Education – a mere business?

What does being a blood relation have to do with borrowing text books? Answer: a new strategy to generate more profit.

Saba Musheer August 05, 2010

Education in Pakistan is no longer a social responsibility and has instead become a business. Agree or disagree? Decide once you have read the latter part of this write up.

My younger sister studies in a renowned private school in Karachi. For the very first time, this school has introduced a ‘study pack’ category in the fee challan. Upon inquiring, I found out that from now on the school will be providing textbooks and copies themselves, instead of asking the students to rely on bookshops. It seemed like the perfect idea until we found out that only ‘real siblings’ can exchange textbooks. My mother told the school administration that we only wanted to buy notebooks because my sister has a nephew who is one year senior to her and she would borrow books from him. The school administration replied: “Sorry, that’s not our policy and we only accept borrowing of books in case of siblings/blood relations.”

Now, what does blood relation have to do with borrowing books? Despite a long argument, my mother wasn’t able to convince the administration, who weren’t willing to cooperate at any cost. Ultimately, my mother had to buy the study pack and now we have two study packs and we don’t know what we’re supposed to do with two of them.

After all this, one comes to the conclusion that the schools, particularly private ones, have become a commercial business, and they keep coming up with new strategies every year to generate more profits. They’d prefer money over standard of education and quality students. If they want to meet international standards then policies like announcing results online or introducing study packs without taking parents into confidence won’t serve the purpose.

It’s high time that these schools realise their responsibility and instead of making money out of everything that comes their way, start focusing on what they are supposed to do – produce good, learned youth.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2010.

Saba Musheer A Karachi based journalist who manages the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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