Education

Commitment of top winners on education

After 61 years of independence today in 2007, Pakistan lacks in an equitable education system. Educational indicators remain alarming, which include low public spending, low literacy and enrollment levels, high dropout levels, unequal opportunities, poor infrastructure and lack of trainings for professional development of people engaged in education sector. According to ’UNDP: Millennium development goals Pakistan” report Pakistan is not on the right track to achieve it in all levels by 2015, this situation explicitly reflects the state of education in the country. Which may be rooted in the unsuited policies or not having actual implementation.

Education is a basic human right, in Pakistan free elementary education is the state’s responsibility (according to article 2-ab of constitution) but unfortunately, it has never been a top national priority. Thus, it did not get serious attention and adequate resources. Today there are 27 million children in the primary school age bracket (five to nine), of whom 13 million are not enrolled. Approximately 50 per cent of enrolled children drop out before completing primary education. A recent report reveals that in Pakistan there is 36.3 percent literacy rate, 51 percent net primary enrollment ratio and 50.3 percent adult literacy.

So far nine educational policies have been announced by governments, Though the major portions of the policies remained the same, however implementation of the policies varied in nature and spirit depending on the priority of each successive government Political parties form a link between the state and society; they are involved in determining the particular shape of the social institutions unfortunately it is has been observed that even parties protest against the dictator ship but they them selves practice same thing such contradictions hinder the flourishing of normal democratic culture. Even call for APCs, signing of charters, passing declarations, and forming alliances and pledges to be one voice are echoed in the politics but parties give a very little consultation towards the better formulation of policies. All parties, however agree entirely that the answer to Pakistan’s problems is in the stability of parliament and democracy, but yet no any party has become mature enough to practice inter party democracy, no only the leadership, but whole party body is selected, the electoral candidates also receive tickets on non democratic basis there fore they are stronger enough to rely and oblige their parties and they change parties on the basis of their personal interests.

On education, mostly parties have agendas on similar themes like Resources allocation quality education, literacy, teachers and teachers’ training, employment consideration, skill development, Vocational education, Private sector, institutional development, higher education, management ,decentralization, community participation, science and technology education, examination, adult education, Scholarships, financial help of students, teachers and teacher training etc but the important thing is that what the parties has focused under these themes and further more what solution they have conceived and with what clarity and commitment. Different parties has placed different issues at the core of their policy and has emphasis with different degree on different themes mentioned above, but mostly it is found parties’ agendas are vague and theoretical with little or no details of funding and operational plans in most cases. In other words, parties promise result in their manifestoes but they rarely recognize the policy line to answer the “how” questions immediately raising after these promises

No party has made any specific commitments for improving governance and promoting accountability in the education system parties talk about quality of existing colleges, increasing the number of higher educational institutions, merit and the autonomy of Higher Education Commission (HEC) but make no clear and time-bound commitments.

The Manifesto of the PML (Nawaz) assures the quality of education at its top most priority and party recognizes the role of Teachers’ important in provision of quality education. PML plans to improve quality by interconnecting all universities. PMLN also mentions to providing 10 computers to each government high school and transforming 2000 government high schools in smart schools and to implement crash teacher training programmes and reforming training infrastructure to provide high quality education in each school. Party also discuss in its manifesto to introduce inspection system to evaluate performance of teachers and institutions that will add to the quality of education. Students-teachers ratio is also stated to be rationalized for which recruitment of teachers through district based competitive examinations will take place.

MQM Promises quality education on equality basis for which it has a policy to abolish present dual system of education and to standardize the education system as in private, grammar schools MQM rationalizes it with its experience of some municipal schools in Karachi established by MQM at an equal footing with top class. MQM manifesto do not describe their indicators of quality other than those inspired by “grammar schools” and Party wants Special measures to support scientific research

PPP, however, shows it self committed with the quality of education for which it promises inputs of teacher training, curriculum review, provision of computers and textbooks at school level and introduce new techniques of testing and evaluation—but all these lofty ideas has not any plan of operation or a clear vision or policy line on these issues in its manifesto. There are also some serious contradictions found in the manifestoes of the parties for example PML N and MQM are very against the multi-class based education system, but at the same time they show very tender policy towards private institutions PML N manifesto, manifests that “Party has the policy to standardize and adopt National curricula at all levels to eliminate multi-class system based education in the country” but in the same manifesto it is also written that Party has the policy to standardize and adopt National curricula at all levels to eliminate multi-class system based education in the country

Relatively, the manifestoes of PPP and PML-N are is more in line with the current needs it shows it self committed with the quality of education for which it promises inputs of teacher training, curriculum review, provision of computers and textbooks at school level and introduce new techniques of testing and evaluation. In the past, political parties have made significant departures from the promises made in the manifestos; now it is up to those parties which are the part of government that how they respond to their own articulations….

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Mujahid Hussain Shah

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  • governments in our country has never placed education at their priority list. if we compare the budget heads eduation and defence we feel shame to find that its comparision is 2:80. in such a situation what we can expect of our eudcation system!

  • but in my views the education in our country has been ignored in military periods but the democtatic governments has supported edcuation but this is an other thing that mostly miltry has ruled the country and political governments has been dismissed.the PPP increased the education budget by many billions in its last two recent tenures of power, a testimony to the top priority it gives to education. The PPP commits to its sons and daughters of Pakistan an education system that enables a brighter future than that of their parents so that they can hold their heads high in the comity of Nations.The Peoples Party built 48,000 schools in its two tenures between 1988 to 1996; it recruited and trained 100,000 teachers in three years alone, thereby doubling literacy.

  • in this articel my friend Mujahid has talked about the manifesto that philosophically means a ” message to voters” but, It is a general observation that the majority of the literate population doesn’t check manifestoes for their voting choice. Other than the lack of awareness, the strong cause of this behavior, among other reasons may be its publicity. parties are seen to be less interested in their manifestoes or its publicizing — this fact can be conformed from last election 2002 campaign in which Election manifestos were issued very late- just 10 days before the polling day . political parties promise more and more benefits and privileges to influential person whom they want to nominate on their seat in a way like competing to purchase a got, and these persons frequently change parties like a new car. Generally, it requires a level of political will and commitment that prioritizes education and makes the actual implementation possible that has been lacking in the history of 61 years unfortunately

  • Pakistan peoples party has been taking various steps in this tenure and in past to ensure the quality of education in paksitan. PPP increased the education budget by many billions in its last two recent tenures of power, a testimony to the top priority it gives to education. The PPP commits to its sons and daughters of Pakistan an education system that enables a brighter future than that of their parents so that they can hold their heads high in the comity of Nations. Quaid-e-Awam introduced free and compulsory primary education, promoted Centres of Excellence, created Institutes of Science and Technology and took Pakistan to the cutting edge of Nuclear Physics, establishing centres of Nuclear Medicine. He set up a chain of new Universities, Medical and Engineering Colleges in the neglected areas as a harbinger to a Muslim Renaissance. The PPP will focus on providing computers progressively for every Secondary School and College in Pakistan. The Party will install at least one computer in each School so that the new generation can enter the digital age. To universalize basic education, every child in government primary schools will be provided a stipend. Universal enrolment by 2015 of all children between the ages of 5 to 10 is the target of the Party. The Pakistan Peoples Party believes in providing quality higher education in all regions of Pakistan through both Public and Private Sector Colleges, Universities and Institutes. The quality of existing Colleges and Universities will be improved and the number of Public Universities and Colleges, particularly in Science and Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture will be increased. Funding will be regulated and monitored through Quality Assurance Boards of the Higher Education Commission. Funding to Private Sector Universities will be enhanced through a competitive programme.
    Our great martyred leader, the Quaid e Awam, believed that education was the key to empowerment of the people. He introduced free and compulsory primary education, promoted centres of excellence, created Institutes of Science and Technology and took Pakistan to the cutting edge of nuclear physics establishing centres of nuclear medicine. He set up a chain of new Universities, Medical and Engineering colleges in the neglected areas as a harbinger to a Muslim renaissance