Get the Latest News Updates

Education – A way Forward

Numerous international assessment have indicated  that Pakistan is lagging behind many countries in achieving the desired education goals at national level . The adult literacy in Pakistan fails to go beyond the border line of 50 percent. The women literacy is much more belittling as thirty three percent of the adult women cannot even read. The advanced countries have 2,500-3,000 scientists and engineers per million population and they form the backbone of their development process. Pakistan has only about 120 scientists and engineers per million. It needs to develop at least 500,000 high quality scientists and engineers over the next 10 years in carefully selected fields. Over the span of 75 years, the nation has been given  27  policies and action plans but we could not start the march towards success.

In Human development Report, Pakistan is placed at 136th position because of low education ratio. Our education budget allocation stands at 1.5- 2% of the total layout. The teachers in government schools are not well groomed and equipped with knowledge and training. People who do not get job in any other sector, they try their luck in educational system. There is a need to reorganize pre-service and in-service trainings making them matched with the requirements rather to keep them ideal, unique and novel. The salaries are low, the incentives are too less to be accounted and even those are uneven. An estimated Rs. 2,594 million out of a total of Rs. 7,016 million provided for improvement of school facilities such as buildings, electricity, drinkable water, etc go unaccounted. Our priorities can well be assessed from the saga of ghost schools in Sindh and other provinces. The chances of ghost schools should be evaded by involving the community in the processes of inspection and monitoring

Multiplicity of systems are leading to social Imbalance, bifurcating the people into social and economic classes. The students from the elite class follow the “O” and “A” levels curriculum instead of Pakistan’s routine orthodox and stagnant curriculum. Planning for education does not go in congruence with the needs and  by this way the system is getting more spoiled rather than flourishing. Our universities have failed to produce the planners, developers, implementers, and decision makers. Rather the turnover is a mismatch with the ground realities, the half backed persons we are being  produced are of no use to nation. There is a stark disparity in education facilities in Punjab and urban areas of Sindh and KP while situation in very grim in far flung areas of Balochistan, interior Sindh and KP. Only 3% females in FATA are literate. There is a need to develop a corporate culture for scientific institutions so that their output can be utilized. The research and development (R&D) institutions should therefore  set up strong commercial units which can develop effective liaison with industry. These units should be properly funded and managed by suitable senior level marketing personnel with enough capital so that they can invest in areas of importance for commercialization and strong marketing initiatives undertaken by the institutions. Education system is needed to be revamped making a space for the science, IT, management, and pupil with the excellence to go to the higher education pursuing the education of their own choice. Lesser emphasis on technical education means the lesser manpower for industry and hence the lesser finance generation

2 / 2

Pakistan’s share of total exports in hi-tech products is insignificant. We need to acquire competence in several state-of-the-art technologies, including aerodynamics, thermal imaging, precision manufacturing, computational fluid dynamics, industrial design and testing, encryption, etc. These technologies need to be then commercialized through public-private partnership. The national defense organizations are a repository of considerable skills in instrumentation, control and advanced material handling and extending or converting these skills to civil use could broaden our industrial skill base considerably and help us develop hi-tech industries.

The global trends in manufacturing and exports over the last three decades clearly show a sharp rise in high and medium technology goods and a sharp consistent decline in low technology goods and in natural resources. The big money lies in high technology and countries that have realized this have invested massively in knowledge-based economies, leading to the manufacturing and exports of electronics, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, biotech products, computers, software, automobiles, aircraft, defense equipment, alternative energy products and many other such items requiring highly specialized skills and world-class research centers .Our knowledge, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship gap with regional competitors is widening. We are grouped in the technologically marginalized, knowledge and innovation deficient countries in the global rankings. Unless laboratory level research is translated into marketable products, a knowledge economy cannot be promoted. A number of steps must be undertaken to make this happen. Firstly, Pakistan must have a clear science, technology and innovation policy at the national level. The national technology policy should ensure that no development project is approved on a turn-key basis, and genuine transfer of technology must be an integral part of all development projects. Secondly, our country must have a strong intellectual property rights regime that must be vigorously enforced and implemented. Thirdly, there should be liberal access to venture capital funding to support and foster new start-up companies based on innovative ideas. Fourthly, private sector R&D should be promoted through a dynamic incentives process.