PTI’s education policy

Published: February 26, 2013
Email

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) education policy comes with a solid background of statistics. It is a good approach to have the medium of teaching as either Urdu or a local language until class eight. As an educationist, I would advise that teaching of English as a subject should start from class three. A child, whose first language skills are properly developed, finds it easy to absorb other languages.

English should be regarded as a tool to help acquire specialised knowledge. From class nine onwards, it should be taught as a foreign language. Sweden achieved the highest level of competence (68.91 per cent) in the EF English Proficiency Index 2012 out of 54 countries by teaching it as a subject (starting from class three) and preserving the local language for instruction.

I suggest that from class nine to the higher secondary level, the medium of instruction, as well as textbooks, should be in the national language (for uniformity) with technical terms in English. Descriptive and explanatory parts are easy to translate and this is what a student finds hard to comprehend.

The PTI’s emphasis on technical and vocational training is commendable. We should follow the example of Germany, which after unification, invested heavily in vocational training and within a very short time, became a leading exporter of machinery. We should link our trade skills programme with industry. It will boost our industrial production, as well as increase employment.

Mohammed Hanif Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (3)

  • mian shakeel ahmad
    Feb 27, 2013 - 12:49AM

    “…textbooks, should be in the national language (for uniformity)”…..is highly contestable. We can not have one language like Urdu for all the country. Why do we forget that Pakistan is a multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual and multicultural country? We have our diversity, we should celebrate that. And we should be tolerant of that diversity. We have many languages which belong to different families/groups of languages. Learning Urdu for Punjabi or Hindko or Siriaki speakers is very easy as compared to Pashto or Baluchi or Shena speakers who find it very difficult to cope withe the grammar and syntax of Urdu. Having Urdu as medium of instruction will put many on unequal footing. Having the local languages as medium of instruction is a good idea but it will need a lot of homework before implementing the idea.
    I myself, am not in favor of teaching kids anything other than languages and mathematics so as to enable them to read and learn from books on their own,
    As for as the production of machinery or goods is concerned, nowadays almost all the economies have more than 70% of their GDP coming from services sector, not from production sector so our education or vocational sector should be more service-centric and creative than production oriented..Recommend

  • John the Baptist
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:16AM

    An education that provides no job is worthless. Well done PTI on tying the need sof education with industrial policy. Seems like all these concepts do not exist in our lexicon anymore!

    Recommend

  • AT Sadiq
    Feb 27, 2013 - 1:42PM

    This is a commendable step to a much needed reforms but in reality a very hypocritical approach. The focus of so called “reforms” should be on the content taught rather than the language it is written in. I do agree that our national language is Urdu but at the same time our official language is English, which is very much used in all courts and in all State departments. This policy will not only deprive our future generation but will also resultantly damage the ongoing system.

    Recommend

More in Letters