Campus security Issues

Jamshoro is considered to be the spot of three prominent universities (MUET, LUMHS, UOS) however the sense of security is still ambiguous.

More than 50 thousand students are enrolled and huge staff is working in these three universities but no any specific proactive measures of security are provided to campuses. Various criminal activities are happening and countless security threats are being put on authorities. Recent suicide case of Lumhs student is still an enigma, bombs found on MUET’s gate, suicide case of Naila Rind and many other incidents remained unsolved. No any proper checkup can be observed at campuses, allocated security figures are unable to perform their duties properly. Students and staff are highly under the threat of criminal deeds.

A female student as a victim of harassment by mate students and teachers concludes the sense of inadequate security regarding female matters. Moreover the coming and going of strange people is frequent in campuses, everyone is free to enter and exit that is undetermined.

The bright future of Pakistan is under drastic threat of criminal and villainous play, And campuses need a shadow of stringent protection against such culprits whose motive is to destruct education.

MUNEET KUMAR

Hyderabad

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Underpasses can be made but not schools

The only reason Balochistan always has the highest ratio of out-of-school children is because Balochistan’s government has always been neglecting the decades-long education crisis.

Balochistan is generally defined as the province which is resourceful but remains the most underdeveloped in the country. Despite realising this, there is a whopping illiteracy rate which has not only devastated the province but also our youth. According to statistics, 5.02 million out-of-school girls and boys between the ages of five and 16 remain to be enrolled in schools and Pakistan has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world after Nigeria.

Pakistan Education Statistic 2015-2016 launched by the National Education Management Information System – a subsidiary of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training revealed that Pakistan’s largest province – Balochistan – has the highest proportion of out-of-school children followed by the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The only reason Balochistan always has the highest ratio of out-of-school children is because Balochistan’s government has always been neglecting the decades-long education crisis in the province and has never been sincere in efforts to increase enrolment of out of school children. The figure of 1.8 million out-of-school children, as social workers say, is projected to increase in the next year.

It must be noted that Balochistan has around 13,000 government-run schools, 2,500 of which are for girls and the other 10,500 for boys respectively. On the contrary, Balochistan is home to more than 10 million people.

Most of these schools lack infrastructure such as boundary walls, electricity, toilets and most importantly clean drinking water which raises the question: What is Balochistan government doing to provide quality education to its youth?

Even the number of qualified teachers is far too low. One can often see one teacher attending a class of far too many students under trees, since there is lack of classrooms.

According to the recent estimation of International Labour Organisation, 10 million children are estimated to be child labourers and according to estimates, 38.4 percent of the youth are estimated to be illiterate in Pakistan. On top of that, illiterate youth and illiterate children, both are obstructions to progress and peace in Balochistan.

Spontaneously, the Balochistan government started the National Testing Service which aims to give academic opportunities to students based on merit. Unfortunately, the programme could not be properly executed because of a lack of teachers.

The Balochistan government has claimed that it is giving priority to the education sector of Balochistan. It has also allocated Rs 50 million for teachers’ salaries, however teachers remain absent from Balochistan’s schools. It seems as if these teachers only exist on paper.

Last year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was made responsible for investigating embezzlement in the Balochistan educational system. NAB took action against 400 teachers who had used fake certifications to get jobs in schools, but this will not fix Balochistan’s education problems.

It must be noted that Balochistan has around 13,000 government-run schools, 2,500 of which are for girls and the other 10,500 for boys. Most of these schools lack infrastructure such as boundary walls, electricity, toilets and most importantly clean drinking water which raises the question: What is Balochistan government doing to provide quality education?

To my recent visit in my own native village, I surprisingly found the boys and girls high school in shabby conditions. On my query, one of the students told me that they were not interested in studies because they would easily solve the paper through cheating.

While the other said, “Of what use is education to us?”

Karim, the son of a farmer in the village has a very vigorous desire to get education but unfortunately he is among that large number of Baloch who are out of schools.

One of the farmers in the village said that he had a son named Amin who had clinched the first position in Grade 1 but has never gone to school and has been addicted to drugs and snatches mobile phones, money of many people and his crimes are common in the village due to illiteracy.

A girl, Isra, after passing Grade 5, has been forced to quit school because there’s only one primary school in her village and she has to go to Tump for her higher education but her parents are very poor and both of them work and thus, she gets no one to drop and pick her from the nearby government secondary school.

There are more than hundreds of thousands of Baloch who want to pursue education but to no avail.

Despite the Article 25-A quotes, “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children aged five to 16 years,” the state fails to provide education to its youth. The law is quite adequate but has been neglected and thus child labour is piling up rather than coming to an end. Above all, Balochistan government does not only need to provide free education but also free uniforms so that the poorest citizens can also receive at least a basic education. On account of unaffordable uniforms, many children have been expelled from school, resulting in mind boggling illiteracy.

Balochistan is facing a number of problems and consequences such as target killings, kidnappings, street crimes, robberies, begging, suicides amongst the youth and many more, most of which are being committed by illiterate youth and illiterate children. Illiterate people, who have scarcity of knowledge, are likely to fall prey to crimes and other anti-social activities.

It may not come as surprise to most of us that terrorism, which has made life in Pakistan a living hell, is piling up owing to the exploitation of illiterate people by terrorists who use them as their ‘foot soldiers’ by manipulating religion.

We always catch news of illiterate people or youth meeting with terrorists. They join hands with the terrorists after being brainwashed on the basis of religion. Afterwards, they try to kill innocent people via suicide explosions.

Howbeit, the federal and provincial government spend millions and even trillions to buy F-16 and build underpasses, motorways and corridors but the percentage of education in Balochistan is 5 percent.

If we have a strong desire to help the poor citizens of this country occupy a good position in society, we ought to divert full focus on free education, root and branch, which not only helps poor people but also results in rooting out most of the crime-related problems of our country so that our next generations see a greater tomorrow.

Zeeshan Nasir

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Drugs Abuse in educational institutions

The use of various kinds of drugs by the male and the female students in our educational institutions must be a cause of great concern for our society generally, and for their parents specially. In the recent past, various TV channels of the country have also reported that our youth is getting addicted to various harmful drugs in the educational institutions of the country. The shocking thing that has been reported by all these TV channels is that these young students easily get these drugs from their educational institutes.
In this regard, some vital questions are: who is providing these drugs to young students in these educational institutions? Are the authorities in these educational institutes completely unaware and ignorant of such activities taking place in their institutions? If the authorities concerned know all this has been happening, then what are they doing to curb the situation?
The governments of the respective provinces should be serious on this very important and sensitive issue and the government functionaries such as Ministers and Secretaries of the Education & Universities departments should issue warning letters to the concerned authorities within the educational institutions ( schools , colleges and universities) for strictly watching the activities of their students over there.
Besides this, stringent punishments may be given to those officers of the educational institutions who are found to be involved in providing drugs to the young students in collusion with drug dealers. If the respective provincial governments and their departments failed to take timely action, it may further ruin our youth, which, by any means, would be dangerous for the healthy growth of our society.

ABDUL SAMAD SAMO
Karachi

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Education system

In our Balochistan, the illiteracy rates going to high because of no proper schooling for the children. Most of the schools are without or lesser teachers and most of the schools have not building. Children are deprived of their basic needs.
Government should concentrate on existent education system which is the curse and most of teacher and staff are not being paid regularly. Why Balochistan is so neglected?

ZAINAB BATOOL

Karachi

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Knowledge economy

Pakistan’s overall economic outlook undergoes various loopholes. Its GDP growth rate is around 5.8 per cent. Its per capita income is $1,600 and about 40pc of the country’s population lives below the poverty line. In this backdrop, fostering knowledge economy is extremely important. Knowledge economy means to value knowledge, ideas and promote innovations, talent and technology and also respect prosperity and diversity.

Despite the fact that education is the backbone of a knowledge-based economy, the state of education though portrays depressing look. Literacy rate is nearly 58pc.About 22 million children are out of school. It’s rare to find quality education in the country. From primary to university level education system is outdated and outlying to compete with global learning teaching standard outcomes. Teaching staff is not fully trained on pedagogy methods. Thesis and research papers produced by universities are of low quality. The education system instead of producing intellectual human capital is creating a mob of illiterates and fundamentalists.

At the time of its creation, Pakistan had only one public institute that is Punjab University, but these days there are about 114 public and 78 private universities and colleges, some of which are recognised by the HEC. It is a matter of fact that institutions of higher learning contribute to prosperity and progress, which further leads to knowledge-based economy. There are not any hotbeds where intellectual arguments need to be refined into concrete realities. An educationist says, “Pakistan does not have even a single public sector university in the country that has an appropriate fully functional ‘Learning Management System’ and ‘University Governance’ aligning with global needs.”

This is the age of information technology, which is incredibly a worthy source of knowledge economy. It consumes and produces on the basis of intellectual capital, where technology and rapid information access play a key role in economic development and growth taking superiority over traditional drivers of growth; for example, low skilled labour and humancapital.

The global economy has got various transitions from agricultural economy to industrial economy to post-industrial economy and now to knowledge economy. The latest age has been marked by the upheavals in technological innovations and the globally competitive need for innovation with new products and process that develop from research community. Six modern technologies are considered highly important such as computers, micro-electronics, human-made materials, telecommunications, biotechnology and robotics. These technologies will make paradigm shift in businesses throughout world.

Pakistan is a youthful country. It consists of about 64% of young people below 30. Now the government is advised to build a knowledge-based economy through fostering new information technological universities. Universities and technical institutes need to be connected with hi-tech industries. Knowledge and innovation should be encouraged and rewarded. The government should increase the education budget up to 4pc of GDP and also increase the research and development budget. To build a pool of intellectuals and human capital need to have significant public policies. Brain drain should also be stopped. Pakistan also needs to thrive in socio-political and socio-economic institutions. It is time Pakistan needed an intellectual revolution than anything else to boost the economy and to compete with the changing global economic trends.

Knowledge economy will make Pakistan lead globally and to become 10th economic power in the world in coming three decades. Therefore, knowledge is our intellectual heritage; it needs to be utilised for nation-building.

By Murtaza Talpur
(The writer is a socioeconomic development professional with eight years’ experience in development and humanitarian sector).

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Education in Sindh

The dismal condition of Sindh’s educational institutions highlights the fact that the provincial government is not allotting sufficient funds to the province’s education. The culture of cheating is rampant in schools and colleges and despite the authorities effort to curb cheating, wrongdoers come up with ways to cheat in an exam.

The PPP has been ruling Sindh for more than a decade now. The party should work more towards the betterment of the education sector. It is true that without education, a country cannot walk on the path to progress. Sindh will continue to lag behind in all fields unless the government takes immediate steps to revive the education sector.

Shafique Hussain Wassan

Khairpur Mirs

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Teaching techniques

Our country’s education system focus on a student’s learning and writing skills. There is, however, no focus on improving students’ speaking and listening skills.
As a result, students lack creativity and have poor communication skills. The new government should look into this matter and introduce new educational programmes that focus on improving conversational skills.

Mohsina Rehman ( Kohat )

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Educational imparity

Educational opportunities available in Pakistan are very diverse in nature. There are deep divisions based on regional imparity, gender, income and wealth of parents, curriculum and syllabi, mode of instruction in schools, rural-urban location, ideological dividends, type of schools and access to shadow education (extra coaching), among many others. Hence the society remains divided.

These differences should be of grave importance to policy makers of Pakistan. When there are reflections of existing disparities and divisions in the country, the schooling system will cause the disparities to increase manifold over next few years if they remained unchecked and unchallenged. When there is inequality in society, the structure of society is disorganised and give rise to anti-social activities.

Government needs to address these issues before they reach an irredeemable threshold. Progress can be achieved if equal window of opportunity is given to a common man. Policies like uniform education or bare minimum standard of education for all needs to be implemented.

ASAD HUSSAIN

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Girls lead the way

Girls almost outshined boys in Secondary School Certificate Examination 2017 held by Multan Board as they took away first and third overall top positions besides sharing second position with a boy, disclosed the result notification.
Wajeeha Younis of a private school (roll number 172424) stood overall first with 1091 marks. The overall second position was jointly held by a boy and a girl. Kashaful Eman (roll number 162363), also student of another private school, clinched overall second position with 1089 marks. Similarly, Muhamad Fahad Hussein (roll number 179806) of a private school also secured 1089 marks and was declared second. Fatima Munir (roll number 161935) clinched third position with 1088 marks.
The controller of examination, Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Multan, Prof. Syed Haider Abbas Gardezi declared the result here at BISE Hall on Tuesday. Punjab Minister for Zakat and Ushar Nagma Mushtaq Laang chaired the result ceremony and distributed prizes among the position holders.
The Controller disclosed that a total of 100796 candidates appeared in the examination out of which 82338 got through, showing 81.68 pc success ratio.
In Science Group, as many as 81960 candidates appeared, including 49102 male and 32858 female ones, and 69252 were declared successful. The pass percentage in this group stood at 84.49 per cent.
Similarly, 18836 candidates appeared in humanities including 6455 male and 12381 female. As many as 13086 candidates got through with 69.47pc result.
SCIENCE GROUP BOYS
The overall second position holder Muhamad Fahad Hussein (roll number 179806) stood topper in this group with 1089 marks. Similarly, Ali Khalil (roll number 179723) got second position with 1085 marks. The third position in this group was jointly held three students; Saad Amjad (roll number 166505), Muhammad Uzair (roll no 153144) and Muhammad Ansab (roll number 179052). Each of them secured 1084 marks.
2 GIRLS SHARE POSITION
The Faisalabad, BISE announced results of Matric annual examination 2017 with over all passing percentage of 77.94 percent.
According to the BISE, a total of 150955 candidates appeared in the exam, of whom 117649 were declared successful. The result was declared at a ceremony the BISE office.
On the occasion, MNA Dr Nisar Jatt was the chief guest while other parliamentarians including Faqir Hussain Dogar, Haji Ilyas Ansari, Mian Muhammad Rafiq, Dr Najma Afzal, Begum Surriya Naseem and Fatima Fareha, BISE Chairman Mahar Ghulam Muhammad Jaggar, Secretary Khurram Shehzad Qureshi, Controller Dr Zafar Iqbal Tahir, CEO District Education Authority Muzaffar Javed Iqbal Chishti, Vice Chairmen District Council Rana Zulfiqar, Khalid Parvez Virk, positions holder students and their parents, heads of govt and private educational institutions were also present in the ceremony.
According to the result, two girl students – Maiyza Younis of Laboratory Girls High School Agriculture University and Maryam Zohra of Chenab Girls College Jhang bagged first positions with 1090 out of total 1,100 marks each.
The second position was secured by Riqza Saeed of Chenab Girls College Jhang with 1087 marks while third position was collectively bagged by three students – Maryam Ashraf of City Girls High School People’s Colony, Zohaib Ahmad Qureshi and Saad Amjad of Divisional Public School with 1085 marks.

FAISAL
MULTAN

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Why can’t Pakistan fix education?

Every Pakistani now believes that education is central to economic and social development. And policymakers proclaim it as a top priority. Resource allocation may have been increased but it is not optimal yet. Advocacy groups and media have enhanced awareness about the importance of the improvement in education. However, educational quality and outcome, especially in public sector schools, have not improved proportionate to resource transfer and enhanced awareness.

An industry of technocrats, advocacy experts, researchers, philanthropists, data analysts and consultants of the public sector schooling system has emerged in Pakistan. Many of them have neither attended, nor are sending their children to public sector schools. So, they are unable to diagnose the fundamental flaws in public schooling and the overall education system.

Until the early 90s, there were fewer elite schools and the rest of the children from middle-class and marginalised segments would study at the same place. The quality of education was certainly not satisfactory but the children had the opportunity for mixed interactions among their peers coming from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, as many of the local influential families would send their children to public schools, they exercised some surveillance and put forward a strong demand for better quality of education.
However, due to the mushroom growth of private schools, only children of marginalised segments of society are now left in public schools. Despite the so-called experimental research, deployment of monitoring systems and the introduction of smart technologies, the quality of education in public schools has deteriorated. Academic papers and fancy reports on public schooling interventions make routine appearances but we do not see results on the ground. Families that send their children to public schools are not able to exert local influence and are powerless to demand better quality of education. Furthermore, most of the private schools that are attended by the children from the lower middle-class and marginalised segments are imparting low quality education due to the poor quality of teachers.

The fragmented education system has negative implications for upward mobility and social cohesion. There is hardly any research or dialogue on the need to reconcile this widening gap in the education system. A class-based education system can’t be a harbinger of social and economic inclusion. This has indeed led to social conflicts and tearing apart mixed interactions in the country. It is now near impossible for students of public schools to compete with those coming from elite schools and family backgrounds.

The English language continues to reinforce inequalities in educational achievements. Students from elite families enjoy studying in relatively better English-medium schools and they do gain its reward in national and international academic pursuits. But English often acts as a barrier to education and decent careers for a majority of the population.

No policymaker, politician, education consultant, bureaucrat or even a teacher of public school sends his/her children to public schools. This alienation and vote of no-confidence towards the public education system can’t be compensated with digital surveillance or increments in financial resources. Because when the powerful elite doesn’t have a stake in improving any public service that service remains marginalised as compared to the one where they have deep interests in.

There are a number of reasons leading to this gap. Firstly, teaching in a public school is not a profession of choice, especially amongst the male population. Many of the teachers are those who could not get a job somewhere else. Secondly, bureaucrats and clerks of education departments humiliate public school teachers — not to mention, the politicisation of transfers and postings. Thirdly, the public schooling system still focuses on testing photogenic memory of the kids in this age of high demand for teamwork, creativity, love for knowledge and problem solving abilities.

Fourthly, lack of affordable and safe public transport continues to deter enrollment of girls in high schools as they often travel far from villages and sprawling settlements of cities. We can see advocacy and concerns on girls’ education nationally and internationally but little improvement in transport system for them. Due to investment in a bus fleet, for example, the University of Gujrat has attracted a high number of girls from rural areas in Gujranwala. Fifthly, public and school libraries have disappeared. Elite kids still enjoy these facilities in clubs but middle-class and poor segments are deprived. Sixthly, vocational education in schools is limited and irrelevant. The dropout rate after middle and high school is high, and these students end their education without any skill in hand. There are technical and vocational colleges but the mainstream education system does not focus on employable skill development. Seventhly, resource constraints and lack of awareness about behavioural issues have a severe negative impact on student’s performance.

There is a need to challenge the fragmentation of the education system, instead of merely replicating the arguments related to enhancing allocations and monitoring with huge state machinery and smart technologies. Without addressing the fundamental flaws in the education system, the efforts will not improve efficiency of a system that is leading to chaos and inequality. A real change will only occur when NGOs for advocacy and research in education start raising finances from domestic sources instead of international aid.
By Naveed Akhtar

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