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State of Education in Pakistan

Socrates had said that “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” but today purpose of education is became in our country to wash out the bright brain of kids and filling them with unknown fears, hatred, sectarianism, class system and extremism. Pakistan is an Islamic democratic state which came in to existence in the name of religion Islam means Peace and message of Islam starts with the Word اقرا meanto read and learn but unfortunately we forget the message of peace and prioritize defense and crusade and put the primary divine message ofiqramean readat the bottom of our priority agenda which is very clear that Out of total GDP we allocate 28.2% on defense and 1.9% on education sector. 

Out of this total 1.9% of education budget 82% goes against the head of salaries and reaming 18% is spent on all development activities like; construction and up-gradation of schools, teacher’s training, revisiting syllabi and curriculum and research activities. It is the longstanding demand of citizens, civil society, and academia all over the Pakistan to increase education spending for the betterment of the common man in an informed society and to meet the Global Educational Development Goals. Increase financial allocation for education was a lucrative slogan used by all political parties to mouldpublic opinion and voting behavior in general election 2013. But unfortunately our total education allocation in the budget 2013-14 was remain 1.9% of GDP due to which Pakistan ranked at 177th globally on education spending indicator.We failed to raise our education spending up to 4% GDP (global standard of minimum spending on education). 

There are so many disparities in our society on social, economic, religious, regional, linguistic and gender groundsdue to which opinion leader of each and every group in our society has its own agenda of the future and its own perspective to view the things on local, national and international panorama which turned us into distracted, uncertain and confused nation.

If we put an eye on the education system operating in our country, we are surprised to know that there is a wide gulf between all types of schools and syllabus. Every child has to go to mosque school or Mudrissah to gain the religious education which is totally focused on memorization rather than comprehension and understanding mostly focused on the rewards after death in the Arabic and Persian languages where English language and western culture is considered as Makrohat. On the other hand mostly Government schools are deprived of basic facilities like toilet, electricity, and girls’ schools are without boundary walls located distance away from the villages. Due to which parents prefer private schools but private schools have under qualified staff and more focused on businessobjectives to earn more profit exploiting the dreams of the builders of the nation. Colleges are failed to streamline young energies on knowledge and learning activities instead of promoting romanticism and university corridors are exhibitingKhaddicat walks and Armani rat races onslaughting creativity, vision and intellectual thinking. 

The best governing systems only implemented by the best ruling parties in a democratic system but unfortunately feudal lords, tribal leaders, religious contractors and capitalists profiteers are the rulers of this Pak Land and they always prefer their personal interests over national interests and some time theysacrifice major national interests over minor personal interests due to which this nation is still roaming in the wilderness. All these political players need an illiterate mass to work in their form houses, to attend their dogs, to give them massage and to burn in their furnaces so this class will never want an informed public and educated youth which ultimately became a threat for their nobility. 

AlifAilaan statistics on educationshows that there are 8,252 Non-functional and Ghost schools in Pakistan out of which 6164 schools are located in Sindh. Thatta and Tharparkar have the highest number of non-functional and ghost schools in Pakistan (897 and 858 respectively).There are 25 million children currently out of school; out of these 25 million children 2/3rd are girls.  Half of all Pakistan children are deprived of their constitutional right of (article 25A) free and compulsory education. We are the only state where ghost schools are operating under the nose of policy makers, where fake enrolments are registered by the teachers and where mysterious teachers are paid by the authorities for the sake of getting votes only. Instead of designing better development policies for education sector, political players are often found indulge in transfer/posting of teachers and bargain during the construction of new education facilities. 

Renowned Educationist Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Chairman Media Sciences Department, National University of Science and Technology Islamabad articulated that Education is the only key to reduce terrorism activities and extremist thinking in the country. The future of Pakistan depends on the immediate education reforms and education emergency in all the provinces. It's time to take effective steps for making our educational system innovative and it can be done only if all the stake holders including government, academia, media and civil society should rank Education at the top in their priority issues.

This is need of time to think on priority issues of our nation to survive in this global community for the better future of our coming generation. Educationists and think tanks should have to explore the global educational systems, teaching procedures and curriculum and researchers should have to   suggest system/strategies best fit in our social setup disrupting the traditional learning and schooling mechanism. Curriculum should be revisited according to requirement of the market and industry to expand the job market for young talent. Schooling procedures should be taken out of box which encourage innovative ideas and modernized approach instead of parrot like memorization under the command stick of authority. The behavior of new generation should be transformed in a way that they learn how to survive in global world with harmony and they learn how to regard the opponent opinions with smiling face.

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