Skilled manpower need of the day

Khan Ferozuddin

The rapid advancement of industrial establishments in the nineteenth century, necessitated the advent of education and skill learning to cope with the demand of the time. The whole concept of education was to produce skilled manpower to work in industries and business establishments. It was not before the dawn of the 20th century that education was started to be taken as a catalyst of change and enhancing civilizing features of human development in the long run. The development of social, behavioural sciences and psychological studies opened new avenues to understand the relation between education and social responsibility, fascistic attitudes and intolerance, chaos and rift, etc. In spite of all electronic and visual and audio tools of electronic age, the book and written word still remains focal and important as it was in the age of Guttenberg press. But the forms and patterns ingrained in our education materials, teaching environment and framework may leave indelible marks on our conscious and social self, along with interest in learning, and level of learning. Pakistan is one of those countries where relation between learning material and learner is rather weak and inconsistent with the changing world. Moreover, we lack a will to educate our children in a sustainable and practical way. In the past decade, significant achievements have been made in increasing primary school enrolment worldwide, but children in low-income countries like Pakistan are completing primary school at 67 percent of the rate of high-income countries, with studies showing very little actual learning occurring in the classroom. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) indicates that low-income countries are performing at the bottom 5th percentile in the world. Research suggests that these astoundingly low learning levels are impeding economic growth, as a 10 percent increase in the share of students reaching basic literacy has been demonstrated to translate into a 0.3 percentage point higher annual growth rate for the country. Education is the sum total of human learning and experience. Aristotle said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” However, the human evolution taught us the way to transform the root part into an enjoyable and augmenting process. Traditional educational techniques were focused on creating mirrors, i.e. to duplicate and reflect the image of what we are. A scientific learning intervention may focus on turning these mirrors into windows. We cannot create or wish to create a better world without empowering and inspiring young brains with variety of ideas and heterogeneity of thinking patterns. Interventions like SRP are definitely a groundbreaking effort to fulfil the ultimate task of educating our next generation in a better and sustainable way.
— Islamabad

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