History of Education in Pakistan
Education plays an important role in political constancy, economic progress and social evolution of a nation. It brings political constancy by realizing the people their national rights and duties as well as the awareness of their rights and duties; a very good environment is produced for better accomplishment of the policies with good contribution and collaboration of the people. Education brings economic growth because it enhances the productivity and efficiency of the people, and provides them essential skills which enable the people to play their role in supporting the sustainable economic growth of the country. Education shapes the personality of the people, seeks them moral obligations and duties, so they can play their part in the society efficiently.
Today Pakistan is facing a number of problems i.e. poverty, anxiety, terrorism, sectarianism and many more and the reason of all these problems is lack of awareness, patience and illiteracy which are created by ineffective educational system. The vital role and importance of education system is largely mistreated in Pakistan. There are also some other factors dependable for instability in Pakistan but education is the vital one. Education system of Pakistan is facing some somber problems. Through, 62 years have been past and 23 policies and actions planned have been introduced yet the education sector which are still waiting for solution of its problem i.e. multiple system of education, lacking of sufficient funds, insufficient physical and other facilities, poor examination system, dropouts, low enrollment rate, discrepancy are major one.
The founding fathers of Pakistan realized early that the future of this nation depended on a prolific pursuit of knowledge through education. In his message to the first Education Conference in November 1947, the Quaid-i-Azam said:
“If we are to make real, speedy and substantial progress, we must bring our educational policy and programme on the lines suited to the genius of our people, consonant with our history and culture and having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world. The future of our State will and must accordingly depend upon the type of education we give to our children, and the way in which we bring them up as future citizens of Pakistan. We should try, by sound education, to instill into them the high sense of honour, integrity, responsibility and selfless service to the nation. There is an immediate and urgent need for giving scientific and technical education to our people in order to build up our future economic life and to see that our people take to science, commerce, trade and particularly well-planned industries. We should not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction.”
Periodically, the State of Pakistan addressed the educational needs of the people and the aspirations of the State in this regard, in 1947, 1951, 1959, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1992 and lastly in 1998. Apart from the common denominator of Islam and national unity, the statements of apparition and principle for the national education system in Pakistan have tended to reproduce the prevailing political paradigm and compulsions of the day. Impliedly, most of these noble assertions remained oratory, now cramped to the dustbins of history. Some of the policy documents were results of extensive research but accomplishment left so much to be desired that not one policy achieved its affirmed goals and the targets of time set for realizing these goals.
Firstly, there was no genuine extensive possession of policy goals by the majority of stakeholders and secondly, the strategies and plans developed to attain the policy goals were impractical and did not have the support of recognized and committed resources required to attain these targets, or an original tailoring of these goals within the maximum resources available. As a result, development lacked uniformity across the geographical spread of the country and whatever progress made, was sporadic and personality determined, without the umbrella of an official institutional arrangement to ensure oversight and monitoring of the accomplishment of the policy. As a social and political result, human development has not been uniform across the country, creating islands of human rights in a sea of disempowerment. Lack of national cohesion and everlasting perception of fragility in the alliance appear to have been caused by the absence of most favorable and uniform human development throughout the country.
From the variety of policy articulations historically made in Pakistan, it can be seen that pursuit of education by itself has not always been the propeller of these policy statements. Dogma of one hue or the other has been the overall deliberation rather than realizing education as the vehicle for social and economic development and as the means to provide individuals the capacity to realize their personal potentials. Barring the 1947 and 1959 interventions, the rest of the efforts were perhaps driven by politico-ideological considerations, other than education as a vehicle of person’s development as an individual, a citizen and a contributor of an economic activity.
Because of lack of continuing research-based education, we have succumbed to the predators of our faith, which primarily drive their strength from the vagueness that ignorance breeds; where knowledge is based on homesickness. This has restrained people from pursuits of research and explanation through continuing and creative education. Hence, we see that the style and philosophical contents of our education policies have been based on one creed or the other. The substantial goals expressed in these policies tended to recede into the background, being impractical and at times anti-progress.
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