Limited funds are not the only problem | Act Youth Force
Pakistan, as we might know, doesn’t stand on the best point when it concerns the education system. Politicians argue about the immense importance of education, however, their primary focus is investing enormous sums of money in projects, other than education. It seems as of the primary concern of our state isn’t investing money in the education sector which is deeply disappointing. The education sector needs to be improved with our collective efforts, and money isn’t the only reason behind its poor management.
One of the most significant flaws of Pakistan’s education system is cramming all the subjects courses which is every student’s biggest nightmare. A student doesn’t go to school every day to learn their desired course exactly the way it is written in their course books, rather he or she goes to school so that they’re told how to solve questions and hack their cramming skills. This makes the experience of learning far more bland and cumbersome for a student than it actually is. They can no longer witness the true essence of exploring the subject that their interest lies in. Moreover, when it comes to the questions that are going to be asked on the exam, the answer is simple, cram the key book and the book exercise questions which guarantees 90% easily. This way, the majority students, never bothers to read the actual chapters in the course book to at least get a know-how of what they’re studying, because again, their foremost priority is the marks they score in their finals.
Whatever this education system already entails is poorly managed. Checking one’s exam is a tremendous responsibility that a student places in the hands of an examiner. When starting your matriculation, there is a common saying, which every student must’ve heard once in their life i.e. ‘Impress the examiner’. For a matriculation student, this does not mean to write exceptional content that reflects their knowledge of a subject, rather it means to present a “beautiful” stack of papers: endless paragraphs and perfect hand writings.
The fact that neat hand writing is given this much preference is absurd and pointless in the most obvious way. Think of it this way, doctors are famous for writing the most indecipherable prescriptions globally; all the doctors from Pakistan once did their matriculation and intermediate and probably passed their exams with really high scores- hence they’re now doctors- and they too at that time presented the examiners with artistic pieces of papers, but did all that effort in ‘perfecting their writings’ aid them after they became doctors? The answer is an absolute no.
Another concern of a Pakistani student when ‘impressing the examiner’ is to write long answers, pages after pages, for a question that would only grant them a few marks. This is a practical equivalent of physically considering a student a robot that has to fill pages in scarce time. In this case, students overlook the quality of the content and write whatever comes to their mind because they are also told that the examiners don’t really check their papers, that they don’t read what’s in the answer, and that their only concern is the presentation and the length of your answer. This, coming from a personal experience, is what the teachers also tell the students.
However, the eerie of the Pakistan’s education system doesn’t end here. Since examiners work in inefficiently maintained offices with an unfavorable environment, and the fact that their wage per paper is also low, there is a high tendency that the examiner unfairly marks the papers because poor working conditions lead to an unproductive behavior towards their tasks; and to earn as much as possible, they carelessly check as many papers in the lowest possible time. The consequences are children complaining about doing better in their exam and scoring much lower than they deserve. That’s why our elders are always telling us to pray that the examiner is in a good mood whilst checking our paper.
The occurrence of spelling errors, inaccurate answers, and content in the textbooks of Pakistan Board is a common happening. Till 8th grade, when we studied from Oxford textbooks, it was a rare haw haye moment for us whenever an answer for a question was written wrong on the book. On the other hand, with Pakistan Board’s textbooks, the experience of reading the text printed on dull pages with smudged ink is made more unpleasant, and sometimes amusing because of its absurdity, when there is not only wrong and outdated information, but also common spelling and grammatical errors that a fifth grader could easily recognize. Now what will all the crammers rely on?
This country’s education system is not prospering because there aren’t enough institutions, and education is a luxury rather than a facility. Additionally, those who are privileged enough to get education aren’t getting it in its truest form. Most of the people working in this sector is corrupting it with personal gains, therefore not giving it their dedicated efforts. Whatever is in this educational system is flawed in one way or another, and that is not because there isn’t enough money, it is because the people of this country have still not realized the significance of education even after living in a society where the level of morality is the biggest lesson that should ignite the spirit of education within. Therefore, it is crucial that the citizens should stop solely blaming the government and make collective efforts for its betterment. Moreover, the government should stop using the availability of low funds as their only excuse for the poor performance of the education sector and establish effective laws and regulations that may ensure implementation and long term sustainability of education in Pakistan.
Written by: Khadija Sami | Cover Photo by The New York Times