Education in Pakistan: A Dysfunctional System

Sabah Mushtaq

Education is one source which can single handily turns the fortune for any nation and can be the best and most appropriate solution for any problem any state is going through. Pakistan is one of those countries which are going through so many problems and it cannot be wrong to say that the nation is being surrounded by several threatening problems, amongst such problems education problem is on the top of the list and it is the fact that many of the problems have been created due to the deficiency of education in the local public.

The education system of Pakistan is comprised of 260,903 institutions and is facilitating 41,018,384 students with the help of 1,535,461 teachers. The system includes 180,846 public institutions and 80,057 private institutions. Hence 31% educational institutes are run by private sector while 69% are public institutes.

Pakistan’s poor educational system has increasingly become a matter of international concern. Lack of access to quality education has created problems for the country, as it limits economic opportunity, makes young Pakistani targets for extremist groups.

The basic issue is that the country has relevant policies regarding the educational practices but they are not followed. According to the Article 25-A in the constitution of Pakistan, it is the duty of the governing body to provide free quality education to the age group of 5 years to 16 years, but this is not being practiced.

So to improve the education the basic step is that the education should be made compulsory and in this regard government should come forward and play its vital role so that this basic problem should be resolved. Within the public and the private sector, there are elite schools catering to a small minority of students. The majority of students attend low-quality private and public schools with poor curriculum, limited teaching materials, and inadequate number of properly trained teachers, or in many cases absent teachers. Students are lagging far behind in requisite critical thinking.

Currently the economic situation in Pakistan is under severe stress and education sector has received the highest impact in Pakistan. The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has led to the fact in the following words: “The state of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period.” Pakistan’s education system remains failed in educating the common people. Lack of management, poor polices and bad planning are the causes while corruption also plays its role in destroying the education system. W

e must have changed our education system and syllabus after 1947 as Singapore, India and Malaysia have done. Pakistan’s overall literacy rate is almost 55% which is very poor. We are far behind than other countries even, in subcontinent, we have lowest literacy rate. Insufficient funds and poor allocation of funds in the budget for education are also major hindrances in the growth of education sector.

Pakistan is one of the eight countries in the whole world that spend less than 2% of GDP on education. Pakistan has lots of educational institutions but the problem is that all of them are not well-groomed, and cannot compete with today’s educational requirements. If some private institutions provide quality education, they are out of common public’s reach. In my point of view, the most awful thing in our education system is the division of Education in different levels.

There is a major difference between private and public education. Even after 67 years of independence, we do not have a syllabus for all. There are English, Urdu and Religious divisions which create confusion and chaos in the society. So, there must be equal education for all so that there might not be any difference between rich and poor.

Pakistan needs to impose emergency in education sector through right policies and proper planning otherwise Pakistan’s survival is in danger. If Pakistan wants to grow, it needs major reforms in education system.

 

Intro: Sabah Mushtaq is M.Phil student in the History Department of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

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