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Reforming education

April 18, 2015

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KEEPING in line with the Higher Education Commission, which replaced the University Grants Commission and turned the table in higher education in the country, we should reform secondary and higher secondary education.

Under the chairmanship of Dr Ataur Rehman, the HEC unleashed the private sector into higher education. There are several universities now in almost all fields of endeavour, serving teeming millions.

The HEC has set standards which are strictly implemented and the charter of grant of degrees is religiously adopted and monitored by the HEC. But our lower education has gone from bad to worse at the hands of boards of secondary and higher secondary education.

Even the results of Classes V and VIII, declared recently, were also full of mistakes, what to talk of the awfully faulty results they came up with at matriculation and Intermediate levels.

The curricula are humongous. The books are not available and if available, they are full of mistakes and are of highly poor quality and expensive. The courses do not include Allama Iqbal, Sufi Tabassum and any of our national heroes.

The books and syllabi are different from school to school depending on the whims and fancies of private school owners who are neither educationist nor teachers.

A Lower Education Commission (LEC) should be set up to organise all these things in some uniform way for the entire country. If provincial autonomy comes under question, then the LECs should be set up in each province but in line with the dictates of federal the ministry of education (if we have one).

Professional people like Dr Rahman should be hired and their acumen used. Non-professionals must not occupy any position in LECs. Boards should be disbanded and millions may be saved from corruption and misappropriations. Of course, it is a big asking but not an impossible thing to do.

Habib Mirza

Lahore

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2015

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