Dec 03 - 09, 2007

Since the inception of Pakistan history, Education department started class based education system which shows the same panorama as caste system in Hinduism. In Hinduism we find four caste based approaches, but in Pakistan education we find many approaches.

If we peep into the pages of history since the first day of Pakistan, elite class and its allies opted for English Medium education whereas common people opted for Urdu/ Sindhi medium education while cursing the English culture. In the beginning a few realized the disadvantages of Urdu / Sindhi medium education system, but later on majority realized the fact. If one wants to pass happy and bureaucratic life, s/he has to be the master of English whereas, if one wants to serve as menial worker or primary school teacher or clerk, may opt for Urdu/Sindhi medium. If any one knows English s/he can join Armed Forces as Officer whereas those who haven't had sound knowledge of English could join as sepoy/ lancenaik. This type of education widens the gap between two classes. Now the English medium schools have become the sign of status whereas Urdu/Sindhi has become the sign of ignorance and poverty. A few talented students overcome this obstacle and join the civil services and become the member of elite class. They never turned to Urdu/ Sindhi medium for their kids.

One country and many systems of education is the only unique feature of my motherland. Once sitting with the Education Inspector from Syria at IED-AKU, Karachi, I heard him say that they had one system throughout Syria for all either poor or rich, either Arab or non-Arab. There isn't any private school in Syria, but in my country every school is school of thought. In other countries we find one syllabus throughout the country, but here in Pakistan Syllabi and text books are differ from those of one school to another. If any one shifts from one city to another, s/he has to purchase new books, new uniform, new bag and new journals for his/her child. Even the examination system is changed. Somewhere exam is conducted in December and somewhere in July. Somewhere it is conducted in parts and somewhere as whole.

Private education system is quite different from that of public. Federal government examination system is different from provincial systems. Federal government text books are different from provincial government text books. It shows the double standard of our education system. Not only this, but you will be surprised to see the most terrible conditions of public sector Schools, colleges and even universities. Progress is generally deplorable and somewhere the condition is worst. It is good for authorities to closedown such institutions where building is constructed for the purpose of go down. Now, government functionaries and all related officials of education department are relying on private education system. Their kids are studying in private schools, colleges and universities. They proudly claim that none of their children is studying in any public sector institution. Is it not questionable? What government would like to produce from public sector institutions? Either an army of graduates or graduates having degrees with knowledge and skills. All degrees are burden on their shoulders. Students spend 16 years of their live, but it seems as a waste of resources and waste of time. Here, I remember, the example of "Doth Boys High School-England" from English History. The performance of government sector schools, colleges and universities reminds us of a good slogan of wise teacher, "Aimless education and purposeless production is the objective of our public sector institutions". Really, this is a big dilemma of our society. Is it not worth doing? That we may have a few institutions in public sector, but all should be worthy rather so called "Pella" yellow schools and colleges.

Writer would also like to throw light on monitoring and inspection aspect of education department. Everyday we read newspapers where NGOs have given the data that thousands of schools are without staff, hundreds of schools are closedown, but they are only live in the treasury bills. As it is a wise saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" same is the case with education department: DO Primary, DO Secondary, DO Elementary, DO Higher Secondary, DO Colleges and many other Dos" are sanctioned posts in each district, but who cares who?

Keep on going with your own pace and do not bother what is happening. They are concerned with their salaries and benefits, less concerned with monitoring and Inspection. To some extent they are also right while making claims that nothing is in their hand, they have to obey District Nazims, Taluka Nazims, and up to UC Nazims. What a culture we are trapped in? This is only one side of coin; another side does not support their claims; when their own kids are studying in private schools, colleges and universities. Why they should take care of poor and destitute masses. Really, it's shameful for the whole nation. Having such disparity at the highest level is sheer injustice to common people of the country. Merely increasing the budget allocation from 2.20 to 2.43 is not the sign of progress. Who should we request- either all helpless people of the country, or to government officials, ministers of education (provincial and federal) or policy makers? Who will hear the cries and clamors of downtrodden people of Pakistan? Is there any one?