Educational System in Pakistan: Outdated Syllabus and Low Social Status of the Teacher Profession

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There are almost more than 260,900 educational institutes in Pakistan that are giving education to more than 20 billion students with the assistance of 1.5 million teachers. Among all institutes, there are 180,846 public institutes and 80,057 private institutes. So there are 31% educational institutes run by private sector while 69% are public institutes. So ratio of public sectors is more. The infrastructure of our education system is mainly inspired from the British System. Firstly we have Pre-School education that is designed for 3-5 years old children and usually consists of three stages; Play Group, Nursery and Kindergarten (KG). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grade 1 to 5. Only 80% of children in Pakistan finish primary school education. After passing grade 5 Examination which is conducted by the Punjab Examination Commission Lahore, students are promoted in to Middle Level School i.e. grade 6 to 8.

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The language and way of instruction of subjects in school depends on the nature of the institution itself, whether it is an English medium school or an Urdu medium School/Government School or a Private School. After passing Matriculation Exam conducted by BISE Lahore, students are promoted to College and University level education. Quality of education there also depends on nature of institute. All secondary schools come under the Ministry of Education. All schools almost follow a same curriculum and syllabus in two basic languages, English and Urdu. Up to 5th grade subjects taught are English, Urdu, Science, Islamiyat, Math and Drawing. After 5th grade there comes Physics, Science, Chemistry, Math, Homeconomics/Arts and Islamiyat. Then students are given choice between science and computer group in 9th and 10th grade. There are some schools who also offer Physical Exercise of 15-20 minutes daily in morning and Training in Civil Defense, First Aid and Nursing during grades 9 and 10. There are also some schools who offer O levels and A levels. Our college education is divided among FSc pre Eng. /Pre Med, ICom , FA and ICS.

Then in University level students are provided with specialized education for 4 years.In Pakistan's Educational System, Government institutes specially schools are the most neglected in terms of financial support from the government side. Government spends the least budget on education which is less than 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Government even spends more budget on army then on education. Due to less financial support, Government schools are the most under paid and poor in performance. 40 % of the educational institutes does not possess basic facilities such as electricity, water, guards, toilet and boundary wall. Even worse, they don't have tables, chairs and even black boards. Students are forced to sit on floors there.In contrast, private schools possess every facility of life but charges very high fees. Only topmost level of the society means elite class can afford them. Such schools develop the personality of their students by focusing on their moral values but they are only for children from the rich and the powerful families. They generally maintain excellent facilities including libraries, laboratories, computer labs and highly-trained teachers. It has been seen that the number of families which can afford the high fees of the private schools has been increasing.

It is also considered a mark of high status to have one's children admitted to such schools because children there learn English language very fluently which will be useful for their career in West. There are, therefore, tremendous pressures on such schools for admission. So in general we can say that today education in Pakistan is for those who can afford the high fees of private schools. But dilemma is this that Elite class, bureaucrats and high officials are not paying any attention to educate the poor. They are retaining education within their circle, that's why rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer in our society. Private sector should allocate a number of seats for the lower class to facilitate them with good quality as well as free education. Pakistan ranks 189th in the world's literacy ranking according to 2011 survey. There are many reasons for such low literacy rate in Pakistan such as poverty, population expansion, feudal lords, wadera system, political behavior, male dominated society and lack of schools in rural areas. Poverty is the biggest disadvantage and the largest resistance in the development of a country. In fact in Pakistan 40% people are living below poverty line.The poor does not have the income to afford education for their children. They prefer to put their children on some work so can they get money for their food. The very poor even can't afford the upkeep of their children and are forced to give them up to Orphanage providing free care or to left them on roads alone. The other biggest cause of poor education in Pakistan is a lack of government interest and powerful feudal system in villages and poor areas. Some schools also have Political influence which is main cause of their institue.

Even their examinations are not transparent and most of results are politically motivated. Due to less self-finance schemes, the government is limiting education only for upper class people. Due to poverty thousands of children have been forced to leave their education and work in inhuman conditions. That's why our education system has failed to provide alternatives of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.Gender discrimination is also a cause. People are very conservative and they don't want their girls to go to school and get education.That's why the ratio of boys and girls in primary schools is 10:4. The other cause is also social problems. School may be too far and students may not have facilities to reach these schools. The countryside's children do have not enough school for studies. Another cause of illiteracy is family problems. If parents are workers, they want their children to be workers too.Moreover nowadays there are a lot of entertainments, which keep the children excited and busy. They spend their time on such activities and don't care about learning.However, if we can fix these problems, we would have education in our life. Teachers are the most essential component of any education system. However, studies show that in Pakistan, no one is paying attention to the proper building of teachers personality and resources and energies are wasted on mere improvement of the curriculum or system developments.

Teaching profession is considered the most underpaid and unattractive professional service in Pakistan. Teachers get more than fewer salaries in the country. There salaries are very fewer. They are unable to lead a decent life within the salary provided to them by the government. This factor has affected the motivation level of teachers. The teachers as a whole do not take active interest in the performance of their duties. This situation has ultimately impacted the whole process of quality in teaching and learning in schools. There is also a big lack in personality of principals of schools. They lack the ability of staff coordination and staff training. They don't possess the proper vision which leads them to feeling of superiority over staff. This trend has led to situation where sometimes verbal wars take place between teacher and principal. The ultimate effects of this situation fall on the students. Even the process of quality of education in the schools is deeply affected.There are no procedures of work in some schools either due to the ignorance of the administration. Administration fails to instruct teachers the proper procedure of work. In some schools there is lack of teaching staff which forces teachers in the school to teach more classes than their normal routine. This situation has increased more pressures on the teachers which leads to their physical discomforts. Such situations causes teachers to cover the syllabus at any cost despite of quality in teaching and learning. Teachers cannot pay attention to individual students which is a basic need of their personality grooming. Outdated Syllabus is also a big dilema of our education system. Curriculum and the syllabus is the backbone of worth and success of any educational system.

This is some thing which should not be stagnant and should vary according to advancement of the modern world. Pakistan is facing one of the core problems of education whose foundations are being laid by the outdated and old traditional syllabus which is being taught to the students.That will not be wrong or exaggerated if said that the syllabus which is being taught to the students today is the same as it was being taught to their parents or even grandparents which is the real point of concern.The students and the teachers are fed up of following the same traditional and outdated syllabus and that is why students are switching to the other educational systems which includes the Cambridge educational system which has ultimately made the system of education more weaker and less important. Effects of illetracy on society are terrible. The most dangerous effect of illiteracy on society is that it works as an inhibitor. That is to say the more illiterate people there are in a country, the harder it will be for the country to develop.Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar promulgated on Tuesday evening the ordinance to make necessary provisions for the implementation of Article 25-A, which was inserted in the Constitution in 2010 binding the state to provide free and compulsory education to children aged 5-16 years. Since 2010, the Punjab government was supposed to legislate and provide free and compulsory education to children.The governor has now promulgated the ordinance as Punjab Assembly is not in session and he was satisfied with the existing circumstances making it necessary to take action.The ordinance has repealed the Punjab Compulsory Primary Education Act 1994, and declared that all such laws be brought into conformity with the scheme and objectives of this ordinance within five years.According to a copy of the ordinance, every child has a right to free and compulsory education from Class-I to X, non-formal education, vocational education or a combination of all considering the needs, capability and age so as to ensure completion of education.It states that a child or parent shall not be liable to pay any fee or charges or expenses for completing education in a school owned or controlled by the government or local authority.So we can see that despite having some of the worst education indicators in the world, Pakistan is also making slow progress in educating.Although provincial governments are providing free education to some extent but it is not enough to provide children with the treasures of knowledge.

Though Government is providing free education up to primary level but it is limited only to some areas.Government should also make the acquiring of primary education as compulsory on every child in the province, so in such way the 4.6 million children which are not a part of any educational institutions will be able to get education and will contribute their best part in improving the literacy rate. Government should also increase the budget which is to be allocated towards education. Moreover highly skillful people should be employed on key posts so that they could give good education. There must be such programmes which arouse the importance of education and the urgency to learn among students so that we could compete with the world. Islam promotes education and people should be aware of this very fact. There is an even when Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) said that he would set free the prisoners who would teach Muslims. By this we can comprehend to what degree education is importance in Islam. Education plays a vital role in the development of a nation, as it contributes to the development of human capital. Robust economic growth seen in western hemisphere is all by their sophisticated education system. Our nation needs education more than anything in this world. We are currently on a constant threat of terrorism which can only come to an end when the mindset of people will change and to change it we need proper education. An illiterate person can never think right and always find shortcuts to earn money resulting in higher crime rates and terrorism. Unemployment makes a person do unreasonable things not just in Pakistan, but everywhere in the world.Protecting schools from extremists today will help to stem the rise of extremism tomorrow. Indeed, given the contribution of ignorance, lack of choice, and socioeconomic deprivation to the rise of terrorism in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, ensuring that future generations have better education, improved capabilities, and good opportunities will ensure that the next generation will not become easy prey for terrorist mindsets.If we fail to meet our commitment to standards education, millions of children will lead a life of poverty and struggle with their hopes, dreams, and potentials broken. This renders the country's development potential. More than half of Pakistan's population is under the age of 25; who have potential to drive progress and prosperity in the country – if, of course, they receive the proper education they deserve.

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