While most Pakistanis consider equal education system a key to the social progress of the common man, educationists think that the idea was a mere political slogan.
They were speaking at a session titled “Is common education system the solution” at the Islamabad Literature Festival on Wednesday.
Former Sindh education minister Hameeda Khuhro said that there was an impression that solutions to Pakistan’s current problems lied in the uniformity of the education system, but nobody could elaborate how it could be achieved and what was the way forward.
Khuhro recalled the pre-colonial era and the education system in the subcontinent, saying madrassa used to be the prime source of education where, besides religious education, logic, mathematics and philosophy were taught.
She pointed out that the problem lied with the existing curriculum, which has not been updated for a long time.
Academic Baela Raza Jamil agreed with Khuro saying ahead of the elections every politician was raising the slogan of equal education system. “How is it possible in a country of 180 million?” she asked.
She said that an attempt could be made to introduce one curriculum for government schools.
Foundation Open Society Institute Program Officer Nargis Sultana pointed out disparities in the education system suggesting promoting books which encourage critical thinking.
Quaid-e-Azam University Professor Dr A Nayyar said that in Pakistan education has always been used to promote ideological struggle. “Steps towards introducing equal education system will not only lead to setbacks from economic point of view but also it will have repercussions on ideological front,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2013.