BY: Maryam Qureshi
Pakistan’s literacy rate was calculated at 58 pc in the year 2018, the definition of a literate person who made the prestigious 58% is:
“Someone who is able to read and write their own name.“
Goes to show the benchmark we set to achieve a seemingly impressive figure when compared to the third world.
Private schools who are charging jaw-dropping amounts for and individual in their primary levels of education are failing continuously at providing basic facilities at their respective schools on a regular basis.
The majority of the subjects require stationery and equipment to practice, complete projects and to learn how things work in the practical world. However, in the absence of such tools, students fail to accomplish their assigned tasks.
Better yet, the parents are again forced to take the plunge and are asked to spend the surplus amount to buy additional products to be used by the child.
The curriculum is another can of worms that changes on the regular and costs thousands upon thousands of rupees that is not even subsidized and costs 10 times the amount of regular books, copies and notebooks being sold at the same market.
Coming to the children opting for higher studies, from science students to film students, requirements are different and to an extent endless but the end goal for everyone’s the same. Any student who enters an educational system whether forcefully or by choice does not aim for failure, but lack of resources and proper equipment which can’t be afforded by a common man in a country where the minimum wage is a mere 17500 rupees.
Universities that are charging as much as 9-12 lac per academic year fail to provide and fulfill the necessary requirements of a student enrolled in their institute.
One must raise the question, is it solely the parents prerogative to bear all expenses for their child’s education and then get them, additional tutors, because such is the level of education being churned out by these so-called ‘prestigious’ institutes?
According to one of the students studying at such an institute:
“We are always showered with excuses which are never ending, I am a film student yet I didn’t get a chance to use film equipment properly due to their unavailability and insufficient quantity”
Who then should be levied with the blame for what this student was deprived of, what if he fails to grasp the concept because of being unable to handle the important equipment which is the essence of filmmaking?
According to a science student:
“You cannot imagine the extra amount of cash which I have to invest to buy equipment which were supposed to be provided by the university”
Places that spend less per student have better academic outcomes than Pakistan due to their focus on the future of their respective countries rather than hoarding their pockets.
They treat education like a responsibility rather than seeing it as a business opportunity.
There is a need to fight corruption, eradicate ghost schools, and ensure that teachers and professors are present in school and take the onus of bringing the best out of their students, they must be taught to take responsibility and be held accountable if they fail to do so.
That too is not enough. It takes far more than funds and good governance to build well-functioning instructional organizations appropriate for the digital age. They are the consequence of specific cultural and ideological decisions, unlike hospitals or airports. So far there has been an unseen brick wall in every effort to modernize education. It’s essential to understand this.
By default parental system in Pakistan is inclined towards ranking an education system as well functioning if it costs a fortune. However, continuously failing to understand that it is not the cash that will make an individual successful. Not giving one institution superiority over another on the basis of how big the building is but rather looking at whether they are doing what they are claiming to do is necessary.
Absence of essential equipment will leave students with little or no experience of how to use them. There is no DIY (do it yourself) alternative for everything, and even if it exists, then what is the aim of students paying the fees if they end up investing in what they should have already received. Coming to a conclusion, such an approach by the heads of these educational systems is putting students’ future at stake which is not only worsening situation of students in Pakistan but is also affecting Pakistan’s literacy rate.
Extreme outrage has been seen in the past about educational budget, but no one questions whether allocated budget is in the right hands or not? Students are suffering daily due to innumerous issues; one such issue is highlighted above. If you are/were studying at such an educational institution and unavailability of required equipment led you to suffering let us know in the comments section below.