MAKING EDUCATION MEANINGFUL
Our system of education derives its origin to Macaulay who simply wanted to produce bureaucrats and clerks for carrying out day-to-day administrative work. This orientation still persists to a considerable extent in our country in spite of the achievement of independence and democratic society. An important source of sharp duality of life style found in our society is the result of this educational system; as, this system is in tune with the traditional hierarchical structure of the society. The children of the masses are forced to receive sub-standard education, whilst economically privileged children are getting quality education. A critical study of our syllabus will reveal that the education system in our country is one of the major instruments of the maintenance of status quo and culture of domination and exploitation.
The contents of the curriculum of a free nation are a powerful instrument of social, economic and technological transformation. The education at schools should develop in the students the qualities which are of great importance for them to bear worthily the responsibilities of a democratic citizen.
Text books are the main source of political socialization. Reforms in the existing curriculum should be made to meet the needs of free Pakistan. The concepts of democracy, justice, equality, freedom, peace, dignity and rights and responsibilities should be freely discussed in the classroom activities in order to make our students active, well- informed and good citizens. Our curriculum should inculcate in the students the qualities necessary for living graciously, harmoniously and efficiently with one’s fellowmen. It should also cultivate in the students the qualities of discipline, cooperation, social sensitiveness and toleration. Our education should develop in the learners a passion for social justice, based on sensitiveness to social evils and give them courage to speak against exploitation and corruption. The curricular and co- curricular activities should open the windows of the students’ minds, making them receptive to new ideas and encouraging them to challenge the out- moded customs and traditions.
There should be a clearly designed national system of education whose objective should be that, after secondary education, the student should be either prepared for the university or he should become terminal and be prepared for some vocation in life, considering the ability and aptitude of the student.
Besides developing the personality of the students, the education should also satisfy the needs of an ‘Economic Man.’ It should enhance the respect of manual work and eliminate prejudice against it. The professions of Dhobbi (washer man) , Darzi (tailor) , Pavali (weaver) , Mochi (shoe maker)and Naee (barber)which have so far been looked down upon in our society should be taught to be respected.The great need of the hour is to divert our ‘Single Track’ education of the academic type into a ‘Double Track’ or ‘Multi Track’ education to provide diversified vocational courses which should really prepare higher secondary students for life, make our education job-oriented and productive. It is very essential that our education institutions should produce educated and skilled citizens. Various vocational courses introduced in the institutions should be need- based, so that the students passing out from the vocational stream should not feel difficulty in finding employment. The country’s education system should be re-organized in terms of job- orientation, work experience and development of skills and attitudes.
Our education, besides producing literary minds, should also produce in large numbers highly trained and imaginative technical engineers, scientists and planners. The most distinctive feature of a modern society, in contrast with a traditional one, is in its adoption of science -based technology. It is this which has helped countries like China to increase their production so spectacularly. This modernization has changed the very concepts and aims of education. Education is no longer concerned as only the imparting of knowledge or the preparation of a finished product, but it aims at awakening of the students’ curiosity, developing in them capacity to judge, evaluate, think and criticize.
The destiny of a nation is shaped in the four walls of classroom. If we want to accelerate the pace of national development, it is necessary to vitalize, improve and expand education. The quality of education is crucial for national development and the nation must be prepared to pay for the quality.
Education should be our way of life from cradle to grave; then alone can we build a great, worthy and free nation which is democratic, prosperous and spiritually alive. We should be open to learning and the government should give all the opportunities to the voracious learners to learn.
Air Cdre Matloob Bokhari SI (M) Retd
Fazaia Inter College
Jinnah Camp, Rawalpindi