HEC founding chairman Dr Attaur Rehman at the time of Musharaf, now chairperson of Prime Minister’s taskforce on Science and Technology in PIT government and a well-known scientists of Pakistan (Organic Chemistry), in a letter to PM has criticized the current role of HEC pointing out that six programs initiated during his tenure as HEC chairman, two had been closed, three halted and one had been ‘drastically reduced. He also pinpointed the ‘cumbersome’ verification system for registration of HEC verified supervisor, highlighting several glitches in the current management that needed to be looked into.
In reply from HEC the allegations were declared as totally false and without any foundation, none of the programs have been stopped and the financial allocation in the current year for almost all of them is at record level. Further going HEC also said that the programs in question set up during Dr Attaur Rehman’s tenure were “extremely poorly designed”. Further shedding light on the projects, it said that out of 4,475 grants awarded since 2013, 543 just went to Islamabad-based universities namely, COMSATS, NUST, Bahria University, QAU and IIUI. According to sources, the HEC chief termed the letter by Dr Atta as an unwise decision and an attack on the autonomy of the higher education sector during a VCs’ meeting.
In fact Dr Ataur Rehman may be well known in the governments circle but by constituting HEC he did not do anything to refine overall education system of Pakistan. His ideas only served the objectives of elites to send their sons/daughters for PhD on government stipend.
Currently Constitution of Pakistan mandates to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 5-16 years and enhance adult literacy. With the 18th constitutional amendment the concurrent list which comprised of 47 subjects was abolished and these subjects, including education, were transferred to federating units as a move towards provincial autonomy.
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.
Vision 2030 of Planning Commission of Pakistan looks for an academic environment which promotes the thinking mind. The goal under Vision 2030 is one curriculum and one national examination system under state responsibility. The strategies charted out to achieve the goal included:
(i) Increasing public expenditure on education and skills generation from 2.7% of GDP to 5% by 2010 and 7% by 2015.
(ii) Re-introduce the technical and vocational stream in the last two years of secondary schools.
(iii) Gradually increase vocational and technical education numbers to 25-30% of all secondary enrolment by 2015 and 50 per cent by 2030.
(iv) Enhance the scale and quality of education in general and the scale and quality of scientific/technical education in Pakistan in particular.
Pakistan currently spends 2.4% GDP on education. At national level, 89% education expenditure comprises of current expenses such as teachers’ salaries, while only 11% comprises of development expenditure which is not sufficient to raise quality of education.
The reforms required in the education system of Pakistan cannot be done by the government alone, public-private participation and a mix of formal as well as non-formal education can pull out majority of country’s population from illiteracy. Similarly, to make the youth of the country an asset, attention should also be paid to vocational and technical training.
It is a known fact that Pakistani Education System is unable to educate the students with practical skills rather they only read books to pass exams. Due to this issue, even degree holders don’t have any skill to utilize and earn a happy life. They only depend on the jobs which also need practical skills in this modern age.
Outdated 20 years old Syllabus is being followed.
In this modern world, Teaching is considered the most special and important field. It is the backbone for Education system of every country. Teachers are given a special type of Training to teach students in a better and friendly way. Unfortunately, In Pakistan, No quality teachers are provided to students. In fact, those who become unsuccessful in their field and they don’t know what to do with their degree now? They join teaching.
In Pakistan, there are different curriculums followed by the different educational system. First of all, it is very unfortunate that in one country there are several educational systems exist just based on financial differences. In Pakistan, there are few subjects which are considered as a field and these fields are imposed on students like Medical and Engineering. If one wants to be respected in Pakistani society, he/she must be a Medical Doctor or an Engineer.
Most of the students have no idea at the primary level that what field he/she should choose to specialize in. It is very unfortunate that there is no counseling provided in Pakistani schools and even colleges.
Further Education is considered as a profitable business in Pakistan. Day by day, new institutes are opening not to provide quality education but to benefit from the lack of schools by govt. and earn a huge amount by charging very high fees.
The worst part of education system in Pakistan is that there is less or no check and balance on both govt. and private sectors.
Several Govt. schools and colleges even have no subject teachers or if they might have as well they don’t come to teach and there is no one to ask why?
Students are taught to do “Ratta” of the questions and answer without any concept and just paste that Ratta in the paper to pass the exam.
Unfortunately, we are facing terrorism as well. The terrorists mainly target schools and other educational institutes which create a fear in the society.
It is estimated that presently more than 55 million Pakistanis with age of 10 are unable to read and write and there are 7 million children of age 5 to 9 years which are out of schools. The worst part is that in rural areas, more than 52% of girls are not enrolled in school. This is not enough; you know 67% of women as well are illiterate. These statistics are growing every year which affect every out country from every aspect either it is political instability or less economic growth.
Because of the worst education system in Pakistan, parents don’t enroll their children in school, instead, they make them earn money at a very young age in hotels/local shops etc.
Best was the time when there was big respect for degree holders. Now very few of them achieve that respect otherwise the most non-respectful people of the society these days are unemployed degree holders. At first, parents don’t enroll their children at school. If a child has good luck and gets enrolled, he/she only continue to study up to matric or maximum F.Sc level and don’t go for graduation.
Due to the flaws in the education system of Pakistan, and low quality of education students are unable to explore something new and invent something for the betterment of the society because they follow only Ratta and there is no real concept taught to them.
Summing up one can say that with 25 million out of school children, a significant percentage of those enrolled not retained, gender imbalances and generally poor quality of teachers and student learning, even the provincial education/expenditure ratios paint a sorry state of affairs. Politicians see more visibility in announcing universities than in schools as their priority projects. What would they say to the Quaid-i-Azam to whom the “greatest stigma on the Government,” is “to show that after your 150 years of rule, ….you have not given knowledge and light, nay even the three R’s to more than 6 or 7 per cent of the population in this country” (Legislative Assembly, March 1925).