S. MUSHTAQ HUSSAIN
is an educationist and associated with teaching profession for the last
30 years. He did his Masters in the Statistics from the University of
Karachi in 1971. As an Associate Professor at Degree College Malir,
Mushtaq carries various distinctions to his credit especially by
rendering his selfless services for the cause of education in Pakistan.
As the General Secretary of Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association,
he played a key role in resolving the issues confronted both the
teachers as well as the students in the province of Sindh. The credit
for introducing the Centralized Admission Policy (CAP) at college level
in Karachi goes to the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association which
has greatly helped eliminating the element of discrepancies and even
corruption in the process of admission in colleges. The CAP has been
appreciated by other provinces of the country and they are also
interested to opt for this policy. Mushtaq also takes great interest in
journalism and has worked in Daily Sun for over 3 years as Assistant
Editor in early 70s.
As a senior educationist how would you describe the state of education
especially at the college level where it is alleged that both students
as well as the teachers do not turn up to attend classes hence most of
the state owned colleges generally present a deserted look. It is also
alleged that majority of the college teachers instead of attending the
colleges are running their own Coaching Centers.
There is no truth in this observation that most of the time colleges
present a deserted look as both teachers and the students do not turn up
to take their classes. In fact, as a matter of rules, students are
required to attain 75 per cent class attendance prior to enter into
their exams. Hence the situation is altogether different and students
have to attend their classes. In fact, the persistent law and order
situation played havoc with the education especially during 90s in
Karachi. The parents naturally restrained the students to attend the
schools or colleges due excessive politicization in the educational
institutions. Instead of sending their sons or daughters to the
colleges, they preferred to send them to the coaching centers for safety
reasons. However, since the situation has been improved greatly, the
students as well as the teachers are taking their classes regularly. As
far as the interest of the teachers in running coaching centers was
concerned, in fact the teachers are forced to find alternative source of
income to meet their financial requirements. The salary structure and
allowances are not sufficient to meet day to day expenses. For example,
there is no salary revision since 1994. The teachers are getting the
same House Rent Allowance they were getting in 1994. The teachers are
running coaching centers as done by other professional just to overcome
their financial constraints. There is a need of revision of the salary
structure, so that the teachers could devote their time and energy free
from financial pressures for imparting the quality education.
How would you describe the overall quality and standard of education in
the province of Sindh as compared to other parts of the country?
As far as quality of education is concerned no doubt the quality of
education has been tremendously improved in the province of NWFP. They
have completely overcome the menace of cheating in exams. The students
getting through exams are coming out purely on merits as compared to the
state of affairs in Sindh. Pressure groups exist in the students
politics are responsible for indulging in cheating in Karachi. In some
cases cheating is carried out at gun point besides other malpractices in
There is a mushroom growth of private universities and other educational
institutions which are charging exorbitant fees. Do you think that there
should be some regulatory body to keep a check on excessive charges by
these private institutions?
Certainly, there should a regulatory body to ensure affordable price of
education. This regulatory body should also look into the quality of the
so called faculty through which these institutions are operating. In
fact, it was the world-wide craze for IT which attracted various
businessmen to enter into education sector as a commercial venture.
However, with the decline of demand for IT graduate, the spate or craze
for IT is gradually subsiding. The sharp decline in demand for IT
professionals has pricked the balloon. There is a reverse trend in
education and the students are coming back to the principle subjects.
These education institutions which had emerged at every corner of the
street are gradually getting out of the scene. As a matter of fact, the
government colleges and institutions have their own credibility and
majority of the students still like to go through state owned
organizations. The survival in the education field would only be for the
fittest and the unscrupulous stuff would not last long.