PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated on Monday another milestone programme of PML (N) government in education sector — new curriculum and textbooks from Class I to V in the Federal Area aimed at promoting quality education. He also launched triple hundred programme envisaging one hundred percent enrolment, one hundred percent retention and one hundred percent graduation in the Federal Capital.
The government surely deserves credit for taking a number of measures to improve standard and quality of education in the Federal Capital. Under direction of former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif reforms were initiated in Islamabad schools where missing facilities were provided, science and computer labs established and comfortable buses made available for most of schools resolving pick-n-drop problem of the children and their parents. However, standard of education is not all about facilities, as curriculum has to be up to the mark, teachers fully qualified and trained and an effective teaching methodology. In this backdrop, the revision of curriculum is a welcome development and one hopes the confidence expressed by the Prime Minister that the new syllabus would prove to be an important milestone towards shifting the focus from cramming to promoting analytical skills and generating thought process amongst the students. This is because there can’t be real improvement in quality of education if students do not have concept clearance and examinations are conducted on the exiting pattern that encourages rote learning. The proposal of the Prime Minister that a national testing service should be developed after evolving consensus with the provinces in order to assess the performance of different examination boards also has the potential to help realise this objective. Private sector is also contributing a lot in promotion of education but with some exceptions the quality of education imparted by majority of them is deplorable. There should be proper and effective regulation of the private sector schools besides provision of facilities and incentives for institutions that have a commitment to the cause of the profession. Solid foundation for skill development is possible if focus is shifted on high-quality science, mathematics and technology education and hopefully the Centre and the provinces would move towards this end without wasting further time.