A nation can only thrive and prosper if it upholds education as its top priority. Failing to do so makes it destined to confront downfall and catastrophes in the shape of economical woes, social injustices, colossal ignorance, and so on.
Education instils a sense to distinguish and discern between what is ethical and by extension what is not. In essence, it enables humans to identify and embrace their responsibilities with sheer honesty. The indispensable need of having an education can be seen from seeing how whichever country has so far touched peaks in the world has first managed to strengthen and bolster its education system. Education empowers nations and individuals. And just as prominent have been all those places where education is not considered a top priority because they suffer from all repercussions. The nations that are deprived of education are deprived of appealing living standards.
No need to look for an example of this beyond Pakistan as we have the most justifying example in Balochistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan is one of those countries where the education system is in a pathetic and heart-wrenching condition. Although it has been in such a condition ever since the day country garnered its freedom but over time, instead of progressing and becoming strong, it’s gone down to the dumps. Pakistan’s current literacy rate is 62.2 per cent just slightly above half. It portrays unequivocally where the country stands. If the literacy rate is compared with the neighbouring countries, then it is really low as China’s literacy rate is 80 per cent, India’s is 74 per cent and Iran’s is 85 per cent. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the roadblock in our path to progress and prosperity is unarguably the dilapidated system of our education. There’s a commendable quote by Don Richardson “Education; the single most important investment that we as a country will ever make”.
The debate over what has contributed to these worsening standards of our educational system ceases to end but among the most prominent ones are the following:
* less attention from the government. This can easily be seen in the recent budget where the dismal allocation of funds to education itself reflects our priorities. Pakistan just allocated 83.3 billion for education (which is just 1.1 per cent of the total budget) whereas 1289 billion was allocated to defence (i.e. 18 per cent of the total budget).
* incapable people holding the responsibilities of looking after and managing the education system. The involvement of politics in key decision-making remains a major stumbling block. Students should also be blamed as their commitments have changed over time. From devoting all time to books and study to hardly getting time for study due to useless activities, there is only a small number that stands out. Overuse of mobile phones, that too in a meaningless manner, is undermining the pursuit of education.
In order to come out of this egregious woe, the country needs to take substantive steps like inflating the allocation of budget to education as it is not up to the mark. It must also work on making the recruitment process transparent and meritorious so that only the candidates with a requisite stature can be inducted into the teaching arena. More importantly, the system of nepotism should be uprooted on an immediate basis, which is regrettably a prevailing reality in the country. Other than these, all the fundamental necessities and needs should be fulfilled and provided such as good and sophisticated infrastructure in schools and other educational institutions as well as financial assistance to destitute students.
The indispensable need for an education can be seen from seeing how whichever country has so far touched peaks in the world has first managed to strengthen and bolster its education system.
If the education system continues to be overlooked, without any argument, Pakistan will keep lagging behind and struggling to become a formidable country on all fronts, especially its economic state. In a nutshell, Pakistan must bolster its ramshackle education system and it must leave no stone unturned in this pursuit.
The writer is a student