers over Pakistan, where illiteracy is on the increase due to negligence of the government of Pakistan, which spends only 1% of the GDP on education for 160 million population of the country. The illiteracy level which is tied to the poverty level goes hand in hand and the tragedy of Pakistan is that all the successive administrations since its birth 61 years ago have failed to address the issue of Education.
To address the subject of this paper, it is important to identify the relevant issues which have brought the illiteracy to this elevated level. In this high tech world this elevated level of poverty and illiteracy is not acceptable and it is important to identify the weakness of the governments approach to the present level of education and rectify the situation.
- Quality of education at the time of independence.
- What went wrong over a period of 61 years.
- What a mess we are in at the present stage.
- How to face the Education carnage and provide rectification
1. Quality of Education at the time of independent.
Government Primary Schools ( Grade 1-4 ) and Secondary Schools ( grade 5-11 ), before the birth of Pakistan gave a quality education in the Province of Sindh which attracted children of the elite as well working class parents. After all Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam, creator of Pakistan is a product of Sind Madressah School, Karachi. He, after completing his Metric level schooling, proceeded to London and returned as Bar-At-Law. NJV High School, Karachi, also gave another Bar-At-Law, who is a renowned Attorney of Pakistan, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada. In the early 50's the same school had sons of Dr. Shams Daudpotta and many elites of Sind were on the school ledger. This heritage of good education left by British very soon started evaporating and degenerated to a present level where even the ordinary citizen of Pakistan shy away from sending their children to a govt. school for primary and secondary education.
2. What went wrong over a period of 61 years?
Greed and corruption were the two major factors which brought a well thought out British Raj system of education to its knees, while India and Sri Lanka managed it well. In the case of India, they advanced their engineering, technology and medicine to such a high standard that today they compete with the most advanced nations of the world and many American and European organization outsource their work to India.
In Pakistan the teachers were the major factors in lowering the standard of education in the primary and secondary schools, the main factor was greed. They would not provide a good education to the students in the classroom. Instead they would encourage their students to take tuition at the home of the teachers, so the teacher could generate more money in his/her pocket; other teachers were purely corrupt, they would take money and help the student in getting the upgrade in there mark sheet. Some would let the students use unfair methods in the examination hall. When a teacher indulges in these unfair methods he looses self respect in the eyes of his student.
As Pakistan was getting older the students in Pakistan were getting bolder, and at one stage they used knives and guns to get the kind of grade they wanted from there teachers. When the government school lost their creditability, the carpetbaggers moved in the private sector. Now this does not mean that all in private sectors were bad. Then came Bhutto's Regime, he nationalized all good and bad schools and literally destroyed whatever was left of a good system we inherited from the British Raj. Bhutto was followed by Gen. Zia who thru his brand of Islam destroyed the total education system. He is the man who is fully responsible for creating a five tier education system in Pakistan
3. What a mess we are in at the present stage.
The education system we have on our hands in 2008 is in total shambles and we are producing matriculate from these schools with very little skills and absolutely no command over the English language, which today is the language of science, technology, commerce, finance and marketing. Today even a country like China is putting higher emphasis on this language. Of course four Scandinavian countries declared English as a compulsory subject in there schools almost 40 years ago. Today in Pakistan instead of a one tier school system, we thru our callousness have created a 4 tier system of education in Pakistan, and they are as follows:
- Cambridge Education system: this foreign education system is exclusively for the children of very rich so that they can after graduation go overseas for higher education on the foreign exchange provided to them by Pakistan Sate Bank.
- Pakistan Secondary Education system: this is provided by private and government schools, one for the middle class and other for the poor. The one for the middle class has a medium of instruction in English and the other one in Urdu. The children from these institutions if they happen to have good grades and the parental financial help go to the colleges of their interest and the rest either become clerk/cashiers/sales person in a shop/ worker in the factory/ any other work which comes their way.
- Madressah Education System: this is supposed to provide religious education. The results of this education are in front of us. Except for few who do provide a true Islamic Education most of the students of Madressah have graduated from them with a perverted ideology and has been a recruiting ground for terrorism.
- This one has no name and consists of children who are born in misery and die in misery.
4. How to face the Education Carnage and Provide Rectification.
Now this is a very tall order to remove all the discrepancies of the past 61 years. The question is where should we start? It is a mind boggling question and one wishes there was a simple answer. However as a starter on paper a single integrated education system has to be established, for that we need the minds of our best, from educationist to engineers, doctors, scientist, marketers, financiers, lawyers, agriculturist, all pooled together on one table to establish a curriculum from grade 1-10. Besides the subject of science, technology and commerce a higher level of emphasis has to be placed on mother tongue and the English language. The teachers have to be trained in these subjects with mastery.
The next stage and a crucial one is the implementation of this new curriculum. This will be harder than the preparation of a new curriculum. The part of implementation will start with updating the education levels of teachers followed by selecting 10% of the primary and secondary schools of the country and introducing the new curriculum to them. The following year another 10% of schools will be brought into new system. If the program proceeds as planned Pakistan will have all its schools under the new progressive education system in 10 years. However, the fruit of this miracle will become visible in 2-3 years when the parents of the student will come to know of this revolutionary change in the education system. They will see the government schools providing education equal to or better than the private school at zero fee, there will be a massive movement of student to the govt. school. That will be a crucial time for the government to make sure that no corrupt practices take place and the transfer is executed in an orderly way. Once the movement of children from private to government school has started that will be the time to ban the Cambridge system of education in Pakistan.
In a unified Pakistan, there has to be one education system for all the children of Pakistan. This will lead us to Unity, Faith and Discipline, the slogan made popular by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam, the Creator of Pakistan.
| By Ali @
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 5:29 AM | (masyed)|
PTI should make a shadow cabinet|
And People like Mr Fida should be part of the Education committe, writing policy papers for eduaction within PTI
PTI going great guns -MashaAllah
| By Fida Sayani @
Thursday, January 01, 2009 2:01 AM | (fidasayani)|
I want input from PTI members on this article. I want them to tier it apart with criticism, suggestion, their views and experiences, so that we can achieve a very comprehensive education policy for the future generation of our beloved PAKISTAN.|
| By Choudary Yasir Bajwa @
Thursday, January 01, 2009 3:08 AM | (Yasar Bajwa)|
Dear FIDA saheb,|
very well said, i am glad to read this article and offer you to get in touch with us, because we are already working on correction of our educational system in order to bring balance among all state of people & kind of educational systems, in fact we require best people to help us to achieve the same, we are working on a new proposed educational system to be adopted by our nation which will help to develop better understandings between religous & other educational systems running currently in the contry. I am touched with your article & invite you to be part of our team to assist us by share your experience & research.
| By Fida Sayani @
Thursday, January 01, 2009 7:42 AM | (fidasayani)|
Dear Mr. Bajwa:|
Appreciate your response and am glad that you and your group are working on a similiar project.
This is a gigantic task and sharing views and discussing the problem which effect our education system in open platform will enable other individual to do the same and that will enhance the quality of product.
| By Liaqat Ali @
Friday, January 02, 2009 11:21 AM | (LIAQAT ALI)|
Education is a human rights issue . Alongwith health it should feature in the first slogan on the PTI Manifesto.|
I work in Australia ,and am a resident since 79 . More than 70% of all students go to govt schools , the rest go to private and religous schools incl islamic schools.
The private and religous schools also get govt funding. And the quality of education is the same . I am very impressed by the whole edu system . I think we should adopt a similar method. Of course we have to keep in mind our own national interest. We are a culturely diverse nation with different languages.
One stand out feature is the, ''School of the Air ''established 50 yrs ago. By using a simmilar method we can bypass the needs of tradional school infrastructure.
| By News Management @
Sunday, January 04, 2009 3:52 AM | (anti-government)|
This is a matter of, what your priorities are as Govt. of I.R.Pakistan.. What I see here, Education is not on any political parite's priorities.. They wont allow any poor to get educated because If poors once get educated they will ask questions to the politicians..I read a report day before yesterday, 02 Jan, about a project for establishing universities in collaboration with Germany, Austria, Italy & China which is now abloshied due to so-called finanicial crunch.. They are enjoying the luxuries in PM Palace n President Palace but education is not on their priorities.. Mr. MUZZAMAT Raza Gillani when ever addresses to nation he says, bla bla bla is on our priorities.. for a slogan education is their priority but in real time it is not..|
I'm sharing the web-address of that report which I jst talked abt to u ppl..
You all should read it..
| By Adeel @
Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:27 PM | (madeel)|
It gives an impression as if Mr. Fida intend to focus on making plan first, work out all modalities, and then we will go for implementing it. It is not bad idea, but a bad start.|
There is a proverb, "You don't need to invent a wheel." There are already good models to start with. O-level and A-level system can serve as good starting point. And through course of time, if run sincerely, it will evolve to system of our own.
Translating the books won't take that long. May be a year. And paper work which Mr. Fida is talking about can be carried in at the same time.
I believe if standard in the government schools improved on these lines, it will fruitful consequence in our private sectors as well.
| By Adeel @
Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:32 PM | (madeel)|
Most immediate focus should be on examination system. Route learning (ratta fication) should be eliminated as much as possible.|
| By jazba-e-dil @
Friday, January 09, 2009 8:45 AM | (jazba-e-dil)|
Good article and a nice attempt to summarize the key educational systems running in our country. |
I don't think planning for the right educational system is a case of re-inventing the wheel. A-level, as it is now, shouldn't be considered the standard for Pakistani education.
The first thing we need to do, is to define our goals. What exactly is it that we want to impart in our students and I'm not talking about the knowledge part only. We also need to think about the basic values that our educational system should inculcate among our students.
We have failed to inculcate Islamic values in our students and we really need to scrutinize our educational system for such a failure.
We have to realize that our ultimate goal of life is a lot different than those of the western people and our educational system should truly reflect this difference.
I would love to see another article from the writer that compares the goals of these different educational systems and hints on the reasons why we are only producing capitalists in every field of life.
| By Hafsa @
Saturday, January 10, 2009 1:37 AM | (hafsa)|
I am a Teacher myself, as well as a student. I'm teaching the students of elite class and myself studying in a govt. university. i was very fortunate for i had good schooling and went to a nice college. And as of today, i have experienced almost all the systems in Pakistan.|
Currently i am working on a project for a New Education System for Pakistan. My sister owns the project. i am working alongside her.
I really feel that we do need a system that fulfills our needs as a nation. That never means we are rejecting anything good the world has to offer. The point is, we must design a system suitable for us.
The project needs a lot of work and research but is very much possible. I am glad to see so many people offering their services. I also offer mine.
I'm sure together we will not only make a difference but figure out the best system possible and get it implemented!
| By Adeel @
Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:14 AM | (madeel)|
O-level or A-level will serve only as a starting point. It will require some carefeul amendment as we go along. |
There examination system is much better than ours. I haven't studied at O- or A-level. But I learned from the books which were written for O- or A-level students. Moreover, in my experience, on average, students coming through that examination system as better prepared for university level studies especially in mathematics and physics.
| By insafkiaas @
Saturday, January 10, 2009 7:19 AM | (jumrose)|
I think that we should observe the current system of education in different countries.analyze them.And then take all the good points from those education systems and combine them.Then after we make blueprints we should go throught it again and involve people of pakistan to have their say on it and vote for it.Then mayb we can add more according to our needs as we see it.Mayb then we can produce the most successful education system in the world.|
| By News Management @
Sunday, January 11, 2009 9:53 AM | (anti-government)|
Why you people are insisting for O-level & A-level.. In India, there is no O & A Level.. they have their own.. we need a good system which is affordable for all classes of the society. A single system for the whole country.|
| By arshad ahmed @
Thursday, January 15, 2009 2:27 PM | (ahmed)|
I hope I am wrong but it seem that nearly all the contribution are from western educated or western resident and are purposing western style education.|
That is not always perfect, they also create misfits, but they have money to cover the damage it causes.
It is geared towards capitalist system, which dose not always unites the society.
We need to take goodies from the west, east, and Islam.
This can only be achieved by involving people from all walks life.
| By Adeel @
Friday, January 16, 2009 1:34 AM | (madeel)|
My point is that raise the quality of education in the government school at a point that it become competitive to O-level or A-level. Of course, without making it expensive.
Indian education system is no better. It has almost the same issues as the Pakistani system. Like Pakistan, O- and A-level flourishes in India as well. In India too people who passes through the O-Level or A-level are better prepared for the higher education.
Why are we looking at O-level or A-level? First, it eliminates ratta fication as much as possible. Second, the course contents are well thought out which not only prepare for the higher education but also nurture creativity. It is another thing, Pakistani O-level schools have done their best to crush creativity. Third, it provides enough freedom. There is never too late. Even if a person is 25 years old, he want to take a new start he can.
However, in our system it is almost impossible. If you couldn't clear the paper twice, you will have to take all the 12 papers again which mean that person has no prospect for a white collar job.
Yes, we may design Islamiat syllabus ourselves. As far as basic sciences are concerned, no change is needed.
Lastly, I have said it number of times that O- or A-level will be our starting point. The system will evolved then in our way.
I simply don't understand why so much resistance to O- or A-level?
| By Adeel @
Friday, January 16, 2009 1:47 AM | (madeel)|
The Hungarian, Russian or Ukrainian system are tougher than A-level, but their examination system is unlikely to work in our cultural settings. Further, we don't have such a large number of quality lecturers. |
Note that Russian or Ukrainian system do pretty decent job until Bachelor degree, after that they fell flat except mathematics, or theoretical physics. They don't have researchers to really compete with USA, Germany or even UK.
We would not like that situation in our country. A-level is neither as easy as American system nor as hard as Hungarian or Russian. But its basic sciences courses have all the necessary ingredients which may produce a critical mass.
By the way, no system is without any flaw. We can not wait for the moment when we will have an almost flawless system. We should strive for it, but in meanwhile it need not paralyze us. My suggestion should be viewed only as a transition towards a better system.
| By arshad ahmed @
Friday, January 16, 2009 9:56 AM | (ahmed)|
Bhai Adeel, all I am saying is don’t copy and paste system from any where. Every system inducts some ideology therefore if you copy & paste O-level / A-level system; you will produce kids with western freedoms as a norm, which will not be in tune with our culture.|
Yes starting point it can be.
Singapore system is also worth investigating
| By News Management @
Friday, January 16, 2009 8:26 PM | (anti-government)|
Govt. dont have funds for universities right now, also Govt of Pakistan is abolishing all its projects because of financial crunch.. question raise here, If someone is not interested in giving quality education to the poor people, how things wil improve ?
| By Raza Zaidi @
Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:49 PM | (Raza Zaidi)|
@Kamran Rizvi Bhai|
Yar aap nay bari gehri bat ki hay. Kafi achi lagi.
Jo aap keh rahay hein uss k liye buhat buhat mehnat kara hay. May aap ko welcome karta houn is kam k liye
Salam hay bhai sub ko
| By saad baig @
Monday, February 16, 2009 2:12 AM | (s4saad)|
Nice article and nice feedback. i agree with rizvi, |
| By nasrullah @
Saturday, March 21, 2009 8:54 PM | (drmkhan)|
Dear Fida Sb,|
excellent job. i want to comment on it. As you know that most of the corruption in Pakistan is due to this educated class. Poor people are vicitm of this corruption so any system of education without a morality will not do any good. what i am trying to say that we should have an eduction system which makes corruptiion equal to eating a pork.Also need to take out all human element in examination system.
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