No nation can make progress in any field of life until all its citizens are properly literate. The question is what literacy is. Does it mean being capable of reading and writing or does it mean preparing oneself for life and be aware of one’s rights and responsibilities? It is true that being capable of reading and writing is the first step towards being literate. But mere reading and writing ‘do not make a man educated.
Education means a change in behavior. It meant that our education system should be so wisely designed that it brings about a positive change in our thinking and actions. But it is a pity that in our country even the first step towards literacy has not been taken. The government seems to top ignorant of the importance of education Schools and colleges are few and far between. The few educational institutions that have been opened in the country have no proper buildings, furniture, and other equipment.
In the annual budget of the country, only a meager amount is allocated for education while the major chunk is given to the army. The result is that the army enjoys the status of the ruler and the illiterate masses are their slaves. Lack of education has given rise to superstitions. Social evils, moral bankruptcy, terrorism, sectarianism, and dictatorship. No education means no construction but more destruction. People become more narrow-minded, more rigid in their beliefs and so more destructive. This is what we have been witnessing for the last sixty years. Lacks of education have made us prejudice, rigid, shallow and hollow from within.
All this is happening only because we have ignored the importance of education. Education widens our vision, grooms our personality and makes us capable of distinguishing between good and evil. It paves the way for democracy and Industrialism that when combine together raise the standard of living of the people. Economy flourishes and peace and prosperity prevail. It is because of the lack of education that today Pakistan is rife with sectarian feuds and social evils. The nation has been divided into different sects and biradries. Its economy is poor. Its image in the other countries of the world is distorted.
The two systems of education i.e, English medium schools and Urdu medium schools currently in practice in our country are diametrically opposed to each other. They have further widened the chasm between the rich and the poor. While English medium educational institutions are creating an aristocratic class, the Urdu medium educational institutions are producing poor, ill-mannered, mentally retarded and spiritually fanatic people.
Even a bird’s eye view of the world’s history would reveal the fact that the countries where people were properly educated made progress by leaps and bound’s. Today’s developed countries like America, England, France, Germany can be cited as brilliant examples of educated nations.
If we want to make Pakistan a strong and respectable country we will have to make education our first priority. For this following measures can be taken.
At least one-fourth of the budget should be spent on education.
- It should be made compulsory for every citizen to get an education.
- Basic education should be simplified. These students should be required to study Urdu, English, Social Studies. Math, ethics and brief history of the world
- More and more schools should be opened in every nook and corner of the country.
- Reading and writing material should be provided by the government free of charge up to a certain level.
- Teachers should be given proper training. They should be given handsome salaries so that they may discharge their duties without any financial worry.
- Primary education must-be has given importance. Only highly educated and well-paid teachers should be appointed in primary schools. They should be held responsible for laying the firm foundation for the character building of the students.