IN the era of globalization and economic interdependence, higher education along with technical and non-formal education has become chiefly important for socio-economic development of states. Undoubtedly, higher education is a key economic catalyst, generate and provide innovations in every walk of life to meet socio-economic challenges of the contemporary world. Moreover, education and technological advancement shape international trade of a country because successful economies hold competitive and comparative advancements over others. In this regard, the structure of the academic system of a country determines the strength of economic prosperity, ethical values, and depth of cultural roots for a nation.
In the case of globalization and international trade, countries and their economies compete with one another. Economically successful countries hold competitive and comparative advantages over other economies. Basically, the education and grooming of a nation’s youth determine just how well the country’s economy will do. But unfortunately, its importance is yet to be realized in our country, Pakistan. As contemporary higher education in Pakistan is facing numerous challenges. Not even a single university of Pakistan is among top ranked universities of the world where world-class research is provided. In addition, our universities are incapable to produce competent graduates, researchers, industrialists and social activist as a whole; the majority of our institutions do not follow international standards of business education which is a major obstacle in the way of the emerging economy. The escalating enrolment rate in classrooms does no longer imply that the ratio of knowledgeable humans within the society is increasing.
In fact, educated human beings are supposed to serve society with their brilliant innovations and creative ideas as well as commencing opportunities for their descendants. But our schooling method and strategies are producing a force of degree holders who only search job and can’t do anything different and vibrant on behalf of their personal capabilities. The purpose of education is skill development in a young generation so that they can establish their own businesses no matter how much a small level, and create employment for others. The key importance of training is expanding notions of literacy, women empowerment and skills development in the young generation.
The institutional problems of business education institutions include lack of highly qualified professional teachers specialized in different business areas, lack of link between industry and academia, lack of cooperate leadership, no satisfactory evaluation system, lack of systematic approach, incompetent teachers specially in private sector for research, inadequate research facilities especially in private sector, faculty work overload, etc. The problems from the government side include inadequate government investment i.e. low GDP, curricula, corruption in the educational sector and frequent educational reforms without proper vision and strategy.
Since education is one of the most powerful weapons for reducing not only poverty and inequality but also sets the foundation for sustained economic processes as the ultimate goal of education is expected to prepare youth for global progress and shaping future economy. Therefore, apart from formal education systems that provide degrees to students, non-formal education is also important at all levels, particularly in developing countries, so that students may learn far beyond curriculum and learn strategies of lifelong learning compatible with need of the time to provide a system of lifelong learning. However, non-formal education provides lifelong learning to learners of all ages, thus keeping them up-to-date throughout life.
Pakistan needs profound changes and reforms in the education system to meet challenges in higher education and research. As formal education system is insufficient to effectively fulfill the needs of the individual and the society. It is actually because technological advancements and tough global competition demand the mastery of competencies and the acquisition of new skills. Therefore, there is a dire need to revolutionize our education system with quality, equity, up-to-date curriculum, high enrolment rate, advanced research, and professional development; moreover, emphasize interdisciplinary connections, leadership qualities and analytical skills.
The need of the time is to strategically improve education system at all levels with special focus on designing a system which may ensure critical and innovative thinking of students; providing them an environment to flourish and explore the quality of leadership in them; hence, promising students achievements in all arena of life.