Dr Sami Ulllah
THE economy of Pakistan is considered as the worst performer and highly volatile with negative growth. For the last many decades, the trend of GDP is declining followed by youth unemployment, deterioration in the quality of life, out-of-school children, difficulties in access to health services, low quality of education, trade deficit and political instability. Among all these barriers, the quality of education is one of the leading factor behind psychological pressures, non-professional attitude, social evils and reputation of the institutions. Our national curriculum has also missed the contents of civic education and community services, generally considered as the base-line for socio-economic sustainability through positive and professional attitude. Quality education and innovation in learning is not in the priority of our state because we are spending less than 2.5 percent of GDP for the education sector. Within this limited budget, we are unable to provide training and development activities, professional services, curriculum development initiatives, on the job activities and cognitive development of the children. All these are the basic ingredients for sustainable societies and economies. Such sort of activities in the education sector are helpful in building the attitude of the general masses regarding their objectives, work and national development.
In developed countries, they have professional attitude which contributes in their happiness, output, societal and even cultural development. The leading factor in attitude development is quality education, curriculum design, research based innovations, professional teachers, reward structure and on the job activities. Unluckily, the performance of Pakistan is not satisfactory in all the said domain because we have 25 million out-of-school children, expenses on research and development are in fractions, using outdated curriculum, no training facilities for the teachers, lack of infrastructure for the schools and managerial flaws. Majority of the educational institutions are politicized and their priorities are not the provision of quality education. Even there is no concept of parental guide and parents are also responsible for such backwardness, but they have no idea of the intensity of this issue. Parents are also considered as the first institute for their kids and if we develop guidance for the parents they can further train their kids for sustained communities. Resultantly, we are facing huge discrepancies in the class room learning and the real situation of the society. Our educated people are unable to understand and resolve the societal issues because our curriculum has missed the community outreach aspect. After spending huge amount of resources on education, we can get the degree but it will not help in generating employability and skill development for meeting the market demands. Research evidence is available regarding Pakistan that the skills developed in the graduates is mismatched with the skills demanded by enterprises.
The need of the day is to focus on the professional attitude of the children from early stage by providing them standardized material, in line with international standards. Our primary school education may focus on the civic education, attitude development, community outreach activities and learning through events, not from typical books. The focus of technologically advanced countries is to provide inclusive environment for their kids because these schools are the nurseries for their plants of prosperity and also considered as the most sensitive zone. After providing the favorable environment for the kids, they are nurturing the world’s best output for their economic, social, political and cultural development for sustainability of the state. Everything is learned behavior and the major sources of learning are teachers, curriculum, print and electronic media, family and colleagues. If we add professional attitude as the priority of our education system, we can easily cope with all the social, economic and psychological evils by developing some activities for everyone. There is dire need to develop guidelines for the educational institutions, print and electronic media, community outreach organizations, non-government organizations and civil society. In Pakistan, we have 60 percent population under the age of 30 years and the proper agenda for professional attitude can help the economy toward prosperity, development and sustainability.
—The writer is Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Gujrat, Pakistan.