Lacking research culture in Pakistan
IT is a phenomenon that the socio-economic progress of any nation can be achieved through innovative applications and the commercialization of research.
The Allah Almighty has bestowed enormous talents on the Pakistani youth. However, our youth are directionless.
They seek assistance at every stage, which is terrible for their health. Students at the university level are not yet mentored and counselled properly to learn new skills.
Research culture in Pakistan is lacking for many reasons. The most significant barrier in research is the English language.
Our Youth-bulge is wasting time in extra curricula. Most of them are intoxicated by social media like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Youtube, etc.
Some of them are fond of sports and fewer are taking a research interest, but without counselling, neither they grow nor achieve what they want.
Pakistan is endowed with enormous natural resources and advanced capabilities in the public and private sectors; still, association with strong research bodies and funding institutes is lacking to grow in the research discipline.
The governmental institutions have never emphasized comprehensively improving the standards of research culture in Pakistan.
Research starts at graduation or post-graduation level; nevertheless, our students face difficulty in research work at this stage.
It is said that the youth is crazy about what they desire, but unfortunately, our youths’ desire is to gain more things using shortcuts.
Nobody is interested in quality research; only for the sake of degree programs do they look for a shortcut to attain their degree.
Our MPhil and PhD scholars produce nothing except their thesis on locked shelves. In Pakistan majority of students do not know the critical thing and analysis.
Albeit, students are reading at a higher level of education, in return, they produce nothing. Students at the graduation level should develop their own opinions and argument-based research.
The education standard of Pakistan is way behind the international norm; stakeholders at the higher education level do their best to devise a mechanism to empower the youth; however, education mafias and institutions are a significant hurdle to implementing such mechanism.
The old age researchers never let the youth to be entrusted with the latest technology because it is a big threat to their livelihood.
The research centres in the private and public sectors are Ill-equipped. As a result, they produce low-quality research.
Lack of funding for quality research is yet another bottleneck, especially for PhD research programmes.
Those who have researched are not implementing it fully. Our research institutions and universities produce research, but those are limited to libraries on locked shelves.
Even our project stakeholders have never asked for background research produced at the university level.
Higher Education Commission created a research repository at the PhD level in the last few years, but the progress is still slow.
HEC should bind these universities to upload their theses on a priority basis. Most students at BS and Master levels do not accept research projects, and they opt for extra courses; how can we improve this sort of culture?
Their teachers avoid those who take a research interest not to opt. Research is not rocket science; it is a technique to be learned.
Both teachers and students are responsible for low research culture. Many students are dishearted by their teachers to do research is a difficult task.
A few suggestions are mentioned to improve research culture in Pakistan: Improvement in education quality in deteriorating research culture in Pakistan.
The majority of Mphil and PhD Scholars teach in different organizations; they should direct their students to quality research.
Counselling and mentoring students are the need of the hour to make them notable researchers.
It is said that excellence comes with motivation. Critical thinking in Pakistan has no room in the educational space, so new ideas are not encouraged.
Experimental labs and libraries should be improved. Reputed journals could be launched at each research centre to empower our youths with modern research.
Research training institutes should be set up in the country. These are dire needs for achieving research excellence in Pakistan.
—The writer is Deputy Director Library Services at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.