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    Failing To Enlighten: Educational Norms of Pakistan

    To develop and progress as a nation, education is a key tool to tap the human resource potential of the people. Many countries worldwide have implemented this successful formula and have set new benchmarks of success. It is a pity that in Pakistan, the lack of importance given to this sector has become the core of Pakistan’s problems. This is gradually leading to our disintegration as a nation, while everyone else is superseding us by bringing constant innovation in their educational reforms. This essay outlines a handful of reasons why Pakistan is lagging behind when it comes to reforming its Education Sector.

    Pakistan’s literacy rate, which was recorded as low as 57% in 2009 can be blamed on many factors like negligence, poverty, class discrimination, and poor education system on part of the Government of Pakistan. Our Government allocates a mere 2% of the overall GDP to the education department which is in stark contrast to the benchmark that a developing country should invest at least 7% of its overall GDP in its education sector.

    One major flaw with the education system in Pakistan, is the bifurcation of the education system into two categories which inculcates a bias within the students. Expensive, private schools offer “quality” education in the English medium whereas Government schools provide “inferior” education and promote rote learning in the Urdu medium. Furthermore, regional differences in every province create a stark discrimination that defeats the purpose of providing an equal standard of education for all that is promised as per Article 25-A of our constitution.

    The education situation is very grim in government schools; students don’t get proper education due to the immense amount of corruption that has seeped everywhere in our system. Many government school teachers don’t bother to even show up to the school to teach, as they know their absences won’t be affecting their paychecks. The students who go to these schools, given the limited choice they have, often don’t get educated in the way that is required by the corporate industry.

    The Government negligence on this issue has also contributed to the class discrimination that is reflected in the educational system of Pakistan. The elite class prefers to send their children abroad to avail the best education available or to some of the private schools in the country where the tuition fees amount to an entire paycheck of a common man, possibly more. Which shows that the people responsible for the implementation of standard educational norms are least concerned about the flaws in our educational system.

    With the number of people falling below the poverty line increasing by the day, it isn’t a wonder that the lower strata of the country don’t deem education important for their children. In this alarming situation, it is necessary for the government to take some bold measures and introduce beneficial policies for the poor that can help them explore income generating opportunities to support their families. Considering that the less privileged people are in majority in Pakistan, we need to educate them sufficiently so that they can reap dividends from the country’s growing population.

    In sum, the Government of Pakistan can enhance the quality of education by eliminating the gender gap that hinders girls from enrolling in schools, decreasing the cost of education and increasing public expenditure in the sector of education will lead to the betterment of the educational scenario for the future generations to come.

    Contributed by Muhammad Kashan Yamin

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