two types of schools as exceptions and therefore not deserving of detailedtreatment. Although
Education and the State
, a collection of articles edited byPervez Hoodbhoy on the ﬁftieth anniversary of the creation of Pakistan, isexceptional in that it describes
and schools run by non-governmentalorganizations
as well as community-based organizations,
it does not touchupon the elitist English-language medium schools.
This lack of attention is alarming, especially as students of Urdu-languageschools, English-language schools and
have such different opinionsas to live in different worlds. To understand these different institutions and theirgraduates is to understand how dangerously polarized Pakistani society today is,and how this has hampered national cohesion and a sense of commitment touniﬁed policies. This article presents a survey of the three major types of schooleducation—Urdu-medium, English-medium (both private and cadet college), and
with a view to examining how they function and what kind of opinions, or worldview, their students have gained.
The historical part of this article relies upon ofﬁcial Pakistan governmentdocuments on education policy and published sources. Its description of thecondition of educational institutions at present comes from both published worksand unpublished sources, such as school budget statements, interviews of teachers and administrators, and so on. The data on the family income of students and faculty come from a small survey of 230 students and 100 teachersof Urdu-medium schools undertaken in December 2002 and January 2003 (forfull details, see Appendix A). This is followed by the results of a larger surveyof 618 students and 243 teachers carried out from December 2002 to June 2003in Urdu-medium schools, English-medium schools (including private institutionsand cadet colleges), and Sunni
. This second survey seeks to ascertainthe views of students and faculty on controversial issues such as Kashmir, therights of minorities and women, and other sensitive topics (for full details, seeAppendix B).
Educational policies in Pakistan
Beginning with the National Education Conference of 1947, there have been atleast 22 major reports on education issued by the government from time to time.Among the most salient are the
Report of the Commission on National Edu-cation
The New Education Policy
The Education Policy (1972–1980)
National Education Policy
National Education Policy: 1998–2010
Thesereports have been summed up very ably by Kaiser Bengali who tells us that‘setting targets, bemoaning the failure to achieve the same, and setting newtargets with unqualiﬁed optimism has been a continuing game policy makershave played
and at great public expense over the last 50 years’.
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