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PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

Introduction

1 here was a time, when India sub-continent was noted all over the world as a glorious
centre of education and culture where students from all parts of the globe used to pour in
the educational and cultures Nalanda, Tax.la and Prayag attracted students from the
places, as far as Egypt, Greece, China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It was 'an ideal system of
education, which apart from disseminating sweetness and light, infused into the minds of
the pupils a spiritual urge for coming in contact which the kingdom of the Absolute. But
now when we look at the present state of affairs in our country, the change shocks us
deeply and we cry out in the language of Wordsworth.

"Whiter is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream "400 f°r
Prospective Headmasters

It is asserted with great regret by persons of almost every shade of opinion that our
educational system has not undergone any change with the change brought about by
political independence. It bears no imprint of freedom and appears to be as listless and
academic as it used to be during the days of slavery. Our universities still remain
anchored to the pattern that had been introduced a century ago by our British rulers to
serve their administrative needs. The imperfection of that pattern are now keenly felt and
there is a universal cry for introducing a radical change in the educational system - a
change that will touch not merely the methods and curricular but the very objective and
ideology of education, in accordance with the needs of the new social, economical and
political set-up in the country. Passive and Mechanical System

The crowing defect of our existing educational system that requires the immediate * and
earnest consideration of all those who are interested in the welfare of the country, is its
excessively passive and mechanical character. The students play no active role in the
attainment of knowledge. His entire education is passive and mechanical. Things are
loaded or his mind which he cannot digest, which he only crams and therefore they never
become his own. They remain floating on his mental surface a mere matter of idle
inquires; they never sink deep to become entwined in the mental texture, to help to
constitute a distinct intellectual and spiritual personality. Our educational system in the
words of Dr. Annie, is just 'cramming the boy's head with a lot of disjointed facts poured
into the head as into a basket, to be emptied out again in the examination room, and the
empty basket carried out again into the world."

This is the reason why a student who succeeds so well in his college examination fails so
miserably in the examination of life. The best product of our examination system is an
owlish looking, boy, a veritable bookworm who knows nothing of the world beyond the
world books. He is physically poor, intellectually blank and morally insolvent. He has no
proper grasps and assimilation, no views and visions of his own. He is determined to no
acts, has no desire to form convictions, arrives at no conclusions and his will seems to be
suspended, asleep, diseased or dead. He simply covers the window of his mind with the
pages of books and the plaster of book phrases sticks into his mental skin, making it
ineffective to all direct touches of truth. The present system of our education, therefore,
makes of the students dumb-driven cattle rather than enlightened citizens, bookworms
rather than creative thinkers, machines rather than ideal men. Our students, "act ,as
performing animals and animated dolls. Their souls are regimented and their faces are
without feature."
Theoretical Nature of the System

The existing system of our education is predominantly academic and theoretical. It is


theoretical as a rule and practical by chance. As Maulana Azad observed, "There is no
adjustment between the system of our education and the needs of our life. The student is
taught lesson from books but not lessons from life. In other words, he is provided
with^knowledge, but not with wisdom. He is obliged to know the history of Greece of
2,000 years ago, but he knows more about the English Country councils, than about own
municipality of his own town. He is so busy in leaning about "great and distant things
that he has little interest in life's little thing around him, he ,mmits to memory the
character - sketch of Hamlet some other imaginary person described in his book, but he
cannot read the character of his own friend or relative. He can recite the poems of Shelley
or the Gazals of Ghalib, but he does not know in what ways he can server his community
or nation. Want of Moral and Cultural Education

Now, we come to the question of moral and cultural development of our students. What
do our universities do for their character building? Do they strive to make them honest,
upright the truthful? Or, does their function finish only with imparting to them bits of
information? We have to admit sadly that today their function does finish with imparting
them bits of stimulating their imagination and feeding to their emotional life. They do not
inculcate in them a love of virtue and righteousness, a sense of selfrespect and personal
dignity. In the past, a student was taught to be God-fearing, to love and practice the rules
of religion, to obey his parents and respect his teachers. But today the false glamour of
western civilization has led our students astray and they have forgotten the noble ideals
and traditions of their past culture.

Our schools and colleges still run on those antinational lines that were laid down by
Macualay more than a century ago with a view to perpetuating the hold of British rule
and the domination of western culture. Their courses of study and text books do not
breath the air of freedom hardly feel of being the citizens of Pakistan, endowed with a
rich cultural heritage. In the name of secular education our schools and colleges have
become so colourless and un-Pakistani that their students do not feel any sense of
patriotism. The students of today are governed and guided wholly by worldly values.
They have no passion for the worship of the true, the good and the beautiful. They have
no love of learning for its own sake and even no sense of respect for the teacher.

The old pious bond of reverence and gratitude between the teacher and the taught has
been supplemented by unnatural, economic and official relationship. The teacher is
nothing more than a paid servant or the college or the university. The personal spiritual
relationship between the teacher and the taught has disappeared and consequently acts of
in discipline and hooliganism have become deeds of daily occurrence with our student
community. The problem of growing indiscipline among the students is something which
reflects seriously on our educational institutions and which proves that they have been
totally incapable of producing youths of sound moral calibre, character and culture. Want
of Physical Training

Our students are poor not only intellectual but physically too. Their unsound minds live
in unsound bodies. Hordes of pale, spectre-thin youths meet the eyes at the portals of
colleges and universities. This is so because there is hardly any provision in our colleges
and universities for systematic physical training, games and sports and such other extra-
curricular activities. The want of physical training leads the students to lose in other ways
also. They do not learn the dignity of labour. They begin to shun labour of every kind,
physical or intellectual. They become idle, ease loving and extravagant. Jinnah deeply
mourned this neglect of physical work in our system of education. He advised the
educationists of the country to see that Pakistan's system of education is so modified that
the tremendous manpower of the nation is fully exploited for the progress and prosperity
of the people. The handful of Japanese is reported to have said that they can "live by the
tips of their fingers". Therein lies a great lesson for the students of Pakistan. The
Expensiveness of the Prevailing System

Considering the general standard of living in the country, it is definite that our system of
education is highly expensive. Even for the upper middle class people higher education in
our country has become a white elephant. The education of a student at the collegiate
level costs the community approximately one thousand rupees a year. This does not,
however, take into amount the cost of maintenance which is likely to amount to another
six hundred rupees a year. University education is thus drawing heavily upon the
national resources of an impoverished community. A Pastime Luxury

In a way, our education has been a sort of pastime luxury, a form of amusement like many
other modern thing of entertainment such as science has invented for us. Students go to'
schools and colleges more for the sake of amusement than instruction. Our classrooms
have an appearance almost of a cinema hall, well furnished with chairs and electric fans
and the blackboard which can be compared to a screen on the background of which the
teacher stands more or less like an actor trying to please his audience by his saucy
remarks, pleasant stories and a copious display of antics. He is on the stage and has to
play his allotted part very wisely and wittily. Such actors appear before the huge audience
of the students one after another and if any actor fails even a little in this dramatic
performance, the audience get out of control and raises strange catcalls of all kinds to
rectify the part of the actor, just as it happens in a theatre house. They have no love of
wisdom, no thirst of knowledge, but only a desire to get * certificates and diplomas
which may serve them as passport to white collars services. Want of Vocational training

The commonest criticism against our educational system, which is not, however, without
justification, is that it does not fit us for earning our bread. Our colleges and universities
are like factories that produce graduates in quick succession just as machines issues forth
Pins and needles one after another on a mass scale. Every year thousands of graduates are
turned out from these factories that wander into the wide world in their vain efforts to
find employment. In life there is no demand for these university product. The result is
that the more our education expands, the more the ranks of the educated unemployed
swell. In the last few years, there is no doubt; our education has improved greatly but
only quantitatively not qualitatively.

But, as an eminent educationist observes, "What the nation requires is not merely more
education, but also better education, and what will ultimately, count in the progress of the
race is not the quantity alone but also quality of our education as well". At present, our
students hold degrees which are pompous in name but poor in worth. A student holds the
degree of M.A. without knowing even a single art, simple electric switch or repair a
watch or a radio set His degree serves him only for delight and ornament, not for ability.
Much of the misery and frustration among the educated classes in our country man,
therefore, be attributed to this defective aspect of our education. Our schools and colleges
do not impart to their students any technical vocational instruction. There is no provisions
for any training in practical manual labour, industry, mechanism, handcraft, trade or a
profession. And this accounts largely for the problems of poverty and unemployment in a
country like ours, which has vast treasure house of natural resources. Conclusion

In view of the foregoing defects and shortages, our system of education calls for a radical
change. One of the first and most stupendous tasks that face us today is to overhand and
reconstruct our educational machinery that the regeneration of the nation depends. We
have to devise as early possible a comprehensive national scheme of education which
seeks to bring about a complete and harmonious development of all the factors of human
personality. Our ideal pattern of education would be that in which emphasis is shifted
from the development of memory to the enfoldment of personality, from more intellectual
entertainment to sound moral instruction. It would instil in the minds of youth healthy
attitudes of cooperation the dignity of labour, and the values of constructive work it
would stimulate their intellect and imagination for clear views and visions, and make to
them, not mere book worms and job hunters, but intelligent citizens and ideal that the
State Government as well as the managements of private educational institutions should
take early steps to give Pakistani colour to our schools and colleges and make them living
centres of productive activities on the lines of education as required by the nation.