Pakistan is considered a third world country, in which everything, every sphere is under developing; it is becoming better or can become better through some effort. Unfortunately, every department is engulfed in corruption and needs some type of repair, reconstruction or refurbishing. Education is such a department where some kind of reconstruction or repair is needed to be done. It is said that education is required to produce a good citizen, which ultimately creates a good nation.
Most of the Pakistanis are Muslims and Islam guides us to get education in any case, but which type of education? It is not clearly mentioned in the scriptures, the sayings are about the education that can help one to recognise one’s creator. The ample factor is recognising the One, Who created this world and hereafter. Any knowledge, which leads us towards the Supreme Being, is accepted, which means there are several ways to go there, otherwise scriptures must have been devised the ways, but it has given the goal, not the way. So, in this situation either way is good, if and only if, it takes us to the aspired goal.
In Pakistan, the situation is quite topsy-turvy. No way, no method, no syllabus, no policy, no cadre, and no qualified teaching staff is available, rather there is no student even. Education needs to be imparted on a student, by a teacher, through a good, mature, and planned syllabus, in a good structured institution, under some expert policy maker, to make that student a good citizen. So the country, where such citizen is inhibited must prosper. All these ingredients are missing in the recipe and we want that the meal should be delicious. How could it be? Let us focus upon all these ingredients one by one.
Student means, one person, who thinks, first of all, that he needs something. Need will drive him to find the lacking, and after founding, what is the lacking, he can work out to heave the solution. If a student thinks that he has everything or he is no lacking, he will be satisfied and it never works. This is the condition in our country. Either our young generation thinks that they don’t need education, or they are satisfied with what they have: illiteracy.
Teaching is a blessed field even our beloved Prophet (PBUH) says that He is sent as a teacher. A teacher must think that he is a needy person whose thirst can only be quenched through knowledge. In that situation, he can work for his betterment which will be proved beneficial for his student, but the situation is quite opposite to it. Most of our teaching lot consider themselves a glorious mighty king sitting on the throne of knowledge and he and only he can give it, and the others in the field around in different nooks and corners are distributing rubbish, useless, and nothing more than shabby and a sorry figure. Learning passes through three phases to be imparted vis-a-vis learning, de-learning and re-learning. A glass full of water at its brim cannot be filled with more water except to be empties before filling it again. Our teachers are not ready to accept that they also need to be educated and this haughty feeling they are transferring to their disciples.
The third corner stone is syllabus, which must be planned thoroughly and tested accordingly from different angles and at multiple stages before being used at wide level. Since the inception of this tiny state Pakistan, there are several experimental stages, through which Pakistan is passing. Syllabus must be objectified before designing. At least before implementation phase, some of the workable objectives must be declared and thoroughly followed. Syllabus designing is a pain-staking process and definitely it require some techniques. Because of its strong relation with teaching and learning, it must infuse, the spirit of love to the land where it is being taught, the moral code to be implemented in one’s character, the living standard to be used to make a good citizen, the religion to transform the personality, and last but not least, the wider perspective of decision to make the people decisive about different problem or in the need of hour. It is also not producing good results. It is divided and the production is also divided. It is changed according to the wishes and whims of the higher echelon.
Institution works wonders in the lives of the student/worker. Here, we are talking about the educational institutions, which, some time ago, were called ‘maader-e-ilmi’, but now-a-days, they are badly politicised. Its policies are not education oriented rather to fulfil some ulterior motives of either government officials or some political figures. The new trend of institution deems it for the economic enterprise. These are the nurseries, where no greenery is growing rather they are for minting money. Their policies are not supportive for education or to share the burden of the students but to share the burden of their owners. Ownership is very much important.
Aforementioned points needed an expert policy maker but unfortunately the cadre in Pakistan, who is responsible for making policies, is enchanted by the slogans of so called developed nations. He is bound to create those policies which are good for their masters. They learn from them and ogle it on this land without thinking that what is the best for Mr X is not the best for Mr Y. They think that if the policy is good for a country, it must be used everywhere.
Knowing the fact, the solution must be determined at each level. First of all, the teacher must revise his ways, because he is the guide, the mentor, and the leader. It is said that ‘if gold is rust, what shall iron do’ teacher is that gold which must be polished. Without the correction of the mentality of the teachers, change cannot happen. Overall, he is a society member, so it is the duty of every individual to work through thick and thin to make better the situation wherever one is working, one should do one’s best.
To conclude, I would like to say, that just saying is not enough because saying without doing is useless. Our government is chanting slogans of education that we are doing this and we are doing that but the situation is worsening day by day as is mentioned earlier. We can pray and we can act, decision is ours.
Ammar Yasir is a Pakistan based Educationist and Activist.