ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: Pakistan’s ruling elite deliberately adheres to the dual education system in order to continue the class division in society. This was stated by Robina Saigol, Country Director ActionAid, at a seminar organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Monday. “The state school system is only producing cannon fodder, an exploitable working class and extremists who have nothing do with a progressive society,” she said.
Ms Saigol said the concept of dual education system arose with the emergence of capitalism. Colonial powers introduced the system in the subcontinent because they needed natives who could rule on their behalf.
“Unfortunately, even today the education managers of the country are sticking to the policy and Pakistan presents a typical manifestation of dual education,” she said.
She said the government was overemphasising management and IT disciplines in higher educational institutions and paying no attention to social sciences, which were equally important for a progressive and forward-looking society.
“The newly introduced Model University Ordinance by the Higher Education Commission is a push towards corporatization of universities,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy said it seemed as if Pakistan was created to look after the interests of the upper class. “People who were rich at the time of independence got richer with the passage of time and those who were empty handed are still finding it hard to make both ends meet,” he said.
He said during a visit to India he was surprised to know the level of progress in its education sector.
“One got the impression that they have followed a vision and accordingly diverted required resources. I did not see any difference between an American and an Indian university. Academic activity is at its peak in Indian universities,” he said.
Any observer could understand the level of Indian education by looking at the placement of its graduates, he added.
“One good thing even at school level is that students ask lots of questions and have no problem in speaking English,” he said.