Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, said on September 26, 1947, at Karachi, “Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. The world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advance in education, not only shall we left behind others but may be wiped out altogether.”
When we talk about the educational crisis in Pakistan, mostly we talk about the budget, low enrollment ratio etc.
Are we spending the budget allocated for education toward the right cause?
Two or three years earlier, the news of Danish Schools was the beauty of every news channel, every newspaper.
Where are those schools?
Have they vanished?
What has happened to the quality of education at these schools?
What if we had invested the same amount in the pre-existing public schools?
80% of Punjab’s budged was invested on infrastructure during 2012–2015 as discussed in Alif Ailaan’s district ranking-2016.So very less budget is allocated for education, which also is not spent for the right cause.
Education is a right of every child.If we are not going to invest in education today, how would we get good leaders tomorrow?
Enrollment is another problem. Doing a lot of enrollment campaigns or other things may not be successful to get every child into school.
According to Alif Ailaan’s District Ranking 2016, enrollment in Lahore is equal to the enrollment ratio in the states of Canada, while on the other hand, enrollment ratio in the Southern Punjab is less than even the states of Africa.
There is a lot of enrollment gap from city to city, area to area. We not only need to close the gap among cities but also need to get every kid in the school.
The third thing I want to talk about, is the quality of education. Are we only responsible to get every child into school?
Perhaps no, getting every kid into school and then providing them the quality of education is also our duty.
Article 25-A states: “It’s the responsibility of govt. to provide free compulsory education to every child from age 5 to 1 6 years.”
But what about the quality of education being provided at our schools?
Finally, what matters is the quality.If a child is going to school and not doing anything or not learning the skills which he/she needs in future, should he/she still continue going?
A fifth-grader in our country can’t read a simple text in English, some even are not good at Urdu.
Classroom practitioners can bring quality to the education system. The quality of teachers always matters, but are we recruiting right peoples for teaching?
In our country, many people came into teaching by chance – they actually didn’t love the job. To bring quality of education into our schools we need to recruit the peoples who actually are committed to teach.
Like Medical and Engineering, we also need to start teacher preparation in our universities,so that we can send motivated and dedicated peoples into the classroom – and the classroom teacher can bring quality to the education system.