Saturday, June 9, 2012

Education in Pakistan? Ha Ha Ha

I am writing against the unfair education system of Pakistan. I am opposing the whole foundation that is forming the future of Pakistan and this world.
Starting from the private education institutions to public schools and colleges, everything is adding to the potential failure of Pakistan as a nation and as a state.

You call it Education? I call it ignorance.

Pakistan is on the verge of self-destruction. I do not blame corruption nor do I blame extremism. I just blame our education system. There are many flaws in Pakistan's education system which are slowly corroding the pillars of this country and eating through the foundation of Pakistan like termites. 

Matric or Cambridge? 
Why is there a dual system in this country in the first place? Have you ever wondered it's consequences? First of all, this system is creating a huge class difference in our society. The rich study in the Cambridge system because they can afford it and because their idiotic children can give as many re-takes as possible while the poor study in the Matriculation system because it is affordable and will land them in an average public college, university or a government job. The rich get into better universities while the poor get an extremely hard time trying to fit into the academic scenario of Pakistan. The rich kids usually land themselves into a good paying job and hence their children also get to study in expensive Cambridge system. While the others who had a not-so-high-quality education have to struggle a lot to get a job that would feed their family; their off-springs are also forced to become a part of the same cycle of public schools and average universities. A class division inevitably forms. The rich get richer. The poor keep on struggling. 

School or business?
Education is the right of every individual and education should not become a business. Alas, in Pakistan it has become a very thriving business. Parents are concerned about their child's future and thus opt for private schools. Just go and check how many students study in a single private school and how high is the fee of every child. The owners of the popular school chains of Pakistan drive Mercedes and BMW while my parents were forced to sell their cars to pay for my education. I am not the only one. I have seen my friends and their parents struggle to keep up with the monetary demands of the schools. After that, do not forget the high Cambridge Exam Registration fee. Every year in the month of January, parents from all over Pakistan have to empty their pockets and register their child for these exams. On the other hand, these parents also have to spend a fortune on books and school supplies. Our public school textbooks are too outdated and our private school books are too expensive. Public schools don't have quality. Private schools only produce stuck-up, character-less individuals with no desire to give back to the society. Why does a school asks it's students to buy new books every year when the school itself could provide those books through it's system of a library? Oh, I forgot, because these school have contracts with publishers. Another money-making technique. Have these businessmen stooped so low as to exploit the citizens of Pakistan even through education? And then we wonder why Pakistan is not moving forward! We blame corruption, we curse our leadership, but we never come out on streets for atrocities of this type.

Tuitions, Tutions, Tutions
In my high school experience, I have always avoided tuitions. Even though I often needed them, I still had to stop myself because of the extra financial burden it would put on my parents' shoulders. However, one can stop and observe how the system of schools and system of tuition centers work together with fluidity. In schools, the teachers pay less attention to every student and as a result the student has to join a tuition centre. A teacher earns money not only from the institution but also from tuitions. Moreover, I have seldom heard about a school which has put a restriction on it's teachers giving tuitions. These same teachers will often blackmail the school staff and even join other institutions of  their demands are not met. Seeing this whole scenario, I detest the profession of a teacher. They are also on the road to exploit every poor soul hungry for knowledge. Knowledge is supposed to be free or at least affordable. If an institution is charging a huge sum of money, then they must also make sure that none of their students should even feel the need for tuitions. Even if some students need help, then the institution should arrange extra classes free of cost--every opportunity should not be used to make more money!

A Personal Experience
My parents have always supported me in my educational endeavors. However, I have always felt guilty for asking too much. They sent me to another city to study and that move proved beneficial. But my family had to struggle every day of every month just so that I could get good education as they didn't want to see me "wasted." I got into Oxford, but could not go due to financial restrictions. At that moment, my school gave me hope and told me they will make sure that I go by finding me sponsors. They advertised me. They sold me on billboards. And they got a huge load of new admissions. But when the time came for actually helping me, they just vanished. They said they cannot do anything and I must forget about Oxford and move on. It felt as if my 17 year old girlfriend dumped me for a 31 year old guy. My hatred for the education system of Pakistan increased ten folds. Next year someone else got into Oxbridge and the cycle continued. These institutions only look good on pamphlets, advertisements and billboards, but one must actually go through the whole system to realize how flawed everything is. A school will advertise about how many students got As in their Cambridge result, but they fail to tell that those As are just one percent of the total student body. These advertisements do not mention the 70% students who either fail or get bad grades and have to give re-takes. 

Moral of the Story?
Now we come to the fun part: we idiots are all to blame. It is our fault that things have gotten out of control because we all succumbed to the deep pit of this system. We acted dumb and we whined but we did not do anything about it. I did my part by writing about and having countless fights with all the institutions that I attended. What part will you play? Will you let these leeches suck out more money or will you actually say NO for once. Education is supposed to be a birth-right of every individual but now people have transformed it into an expensive commodity. And then we wonder why our Pakistan society is declining? Private schools suck your money like thirsty leeches. Teachers and administration exploit our need for knowledge but do not give us the right kind of knowledge. They just give us facts but do not train us for independent thinking. On the other hand, the public school system is just another shame we have to stick with. 

Signing off,
Syed Shehroz Hussain

21 comments:

  1. I am glad someone finally spoke up! Going to the same institution as you, I can really relate to almost all of this! You are right, it is sad that none of us actually stood up against it and decided to just go with whatever is happening.
    I hope this article is publicized and your message is projected out to everyone in Pakistan.

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  2. "These institutions only look good on pamphlets, advertisements and billboards" you speak my mind.

    Education is becoming such a profitable business. Anyone owning a two storey building and a few bucks to invest is all set to start a school of their own.

    This article was so moving.Youve GOT to get it published!

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    1. Thanks a bunch Maham for dropping by and for your feedback. I tried getting it published but for some reason it is not making it into the newspapers :-p

      I still need to write an article against our biased media as well haha.

      Thanks a lot :-)

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  3. I shall make sure it gets published! its worth the cause. sending it to all the people i know in the media as of now.
    having studied from the same institution as you two and having more or less the same story; only with a worse struggle, i would have to agree that they are just money sucking leeches. Forgot to mention the all new Bullet proof Land Cruiser accompanied with an escort of 4 Bodyguards. wtf? -.-
    Shehroz, you totally deserved that Oxford scholarship.
    hats off.

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    1. Thanks a bunch Bhai,
      That means a lot to me. I tried getting it published but for some reason it never made it to the newspapers. That is why I simply put it on my personal blog. But thanks a lot for your help, your effort for the cause means a lot to me.
      I would like to hear about your struggle as well.

      Oh yeah, landcruisers with guards bought from OUR money! haha, capitalism in action that is.

      Thank you Shahzada. thanks a lot.

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  4. An amazing article...so true, I wish more people could see this and actually acknowledge it, the sad part is they do not even acknowledge it. The system is completely off balance and honestly its us, the people, who actually go along with the education system that is faulty.

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    1. I agree with you. I have asked all my friends to share it and spread the word. People should speak for themselves. WE should be the EDUCATION REGULATORY AUTHORITY ourselves. We can hold them responsible if we all speak up.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Share this if you can. Its never to late to realize our faults and amend them. There is always a way to be good again :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for dropping by Ayesha :-)

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  6. Shehroz,I so wanted to write on this since longtime.
    You just spoke my mind.
    An amazing post.
    Well done!

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    1. THANKS A BUNCH SHAHAN. you always appreciate :-)
      Sometimes, please criticize as well :-D

      thanks for dropping by!

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  7. in all honesty, as a recent high school graduate, I dont think this article does justice to the issues mentioned.
    1.There will always be multiple education systems, its for the better because theres competition and it gives parents and students the opportunity to pick and choice the kind of system they prefer.The govt cant even provide basic primary level education, hence we're light years before its the right time to see which system suits best.

    2.you come from an elitist institution,we might be treated like royalty by our schools, but buy western standards, we're far from elite.You getting into Oxford shows your academic prowess, but uni is a transition into the real world, the place where money can tip the scale VERY easily, something we all need to understand.
    3.the problem isn't just the availability of good schools, its the attitude of the parents and society too, i for one know tons of people who choose to get their kids enrolled in public schools even though they can afford to get them into Phillips Academy in the US.Its all about choices.
    4. Tuitions and all that, happens everywhere, the sheer spread of this trend shows a healty attitude in Pakistani students.Lets not point fingers just for the heck of it.
    5.about schools being a business : let me break it to you, when you enroll in a for profit private school, you really need to look up what it means, even the nonprofit elite institutions in this country like Aitchison college dont employ selfless educationists, merely because THERE AREN"T ANY.

    Also, "Education in Pakistan HA HA HA" makes you sound clasist, which im sure youre not.
    plus, you come from a great school, be proud of your "roots"

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    1. Your points don't make sense nor do they add up. It's more like you are arguing for the sake of it because by your writing style and points, it shows you either belong to the administration of these elite schools or you belong to the elite class of Pakistan who has never faced struggle in his life. That's an immature assumption on my part but I don't really care.

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    2. Against Point 1) A lot of countries DO NOT have dual or multiple education systems yet they are thriving and successful. Brazil, Germany and China are examples. India got rid of the dual system as well. Because of the Cambridge system, our own system has been neglected or not given proper attention to improve. If the same heads of these private schools with Cambridge system join together and get involved in designing the curriculum of our own Federal Board, then a lot can be done without waiting for so many "light years" that you talked about. As for parents, NO, THE MULTIPLE SYSTEM IS NOT PROVIDING THEM WITH A CHOICE. A farmer has no choice because he cannot afford the cambridge system for his children. Similarly, a clerk has no choice as well. The majority of Pakistanis who belong to the lower class DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. Basically YOU are being an elitist by thinking that these people have a choice? Bravo, hats off to you dear sir.

      Against point 2) I was not always from an elitist school. Talking about transition to university life or money tipping the scales is not relevant to any of the points I am trying to make in this essay that I wrote. We all understand the need of money because that is what capitalism has incorporated in our minds. And what is capitalism? It's just a system to exploit the masses for the comfort of the elite. We need not argue over that. Education is a right of all and we do not need to capitalize on it. If you think capitalizing on it is justified, then kindly visit the poor areas and see it consequences, maybe that will instill some shame into the hearts of the capitalists. A poor clerk just wants his son educated so that he is equal to all the others of his age. A private Education system only broadens the class division as already mentioned.

      Against point 3) the attitude in parents is created by the situation around them. You cannot compare Pakistani society with that of American society as we have a completely different mindset which is once again instilled by such flaws in our system as mentioned above. Again I am emphasizing that a poor father DOES NOT HAVE AMY CHOICE. People who do have a choice to get their children enrolled in Phillips Academy are in the minority. Kindly keep the poor masses in mind when giving counter-arguments. The poor masses are the majority that make up Pakistan. 7 million kids don't even go to school in Pakistan. Your elitist thinking is evident once again. You must bring yourself to the level of these poor people to actually understand their hardships and hurdles.

      Against Point 4) WOW, you are the first person to consider tuitions as healthy. YOU must be a teacher. I did not witness the tuition trend in USA or Brazil? USA is a superpower while brazil has the fastest growing economy right now. The sheer spread of this trend does not show a healthy attitude but major flaws and failures on part of the administration and teachers of institutions. Why do we have schools in the first place if we have to go to teachers in the evening to study the same shit but in a better way and costing us a lot more money? Kindly ask around and observe, HOW CAN THIS BE HEALTHY? you really need to get out of your cocoon and do your survey before you give counter-arguments.

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    3. Against point 5) the whole point of my essay was to tell you why education should not be a victim of capitalists. Don't you have enough commodities to sell that you have taken up education as your new hot product?? We don't need any selfless educationists but we also don't need EXPLOITATIVE EDUCATIONISTS as well. An Educationist must follow ethics and morals of educating as well which includes NOT USING EDUCATION AS A PRODUCT TO BE SOLD TO THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD IT. Only few can afford it for the prices you are selling for. For profit private schools should NOT exist. It's just like making a FOR PROFIT NGO TO HELP ALLEVIATE POVERTY. Wow. That sounds so cool (sarcasm it is by the way). Education has turned into a business! You may ask whats wrong with that? My answer: READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN.

      As for the title, it just depicts sarcasm and hints that education in Pakistan is becoming a joke now.

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  8. That was really awesome to read such a nice and well written article .
    What you said z very much true.I really want to add that now-a-days these grades and getting marks has just become a business for the people(give money and get marks) and we are suffering because of this , which is pathetic .I myself has been a victim of this poor and so called business and many people suffer from it ,i am sure .
    Hope your voice reach to those who are invovled in such kind of things and they realize it .

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  10. It is really a nice and original topic. There is a lot need in Pakistan but we people do not strive. We do not strive to create a path when there is no way but we wait for some external source of help. We, actually, compromise. When we compromise, we promote anti-Islamic cultures and trends. Where the Pakistan is standing today, it is our own fault. I remember that my English teacher told me that Shahbaz Sharif has asked the University of Cambridge that our students can't afford your books so please keep the prices of a few books low. Our teacher told us that Practice English Grammar by Cambridge was in the market for only 150 rupees. When I went to shops, they said they don't have it. When I asked the reason, they said Cambridge has stopped shipping it to Pakistan after its price decreased.

    In all of this scenario, there is only one way and that is to create our own way. Today, Pakistan has to understand that we are the same nation that once had every science in our house. If we had it yesterday, why not today? Just we need to unite and help each other. Working on this path, we have started an education program for providing the education of private schools to poor children. The link to our blog is http://ankaimillet.wordpress.com/ We feel it a little hard because we are alone and young but if all of the Pakistan just think to start such projects, we can educate our people easily. We just need to understand. If we will not put an end to this thing, we will certainly have our name in destroyed nations.

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  11. And let's not forget about Madrassas. We donot have a dual system in Pakistan, we have three different systems of education. It's even worse that we don't even consider Madrassas a part of our education system. And about choosing between Cambridge and Matric then it's not just about money. My parents could afford Cambridge but I was forced to choose Matric. If someone wants to get enrolled in the medical universities of KPK then it's mandatory to do Matric. So it wasn't a choice between less expensive and more expensive. Either I could have chosen science or leave it altogether. So you see, quality science wasn't really an option given to me.

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  12. I read this post fully concerning the difference of latest and former stuff, it is awesome article.Pre university training

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