Pakistani education?

Oct 31: The topic being banal and much argued for, I still feel the necessity to highlight it as no convincing strategy has been proposed to eradicate this anomaly. Here I refer to the education system of our country which is torn between double standards local and foreign. Yet this is not about the FSc. A level controversy but more significantly the suffering of students in both types of education systems. Despite the fact that truth cannot altered which is supposed to be taught at all educational institutions, there is a stark difference in the academic courses offered in the local system as compared to the foreign system.

The local board concentrates on rote learning and give little importance to actually 'educating' students. This is clearly a deprivation that the FSc. students suffer. On the other hand, the foreign studies are far too expensive for the majority population to afford. Whereas A level students, who seek to rise above the local standards of education which are understandably not very high, spend a lot of their parents hard-earned money to acquire this qualification. They consequently have to work harder to meet the international criterion. However, if they continue to study in Pakistan, they have to convert their grades to the local boarding system which has set an unfair scale which seems like a conspiracy to discourage the foreign system of education. Moreover, medicine in Pakistan has even more challenges to offer which have no possible solutions to be thought about.

The A level students can, in fact, not exceed a certain amount of marks no matter how well they perform in their Advanced Level. On the other hand, after passing several ordeals, an entry exam is compulsory for admission in a medical college. Students who perform exceptionally well in FSc. still fail to get admitted due to this added test. Hence, little is expected of the A level students as the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is based on the local board. When the crucial acceptance or rejection in a university is confirmed to a student, Medical universities take the longest to decide their lot of students who are hung in mid-air and are left with virtually no choice if they get rejected. They either have to change their career lines or waste a precious year to have another chance to apply to the universities yet again.

Therefore, the government and education committees are chiefly responsible for the brain drain Pakistan as future skilled personnel leave the country due the unfair practises employed here. Above all, monetary benefits and influence create an even slim chance for sincere candidates. While the international educating systems focus on character building of students by carefully balancing academics with extra-curricular activities and making this an important part of the admission procedures, learning textbooks by heart is all that is efficiently taught here. For a lay man, it is easy to grasp that irrespective of the board under which a student is studying, hard work is necessary for a good result. It is not easy to memorise each and every line of a book like crazy neither is it any less difficult to grasp the true essence of every subject and expect about anything being set up in the examination. But against the obvious law of inevitable mess under a dual policy, I fail to understand why the government offers local as well as foreign education when the authorities cannot be fair to both types of systems. This debate can be delayed indefinitely as seems to be the intention but students have limited time and injustice must be stopped. This issue needs to be addressed urgently as the future of the country depends on it. F.P



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