What is wrong with our education system?

By Dur Wali Khan

The world is filled with a variety of colours and our students should not be confined in the dark space surrounded by four walls in 21st century without proper education. Education system of any country is considered to be the most important system which shapes the future of its nation.

But, unfortunately, there is no uniform education system with clear and defined national goals and requirements in our country to provide equal educational opportunity to all children to grow together.

There are approximately five types of institutions imparting education to children in Pakistan with different objectives and curriculum. For example, (1) Beaconhouse school System, City school System, Roots School System, Allied School system etc., (2) Armed forces school system, (3) Government school system, (4) low paid private schools and (5) Darul Uloom school system.

Due to non-uniform education system, each of them has their own objectives, priority, curriculum and teaching methodology. The first and second category of school systems with required resources focus on multi learning approach (interactive learning) to make students an independent learners with conceptual understanding, required knowledge and skills. The main aim is to enable them to successfully move into mainstream of our society with updated knowledge, innovation, social skills, integrity, national values, respect of opinions of each others, love for humanity and sense of responsibility to lead the country and institutions as visionary leaders.

Many educationists argue that “interactive learning (multi learning approach) has the potential to create high quality learning environment, which actively engage the learners in learning process to unlock their potential”.But, the rest of category of school systems focus on rote memorization to force students to reproduce exactly what they were taught or learnt from books. Grainne Faller says: “Rote learning is a bad thing and kills the ability of learners”. However, Darul Uloom School system has its own objectives, priority and teaching learning approach. When they come out after completing their education with different mind sets, understanding and knowledge as a result of non-uniform education system. How can we expect from them to work together for achieving same objectives to build a welfare, tolerant, peaceful and a prosperous society.

Providing free and quality education to all children is the prime responsibility of the state. National Education Policy 2009 says that “the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years”.Millions of children in Pakistan even cannot afford to go to schools for learning, because they have to earn for themselves and for their family to feed. But, those parents, who send their children to schools are not receiving the quality of education, needed to unlock their potential and prepare them for the challenges of 21st century.

Teacher is the most important part of the education system to create awareness among the community regarding the importance of education for their children, plays vital role in character building of children and promotes quality education in the country. But due to the unfair criteria for hiring teachers, a large number of inefficient and incompetent people join the profession, who lack skills, teaching techniques and content of knowledge making the situation worst.

Although this problem is being tried to address from time to time in government education sector but still need improvement.

Similarly, in schools, students are not facilitated and guided properly in the selection of their field/subjects according to their abilities and interest. They are also not given exposure, how to become a suitable and useful member of the society. Therefore, after completing education, they are not in a position how to address the problems in real life and play vital role in the social development because of lack of skills/ techniques and required knowledge. Nelson Mandela says that “education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

Additionally, our education system mostly focus on the learning of theoretical stuff rather than giving equal importance to practical and implementation side to give practical exposure to students. Similarly, students are forced to compete in the race for getting grades instead of gaining practical knowledge and skills. As a result, they face difficulties to compete in the labour market to get suitable job to lead successful lives.

Finally, I would like to suggest that there should be uniform education system, which reflects our cultural diversity, values, history, national goals and rich traditions to provide free and quality learning opportunities to all children in the country. Selection process of the teachers should be transparent and teachers should be given proper training on teaching methodology to prepare students to successfully move into mainstream of our society to face future challenges. Conceptual understanding and practical learning of children must be focused and it should be the part of curriculum.

10 Replies to “What is wrong with our education system?”

  1. we can get fruitful results if we employ critical thinking skills as a major tool in our education system. a student mind can be shaped in a positive direction if he is taught that how to think critically instead of rote memorization.another thing that is noteworthy to mention is the authority which exercises its power on the framing of the curriculum. our curriculum is a highly censored one and a teacher is rebuked if he is found to be educating in the real sense

  2. An excellent write-up and a very fine intellectual exercise. Deserves appreciation.Unfortunately, the government has handed education to dilettantes who, over the years have played havoc with the system. By devolving education to provinces under the impugned 18th amendment, the federal government has forfeited its right of designing a uniform and centralised curriculum for the entire country thereby unwittingly laying the foundation of five would-be independent countries. Presently all the five provinces (considering Gilgit Baltistan as a separate province) enjoy carte blanch to design their own curriculum. This may encourage the centrifugal forces to drift away from the centre.
    Moreover, five different streams of education currently operating in the country as rightly pointed out by the writer, can be done away with only if a uniform curriculum is made operative throughout the country. This will ensure harmony and much needed unity among the people, will provide a level playing field to all the citizens to acquire same quality of education and will instill trust and confidence into the people. There is a need to understand the fact that a centralised and uniform curriculum serves as a cohesive agent amongst the provinces.
    The existing education system being pursued in our educational institutions is devoid of very important components i.e, character building and personality grooming. The present education system as pointed out by the writer, promotes the culture of cramming and rote learning ignoring conceptual understanding and analytical ability. It believes in attainment of a certificate/degree through fair or unfair means and is least bothered whether or not it produces good human beings and responsible citizens.
    Stephen R. Covey in his book “Principle-Centered Leadership” spells out seven deadly sins which bring about the downfall of a society. One of these sins is education sans character building. He says: “As dangerous as a little knowledge is, even more dangerous is much knowledge without a strong, principled character. Purely intellectual development without commensurate inner character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is up on drugs. Yet all too often in the academia, that is exactly what we do by not focusing on the character development of young people”.
    I would urge those who are at the helm of affairs to revisit their decision of decentralisation of curriculum and take it back to the centre and engage thorough professionals to design the curriculum and while doing so pay special attention to the extremely important components of education i.e, character building and personality grooming.

  3. Mr.Dur wali sb you r absolutely right I appreciate your observations and timely effort. Actually we are systemless in all fields of life we can pray only that Allah Almighty save us. thank u and keep it up.

  4. The problem with our education system is bsically the teachers who quit schools for the sake of few pieaces of papers printed by the central bank. They consider profession of teaching as time-pass. They are impressed of organizations like OGDCL, SNGPL, Shell, PSOetc over teaching at a school. They give only bashen and are not ready to do anything practically. For them teaching is a joke. For them deal with oil and gas exploration is more attractive. Kash ham log guftaar ke ghazi na hote to shayad sub kuch theek ho jata!

  5. Thank you papa for nice and comprehensive write up on education system. Unluckily, there are better and worst way to educate our children in Pakistan. But the main aim of our education should be to provide quality of education to all children for their holistic development for living morally, creatively and productively in the multicultural society.

  6. Timely effort and concise wrote up by Dur Wali Khan who has been part of the system for some time. We need a revolution like Iran to overcome this crisis.Present drmocracy or Martial law cannot deliver.

    1. Iran is among the worst ruled countries in the world. After revolution when things went into the hands of the religious thugs (we have our own as well) Iran went down. Iran today is an isolated place where an old form of religious tyranny on their own people is being practiced and people are living in abject poverty and slavery. Citing Iran as a solution in any serious discussion is nothing but a joke.

    2. the main problem lies in the National Curriculum, if we look at the example of our city we would witness that in every school they have the different curriculum for their students. for a strong and vital education system, a coherent and a unified curriculum is necessary

  7. sir I really enjoyed to read your article on education system..your right to categorise various types of education and their possible outcome…You mean to focus on creative learning rather than cramming to get certificates…Cramming and vomiting them on paper is never the objective of the education.

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