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Education for the poor

August 15, 2013

THE less privileged people in a society like ours can take no benefits from the education they get. They remain mired in the societal system because of their peculiar social construction.

With this sort of education they are neither able to take part in the process of metamorphosis of their society nor are they able to get a good job because their talents remain suppressed during the process. So education for them is a hindrance rather than help.

In terms of job opportunities, they are losers because recruitment by government departments is purely the domain of the corrupt and self-centric politicians, while for civil service posts through the FPSC or PPSC, they have to go through the selection process and owing to the nature and quality of their training at public-sector institutions, if they, by chance, pass the written portion of the examinations, then their personality will be scrutinised in terms of their suitability for those very jobs by seasoned bureaucrats.

They need a balanced personality for these very slots which the less privileged lack. The development of a balanced personality is possible in a balanced socio- politico-economic environment which they lack.

Moreover, they have to compete with their well-off compatriots during the selection process. As there exists a world of difference between the schooling, social and home environment and culture of obedience to those who are having access to the corridors of power, so they are rejected because they are not suitable for these slots. These commissions are not rejecting the candidates but the very system of which they are production.

How true is Rousseau when he says: “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”. So the chains of poverty are too strong to be broken by the hollow education system.

One can’t solve this catch-22 puzzle by suggestions which would be a cry in wilderness because the people who are at the helm of affairs are the jealous guardians of this rotten and corrupt system. They fear that if the system goes, they will follow suit.

There are two solutions:

(i) Philanthropists should come forward and take the responsibility of educating the less-privileged people by establishing their own educational institutions.

(ii) Social workers and human-rights organisations should convince the government to provide a special quota for the class on the fashion of women and minorities.

This must not be pronounced as division of society which is already fragmented into innumerable groups and classes, but a system based on justice.

We can conclude that this is necessary because these unfortunate people are as much part and parcel of this country as are the others. It is also the demand of democracy owing to the majority of the poor.

The issue is not because of the sharp vertical differences but the politicisation of these differences which has dented the very fabric of society.

Aristotle once said: “Education is ornament in prosperity and refuge in adversity”. In our case, it is a quagmire for those born in adversity.