Do we need uniformity or quality in Pakistan’s Education System?

The journey towards Naya Pakistan is of the view that education system shall follow a uniform national curriculum policy for not only ensuring quality but providing a level playing field to all the students. This is one of the utopian views which are often seen as realistic by many but we need to take a look at certain implications which it can bring along. Tracing back the history of educational systems across the world, the first school was established in 19th century, with the purpose of eliminating sins among its students. Later on, during the industrialization phase, the schools were functioning for controlling the future generations and their progression.

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Different educational systems are being currently in a running position across the country, thus, when the purpose of education is different so how can we give one standard curriculum for its students. There are no doubts on the social marginalization of a specific group but diversity and marginalization needs to be discussed collectively. The points to ponder include key questions related to curriculum, guidelines, framework, image of the children, policy and targets. Most importantly, how will this new announcement change the culture of schools including private and public sector. The other main questions will be that how flexible this education system is, what will be the role of adults, and most importantly, teachers’ competence in madrassah, government school and private school. We live in a society of diversity and high complexity, therefore, in order to ensure equality, we must not give up quality.

The schools carry a culture and history with themselves, it is not merely a building made up of brick, mortar, desks and few people, rather it is a living organism. It is almost close to impossible that completely changing a school with 360 degrees as number of people are linked to it. However, the situation is hopeful that despite the issues in educational ecosystem, it has continued to produce intellectuals representing Pakistan on global platforms. Some of the people are of different view that the educational curriculum and syllabi can never be equitable but these are views of few of the elites in the society. Although, this is a much needed reform for all the private schools being run in the country as it is highly helpful and can deliver hope for a future promise.

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The most asked questions by the top notch of this system are that what will its implications on an international ranked system like Cambridge and how will that be replaced? This can be managed by the government if it has a serious attention towards revamping of the system as one can entirely move away from all international qualifications but it can be only done if an equally competitive and internationally ranked system is available as a replacement product. These reforms can transform the lives and learning levels of children, if they are kept at the heart of reforms. This is the time when archaic system could be left behind. We need to change the traditional old system with improvised names, a six-day hour school day, 20 minutes’ recess time, life skills education which is another text book setting etc.

We are in a need of environment that promotes critical thinking, respects all, re-think the well thought out processes, modeling the right values of our religion and our society, facilitating independent learnings. This will become a breeding ground for morality, patience, tolerance, honesty, fairness, forgiveness, generosity and cultural uplift. We should whole heartedly support this initiative of revamping the education but for now we need to look at it critically because we might not end up giving quality for ensuring uniformity.

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