Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood stated on the floor of the National Assembly that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is working to introduce a uniform education system in the country. Those preparations are being seen in motion now as it was announced on Wednesday that the Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) has initiated a move to introduce a uniform higher education policy by next month.
From all reports, it seems like the process is going smoothly and the government is investing proper resources to a uniform education policy. The department has recruited some of the most highly educated academics and experts on policy and education to be on board for consultation on different agendas and to give recommendations. Some of those agendas include reforming college education, qualifications, courses and curricula standardisation, faculty development for better learning and research outcomes, fostering research, innovation and developing partnerships with businesses.
If proper research and detail is being dedicated to a new education policy, then the initiation of this process is a good hopeful first step. A uniform education policy to bridge the chasm between the rich and poor was a high priority of PTI among its election campaign promises.
Yet the Federal and Provincial Education Ministers should tread very carefully when it comes to drafting a uniform education policy. Previous ideas doled out for equalising the education levels in the society have been to change the medium of instruction or impose the same curriculum in all schools, which were rather simplistic measures and have not worked out well. Equality of opportunity does not mean uniformity- to truly bridge the gap, we need to cater to the populations being neglected in the education sector. If a uniform education system is to be introduced, it needs to be well researched and extremely thought out so we raise the segments being left behind in education.