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Thursday April 25, 2024

Education system in Pakistan not developing critical thinking in students, lament academics

By Our Correspondent
December 04, 2022

Only four per cent of the Pakistani youths secure admissions to varsities, in which the number of female students is very nominal. The country’s education system has deepened the division of society and strengthened the class system. There is a need for developing an education system that fosters critical and creative thinking.

These views were expressed by educationists in a session titled ‘Education: The Situation of Pakistan" on Saturday on the third day of the 15th International Urdu Conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan. The speakers were academic Prof Anjum Halai, renowned critic Nasir Abbas Nayyar, and educationists Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui and Shahid Siddiqui. The session was moderated by Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed.

The speakers agreed that promoting quality was a forgotten chapter of today’s education system at the varsity level. It was also said that after the establishment of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the varsity-level education worsened in the country.

Nayyar said the sorry state of education in Pakistan was not a matter of negotiation. He was of the view that education was destroyed in a planned manner.

The division and class system in education had divided society, he said, adding that today, education was not for everyone as only a certain class of society could access to quality education.

He said that religious seminaries had also divided the nation. There were serious differences among madrasas functioning under different schools of thought, which was growing hatred among individuals against each other.

Siddiqui said Pakistan’s education policy had failed. The country was spending nominal allocations on education compared to other South Asian countries, he maintained, adding that the money allocated in the budget for education was not even spent fully.

The educationist stated that we imported education models from outside and tried to implement in the country but they did not prove successful.

He also pointed out the lack of consistency in the education policies. The nationalisation of education also caused a lot of damage to education, he added. “If I became the minister of education, I would give attention to the teachers' training because they are the ray of hope. It will determine the purpose of Pakistan's education. I also will implement a uniform education system for all.”

Prof Halai said that education affected all the aspects of the lives of human beings. The academic stressed the need for establishing an education system that fostered critical and creative thinking. The speaker said that we had narrowed the goal of education to employment, and philosophy, language, literature, and music that gave depth to thinking needed special attention.

She said there should be an education system that covered all the sciences. Farooqui said that the role of the private sector at the metric level was better, although the quality of the teachers in the public schools was better than the teachers of private schools. He added that people were not ready to get their children enrolled in state-run schools because there was a lack of trust between the parents and teachers of government schools.

He said that there was not much difference between public and private educational institutions at the college level.