Forsooth, the government seems to be quite successful in inducing the passion for knowledge in the uneducated-rural community, but the question is: are they provided with equal opportunities for acquiring education, just like the well-off people living in big cities? Are they provided with facilities and ambience, which children of rich parents enjoy? Are they taught from books of ‘international standards’, which are used by the children in private urban schools? Will they be able to compete with students who are being groomed in private schools of international standard? Obviously, a “Big No”, is the answer!
This kind of educational inequality among the children of the rich and poor is producing a two types of generation. The one that comes from prosperous families will enjoy every beautiful and comfortable aspect of life. On the other hand, the second will fall a prey to an “inferiority complex” as they are governed by the first category. This drastic situation can ruin the panorama of development and advancement dreamt by our glorious leaders, almost sixty years ago.
If we further observe our educational system, we come to know that there are three basic categories of people in our society. The first one is the O/A levels community. They are the ‘Apple of the eyes’ of the wealthy and big guns of our society. They can afford the hefty fees of institutions based upon the foreign educational structure. That is why, now in our country these institutions are flourishing rapidly. They are becoming a status symbol. As far as the second category is concerned, they are the middle class community whose parents have to suffer a lot to bear the expenses of their child’s education.
The third category includes the poor, who are living on the mercy of the government. They have hardly any concern for their future as they are too busy looking for daily bread and butter. Even though the government is providing free books and granting a stipend of Rs 200 per month to the students coming from this section of the society, it isn’t just enough. It can’t reduce the ‘inferiority complex’ among them. The fact is that if their inferiority complex is not reduced, the aspirations of being a doctor, an engineer or teacher can never be induced among them. There will be a hell of a difference among the capabilities of the children classified in the three above-mentioned categories.
They say that money spent in the educational sector is the safest investment, which is bound to fetch rich benefits to the country and nation. Keeping this scenario in view, if we analyse the allocation of budget in the education sector, we come to know that Pakistan is spending only two percent of its financial resources in this safest type of investment.
Different plans are made and policies are adopted to achieve the fruitful targets in the field of education but they are ruined due to unsteadiness and dearth of foreseeing experts. After spending Rs 5.6 billion in the fifth Five-Year Plan, Rs 19.9 billion in the sixth and Rs 23.1 billion in the seventh Five-Year Plan, the literacy rate in Pakistan is dangling at 45% which includes those people too who can only write their name. What a shame!
The best solution to eliminate the unevenness in educational system requires a change, a big change to be precise. It needs the adequate allocation of our limited resources and services of foreseeing experts. Instead of Lahore Board, Agha Khan Board, Karachi Board, Gujranwala Board etc, a single educational board ought to be created for all students. A single précised course should be finalised for the students of the same grade whether they are being educated in a private school or in a government school. We must create a similar policy for every student of our country whether he/she is a son/daughter of a minister or of a labourer. This is the dire need of the hour. Otherwise, if we continue smoothening the education system with uneven policies, we’ll keep betraying our country, our upcoming generations.