Emphasising technical education

October 23, 2013

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TECHNICAL education in Pakistan is still in its infancy. There are a number of higher education institutions and universities in mega cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

This results in the creation of human resource for middle management positions which move upwards: for example, the mechanical engineering departments.

They regularly churn out mechanical engineers who lack sufficient skills even to carry out simple tasks like detail designing and fabrication. Junior engineers end up asking the lower staff or labour for technical things as the higher management has no clue as to what mechanical engineering is as they are MBAs and chartered accountants.

The question is, who is training the skilled labour in our country. There are several technical institutions and colleges which receive fees but do not teach or train students properly. They merely charge a couple of hundred rupees which is not sufficient to buy the equipment or the manpower to train the students.

Moreover, the provincial government has established technical boards and TEVTs. For example, Sindh has the Sindh Board of Technical Education (SBTE) and Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA).

These institutions receive funding from the EU, GIZ and UN. But if you look at their curriculum they are decades old and the curriculum revision committees do not update them.

I believe that technical education is very important for the economic growth of a country. This results in mass technical human recourse creation which leads to economic prosperity.

Currently, India is the leading technical resource creator in the region. We should learn a lesson from them and emphasise technical and vocational training.

AREEJ NOOR
Karachi