Thursday February 02, 2023

Day of Education underscores govt neglect of formal learning needs

By Our Correspondent
January 25, 2023

Islamabad : The fifth International Day of Education was marked on Tuesday with the intriguing theme, ‘To invest in people, prioritise education.’

According to teachers, the classroom can be a measuring rod to gauge the future prosperity or adversity of a nation but unfortunately, education does not find its rightful place in the government's priorities in Pakistan. They told 'The News' that though economic, political, security, and healthcare conditions in the country were not very promising, education was a severely neglected sector. The teachers said a school visit could be enough to understand how much authorities prioritised education.

A college assistant professor said education was a human right but regrettably, Islamabad’s public sector colleges had abolished some BS programmes and many important subject combinations of Associate Degree programmes under the directions of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on the pretext of rationalisation. "The right of students to education is being violated in Islamabad," she said. Senior vice-president of the Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) Professor Farhan Azam told ‘The News’ that education remained an inaccessible right for residents of the Sihala Federal area.

"The Associate Degree Programme of Islamabad Model College for Boys, Sihala has been discontinued on the directives of the FDE due to a low number of inspiring candidates. This move is like denying access to higher education to the poverty-stricken population of the rural area of the capital city. The college has a huge infrastructure. New educational programmes should be introduced in this college. It's time to transform education,” he said. FGCTA general secretary Dr. Nazir Ahmed Bhutta said students in the capital city suffered as many educational institutions didn't have an adequate number of teachers and logistics to run the existing programs. "In the FG girls colleges like Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG), I-8/3, IMCG, Bhara Kahu and IMCG, I-14/3, the regular teachers are in single digit while enrolment of students in each college is around 1200. This situation seems contrary to the theme of international education day," he said.

President of the association Dr. Rahima Rehman said authorities should consider spending on education as an investment rather than consumption as the investment in education stimulated the cycle of growth.