KARACHI: This is with reference to Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy’s article of February 9 titled “Education: The PTI’s false promises won’t help”.
Dr Hoodbhoy is right: the ASER report is as damning as it is depressing. His analysis as to the sorry state of education insightfully goes beyond the obvious contributing factors of poor governance and corruption. A long-term view is needed to restructure our ‘cultural DNA’ and generate an ‘ideology of progress’ that is practicable. While I don’t have the answers – and clearly the fuzzy blanket ‘vision’ of
the PTI doesn’t either – the starting point could be and should be the list that the writer suggests. This could include stopping the spread of sectarian and religious hatred, stopping seeing other countries as enemies, stopping making up lies about our history, stopping using shoddy locally-written science and math textbooks, stopping the rewarding of parrot-like memorisation and so on.
This list of dos does not need any political party as such to embrace it as an ideology. It is as plain as common sense and can be implemented by everyone in society. Surely, this is something in which civil society can play a role, and also our families.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.