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The standards of education in Pakistan are very low. The education sector has transformed to an industry where people are investing money to earn lucrative profits. Nobody is concerned about the quality of education provided to the students. There are two parallel systems of education running in Pakistan i.e. private schools systems and government schools system. Too many Government schools have been ravaged by ongoing financial troubles which undermine the provision of educational services. Unstable employment terms of teachers, decaying buildings and facilities that no longer meet educational needs, and an array of social problems that overwhelm school personnel, are just some of major issues confronting Government schools.
There is also growing public concern over the poor quality of education and widespread perception that standards of government schools have fallen to lowest and that public schools are failing to meet the intellectual needs of students. Government schools system is in worst condition now. There are many ghost schools in country and in other schools the quality of education is very low. Other system is private schools, during the last 15 years; small private schools have mushroomed in all big and small cities of Pakistan without any regulatory body.
Private schools in Pakistan are somewhat better than Government schools in many aspects but they are expensive and have other disadvantages. Their standard of education is also declining very rapidly. The people who make the policies and run the schools, are not familiar with school administration, the majority may not even know the difference between curriculum and syllabus, if such people run the school or hire teachers one can imagine what the consequences would be. Reason is that many of the investors and school owners are businessman without any educational background. It is also a matter of concern that the majority of schools even the established ones, do not offer reasonable pay to their teachers; what to say about other benefits such as pension or medical facilities to the teaching staff. Working conditions of the teachers in private schools are worst.
Many parents consider only some factors before admitting their children in private schools i.e. school should be near to home and there must be many students in the school and they never try to check the infrastructure and quality of teaching in private school. These schools hire young girls as teachers by paying them some pocket money.
In developed countries government maintains strong check on private schools to ensure the quality education but here in Pakistan there is no check and balance and as a result the standard of education in Pakistan is declining day by day. The decision of Pakistan Government to privatize government colleges will prove disastrous because it will make education very expensive for the poor who are already fighting with massive inflation. According to a credible report the present level of colleges fees Rs.17000/- per year will shoot up to Rs.120000/- per year, rendering the poor people heading towards dark eras.
There are huge irregularities in the appointments of lecturers, assistant professors, and other officials of universities. Associate professors and other officials are appointed without proper procedure and without touching merit and through favoritism or bribery. Even the prestigious universities of country are full of corruption and favoritism. Such incompetent persons are not only responsible for the deteriorating situation of education in country but also costing millions of rupees in form of their pays and privileges. Pakistan is not the first country to opt for privatization of education.
In some other developing countries, privatization has already reduced access to education and brought down quality; they are facing disastrous results. Instead of getting rid of this vital sector the government should overhaul the existing system by investing maximum portion of budget and should immediately withdraw the Model university ordinance. The Government should remember colleges and universities are: A Building with Four Walls and Tomorrow Inside.
Purpose of this research:
Higher education has become impossible for a middle class families living in Pakistan. In our country degrees are selling on the name of money. Opening of private universities has paved the way to degree sellers who are charging high prices on the name of education. These private universities are not for all classes they are just for a particular segment of people who can afford these expensive fees. Private universities enjoy the monopoly in the market and there are so many companies who hire the students of few universities who claim themselves as best on the basis of high fee.
Pakistan is blessed with talent and just because education is so expensive for most, they cannot live up to their potential. Students studying in most private universities think that they are more elite than the rest and perhaps they are because Allah has given the resources to these students so that they can study in these universities easily without having to worry about the money.
Just take my cousins example, who applied and cleared the test of Szabist but due to lack of resources he just could not afford to pay the exorbitant amount. Currently he is studying at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.
Here I am talking about Szabist which was founded by Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. It is one of the best universities in our city and majority of the students dream for it. Unfortunately my cousin is not the only one who faced such a situation there are very few students who can afford these universities because they are only for well to do people and not for a common man. This is due to the rising class differences in our society which is becoming a cause of dividing the people according to the status.
A government education from this country is barely going to get a person anywhere in life. Only universities like Karachi University offer good education in the city that can help a person to achieve success in his career. Graduates from universities like Dawood College or Mehran university have a tough road ahead of them. They face serious class discrimination in the form of not being selected for various jobs, or that their education level is just not the same as that of a private graduate. Also in the research that we conducted a majority of people agreed that graduates from government universities are looked down upon by society. How depressing it is that we live in such a society.
In my opinion before dreaming for the University of your choice you first make a point that whether you can afford it or not otherwise you will be really disappointed by witnessing the class difference in our education system. God knows when it will be eradicated but the way our country is being lead the class discrimination will only become stronger. Our religion condemns such acts, but we as Muslims still refuse to change our habits.
At least differences should be eliminated from the education system and if this thing cannot be happen than government universities should be opened which provide the latest education at affordable price but our government will not going to eliminate the differences because they do not want equality in Pakistan.
The method for sampling participants for this research is "random sampling", our target was to fill at least 100 questionnaires from three different types of educational institutions .so we selected Karachi University, Institute of Business Management (IoBM) and Szabist.
Our motive was to use a measure that would be precise, efficient, reliable, less time consuming, valid, representative and easily understood by the participants. For this purpose we used questionnaires as our mode to gather information and along with this we interviewed one or two participant, where it was felt required.
Along with this we took further support from the secondary data which we gathered from the internet to conclude are results.
Each participant was given 5 to 10 minutes to fill in the set of questions given to them. They were explained the rules and were assured that their identity would not be disclose. Once the participants confirmed their willingness to fill the questionnaires the first key of instructions given to them was to read the consent form and place their signature at the bottom of the page after which they proceeded towards the questions. Once all the questionnaires were filled by different participants we recorded our results in tables and we have represented them in pie chart and other diagram for better understanding.
From our statistics records we were able to deduce that majority of our participants claim that privatization of education is influencing a lot in our life, we tend to discriminate people on the basis of education they get from different institute (public and private) and its impact on their thinking, skills and living standard and job opportunities are causing status gap in the society.
Questionnaire and their results
What is your age?
Our survey involved students from the various age groups, and most of those who helped us with our survey were 25 years and above.
2) Are you studying/studied in a private or a government educational institute?
Although a lot of students studying in privately owned universities filled out our questionnaire, we had a quite a few of those from government schools as well who volunteered to take the survey.
3) Do you think privatization of education has led to class discrimination in Pakistan?
Majority of those who helped us in our survey agreed that privatization of education has certainly led to class discrimination in Pakistan.
4) Do people studying in private institutions feel more elite/powerful?
Most people agreed with the fact that studying in private institutions does make people feel a bit more elite than those who are studying in government owned institutions.
5) Do graduates from non-private institutions find it comparatively harder to get jobs?
The majority of people agreed that graduates from government owned institutions find it very hard to find jobs. This is either because of the fact that they have not been taught by the best teachers which private universities can afford, or even sometimes in the eyes of the interviewer a graduate from a private university is considered much more suitable.
6) Are students from government institutions looked down upon by society?
Majority of the people again agreed that students from government institutions are looked down upon by the society. Just because these people cannot afford to have the same education as us, does not make them inferior in any way. Sadly our society is sometimes quite shallow when it comes to judging people.
7) Have you ever witnessed/been a part of an incident where non-private graduates were discriminated against?
Most people say that they have never seen or been a part of an incident where students from government institutions were discriminated against. Unfortunately these things happen very subtly and usually people do not commit such acts in the presence of a crowd.
8) Do you have any friends from government educational institutes?
A lot of those who helped us in our survey seem to have friends studying in government owned institutions. This shows that all hope is not dead, as people do not mind interacting with these people.
9) If education is nationalized, would our country be in a much better state?
Most people are up for the idea of nationalizing education. This is due to the fact that equal opportunities will be given to people of all classes, and those who sometimes cannot achieve their true potential because of studying in a third grade government education institution, will no longer be the victim of class discrimination.
10) Will people studying in private institutions always have an edge in life over those from government institutions?
Now there are a lot of differing opinions here. Some people think that just because a person is from a private institution, that does not mean he will have an edge over those studying in government institutions. This is probably because of the fact that there are still some brilliant government universities left in Pakistan like the Karachi University which gives a chance to those who cannot afford to pay the fees of private institutions.
We can resolve this problem by taking the following steps:
By raising the level of education in government institutions.
By hiring good faculty in government institutions.
By providing equal job opportunities to graduates of government universities.
Government institutions should adopt a curriculum which matches with the standard of private institutions' curriculum.
A lot of people recommended nationalizing education in the country so that equal chances are given to people of all classes.
Above actions are recommended for solving the problem caused by the difference in education systems.
Our findings indicates that most the students think that education in government institutions is of lower level as compare to that in private institutions. This difference of education system is causing discrimination in our society which if not controlled right now, may have very far reaching effects on our people and society. The Government of Pakistan needs to act rapidly to ensure that this evil is completely eradicated from its roots so that people of all classes get an equal chance at doing whatever they want to in life.