In Pakistan, What is Education?
In the absence of a national educational vision, education means different things to different people in Pakistan. EAST has conducted a survey to find out what the heads of various educational institutions of Pakistan think what education really means to them. We asked a simple question: what is education and here are the responses we collected:
Government school Heads
It should help us create better human beings, real Muslims, and patriot Pakistanis. Students should be able to get good jobs and be a source of pride for their parents and families.
Education should help children understand Islam. It should make children fear Allah and follow the Deen of the Holy Prophet. Education should enable a person to implement Sharia in Pakistan and create an Islamic state.
Lower and middle class private schools
The purpose of education is to make children more confident and get good grades in board exams so they can get admission in good colleges. Education should make them obedient.
Upper class school heads
Its purpose is to prepare children for future. The student should be able to perform well and get maximum A grades in their GCSE exams.This will help students secure scholarship from international universities.
Previously, the missionary schools were the opinion leaders of education in Pakistan. But with the mushrooming of private schools and religious institutions, the opinion of Missionary school heads does not carry much weight anymore.
Our study on this topic revealed some very interesting facts about what is the education in Pakistan. This study shows that very few schools consider creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship a part of education. Some do value it but were unable to provide any scheme of study to show that these three topics are covered during an academic year.
There was little or no awareness of any international standards of education such as common core. Education for religious institutions was the set of books that have been part of their curricula for hundreds of years. The difference between government and private matric school was the set of books from preschool to grade 8. For government schools, education was the memorization of books published by the Government textbook board, whereas private schools made students memorize the text of books published by the private publishers.
It was sad to see the GCSE/ Cambridge stream schools taking students away from the understanding of concepts and more towards memorizing the key concepts that can help them secure an A grade.
Making students obedient is not education for upper class school. Meanwhile, religious schools do not think that ability to question what is said in this religious books is part of good education.
So what is education? In Pakistan, it ‘s hard to come up with a consensus. During this study, we noticed that no one institution is ready to listen to any head of the institution except their own kind. During this study, we found that GCSE school heads consider the matric stream schools to be following a dead end. Meanwhile, the Matric school heads thought that 0 level stream schools were providing an alien education.The most surprising discovery of the study was the fact that even the heads of Sunni Muslim religious institutions did not agree to the education provided by the Sunni school that did not adhere to their own school of thought.
This study raises a critical question. In this absence of a unified definition of education, will Pakistan be able to become one nation? Or is it possible to progress, when there are so many varying opinions on what is education?
Find out more about International standards of education, innovation education by visiting the Butterfly syllabus by EAST here.