Primary education undoubtedly plays a role of edifice in a society. The importance of education, especially the significance of primary education in the society, cannot be denied and overlooked. The progress and expansion of primary education is always associated with expedite economic growth, improved income equality, descending rate of poverty and up-gradation of human capital. And, for society as a whole, it provides increased opportunity, wisdom, knowledge, critical thinking and also plays its role as a driver of social progress bringing awareness among masses.
Primary education is the basic and premier right of every child which should available to him or her without any impediment. Every child, whether a girl or a boy or a third gender, should have absolute access to complete course of primary education. Primary education is essential and cannot lose its importance as it is the first step towards acquisition of basic skill. In primary education a child learns basic things like word formation, counting and most importantly norms and values which not only lays the foundation of his/her future, but also equips the child with basic knowledge, abilities, dexterity and adroitness which are beneficial and necessary for subsequent future education.
According to a research study of Institute of Education: attending a good primary school has more impact on children’s academic progress irrespective of their class. The Institute of Education in this study further states that the quality of teaching the child receives is more important than their gender or family income. It also points out that academically effective primary school gives children’s development a significant and positive boost.
Another research of American Physcological Association also highlights some points, where it is astonishing to note that human brain gains maturity even before birth. In late elementary and middle school years of a child the inferential learning should be promoted and emphasized rather than rote learning, because in these years of a child, there is more connectivity and chemical changes take place in neural pathway.
Thus strong flexible, result oriented, vocational education explicitly plays a great role in progress of a country. As it provides the base on which the further building is built. The stronger the base, the stronger will be the foundation.
But, in Pakistan, where the basic human needs seem so far to be fulfilled the focus on education, especially primary education, seems to be a luxury. It is positive to note that the rate of children out of school has decreased from 24 million to 22.6 million but the number of 22.6 million still paints the gloomy picture for us. It is melancholy and a source of great dismay that 44 percent of primary school goers in Pakistan are still out of school. While on the other hand only 30pc children remain enrolled from class 1 till 10th.
The situation becomes more bleak as statistics shows that even the petty amount of children going to school especially public school do not have access to basic facilities of school. As per a report published in Dawn newspaper, 40% of public school sectors are without electricity, 25% with no boundary walls, 43% are with unsatisfactory building and 7% are with no infrastructure or building.
Strengthening the quality of education at all levels has become a global agenda and so should be priority of government of Pakistan. The Constitution of 1973 under its article 25-A makes free and compulsory education for children (between 5-16 years of age) the duty of government.
Article 37-b of constitution also states that: “the state of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory primary education with in possible period”.
The problems regarding education system have become so enormous that it has not only remain the duty of government. The NGOs and small public groups should also join their hands in order to compete with terrible storm of illiteracy, which will bring drastic result for us with changing global and political situations.
The hindrances like social restrictions, gender gap, lack of funds, ghost enrollments, long distance are further aggravating the situation. According to an Alif Ailaan report, Pakistan is in an educational storm as almost 40- 50 percent of primary students of country can neither read nor write a sentence in Urdu and English.
The conditions in cities is quite dingy as 41 percent in Lahore, 45 percent in Karachi, 50 percent in Islamabad and 30 percent primary students in Rawalpindi are unable to read and write even simple sentences.
The stumbling blocks in educational system are rote learning, less trained teachers, outdated syllabus and low enrollment rate .
Other issues which are further quivering the education system in Pakistan are faulty policies, lack of funds and political will, non-serious management of schools, lack of seriousness of teachers, paucity of uniformity, disoriented educational policies and poor research.
In future it won’t be impossible for Pakistan to survive without education and trained manpower because of changing political and world dynamics. It should also be remembered that Pakistan can only take maximum advantage from CPEC when it has educated public who can work in the right manner. Besides, the menace of terrorism will keep on affecting us until and unless we review our syllabus according to new tactics, technologies and researches. Pakistan occupies a great geopolitical space on the map and Pakistan can take full advantage of it when its public are educated and know virtuous and right manners for boosting up of economy.
Ergo the problem of education is increasing day by day. Thus,.the work,of NGOs and local governments ,together on grassroots level can solve this.problems,by spreading,awareness,and.education among people, so the problem can be solved in the right, manner. Plus, there is a real need of a sound strategic thinking, planning and implementation. Indeed we are in need of imposition of real educational emergency.