UNIFIED EDUCATION SYSTEM

KEY TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC & POLITICAL WOES

ABDUL GHANI SOOMRO
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2012

The word education is derived from Latin word educare, which means to train or inculcate. The word education according to Encarta Dictionary means the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at a school or similar institution.

In the words of English Philosopher John Ruskin: "Education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave."

Another great philosopher says: "The foundation of every state is the education of its youth."

Importance of education for future success of an individual or a nation cannot be overemphasized. Importance of education has been clearly stated in all policy documents in Pakistan starting from first conference for education 1947 to national education policy (1998-2010).

Education system of Pakistan is based on Islamic principles. Islam gives equal opportunities to all. Education is emphasized in Islamic ideology and the Constitution. The constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973 proclaimed equal educational opportunities for all.

Education system not only represents the national identity of a nation but also serves as a common cultural bond, which binds the people living in a country. The unified system of education fosters mutual understanding that is essential for attaining economic and social development and preserving peace and harmony. There are many education systems in the country. Right from primary to university level, this difference is maintained.

Public institutes produce workers and firstline supervisors for industries and organizations whereas elite system of education (private) produce officers, managers, and top level management. This gap widens day by day as it is a matter of prestige and honor for our elite class. Everyday newspapers report about such pathetic conditions of education system. Almost all public sectors institutes are under bitter criticism.

Since the independence, politics and legislation have been dominated by the feudal lords.

The system inherited colonial thinking of restricting people from getting education.

Rapid increase in poverty is another reason of illiteracy in Pakistan. Instead of getting education, kids of poor families start supporting monetarily their families. The continuous increase in food price inflation is further worsening the situation.

It is dilemma of our educational system that unsuitable people have been inducted in the education system that either hardly know anything about system or have no interest at all; they are posted to accommodate them or are on deputation. There is no transparent and accountable way of recruiting Vice Chancellors/ Rectors/ Directors and senior administrators of universities. Currently patronage system is being placed where ineligible and unsuitable bureaucrats or retired generals are appointed as vice chancellors/ Rectors and Directors. Chancellors make appointment of them for tenure of 4 years, but these four years are multiplied at least four times.

There are multiple systems working currently in Pakistan, resulting in no synergy but social division and conflicts. For example English medium schools, Urdu/ Sindhi medium schools and religious schools; each has its separate way of teaching and different motive for existence.

Each school is different from another school in all respects. This is not the discrimination of education in the eyes of my lords and policy makers. The syllabus is different, the medium of instruction is different, the books are different, the environment is different, the facilities are different, uniform is different, examination system is different, assessment is different, evaluation is different, monitoring is different and almost everything is different.

I have heard a lot about many countries from America toUnited Kingdom, From Japan to Jordan, from Syria to srilanka. All countries have unified system of education whereas in my country it's pidgin of education. I may say every school has its own curriculum and books. I am afraid to say that even on the same street you may find everything is different. The world goes with the words of English philosopher who says, "Who cares who". Either it is a big injustice to us or a big insult to us, but the fact can't be denied by any authorities as to why are such differences created. The major chunk of education budget goes to salary of the employees the rest to the pockets of education officers and treasury officers. This collusion goes on since the inception of the country and situation goes from bad to worse. But every year sweet slogans are given by the government that that year would be celebrated as education loving year.

All poor people have different universities and all rich people have different universities. We are known and recognized by education we have received. Either one has got education from private university or public university. It is sheer a mockery with the downtrodden people of this country. The unified education system is still a dream for me and like-minded people.

Public sector schools which are very familiar in the country are known as "yellow schools". Yellow schools mean no education. This doesn't mean that the policy-makers and rulers do not know about the fact, but knowing the fact is a source of happiness for them. They do it in a legal way. That's why their kids acquire education in reputed private schools like The City, Beacon, Foundation, Grammar and American schools. They prefer to send their kids to abroad esp. to United States or United Kingdom, Australia or Canada or at least Dubai-based foreign schools. Once they return from abroad they become the part of the same club. One family, same interests, but the ways to remain in power are different. If one is in A- party, another member is in B-party. They always remain in power. We have no objection on acquiring their education or property but we have to say that we need unified system of education in our country. We know it is beyond our reach to go abroad but at least in the country we may have equal access to quality education. Oh! My God smash the doors of injustice in our country and open the doors of justice and equality for us.(Author of this article is the Lecturer, of English Department at

Sukkur Institute of Business Administration.