Education is the main agenda for every developing nation. Scandinavian countries, which are hailed for their social policies, are among the top ten in the world that spend most on education. And there is a reason for this. It is regarded as a general principle that if a country aims to flourish, it should educate its population first, in order to have a competent and skillful workforce. However, it seems like Pakistan needs to work a little harder when it comes to educating its citizens.
Unfortunately, a recent report from the Wilson Centre showed that more than half of Pakistan’s eight-year-olds are unable to read. After the allocation by the government of a huge portion of our country’s budget towards ‘ghost schools’, our youngsters are incapable of reading. It is obvious that the government certainly has funds to spend, but it doesn’t know where and how to spend them. People say children are the future of a nation, but our country’s future doesn’t even know how to read.
According to the report, despite Pakistan’s budget growing twofold to $7.5 billion in the last six years, a staggering number of 24 million children are still not in school. This number ranks Pakistan second in the world, behind Nigeria. The report added that many parents in the country see little use in putting their children in school.
However, the question here is whether this is solely the government’s fault?
I, for one, would disagree with putting all the blame on the government. For me, parents are equally responsible for this mess. There are still some who have the ability to afford education for their children, yet they choose not to because they don’t foresee any benefit from it. To them, I urge that they should reconsider their decision as they’re the ones who are not only destroying their child’s future, but also the future of Pakistan.
If we are unable to build our nation, then no one can. Yes, the government needs to take firm decisions on how and where funds on education are being spent, but parents also need to open their minds and grow out of its traditional approach towards education.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2016.
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