When the children are denied the privilege of education, the country is bound to lag behind.
By Aiza Ijaz
“Education for all” is the international and worldwide slogan and government of Pakistan has pledged to achieve the goal of universalization of primary education. The progress of a country mainly depends on the percentage of literacy in that country. It is the right of every individual to get education. It plays a primary role in the material, scientific and industrial progress of a country. Education makes the citizens aware of their duties and responsibilities. It awakens their political sensibility and raises their morality. Every religion has also laid stress on the acquisition of knowledge. Islam has produced numberless scholars, doctors and scientists and the western world now imitates them, this shows the importance of education. In our country, the illiteracy rate is very high.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has urged the Muslim men and women to get knowledge even if they have to go China. He has said, “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” A famous scholar Plato said, “If you want to judge the quality of a civilization, have a look at its teachers.” By teacher, he meant the state of education in a country.
Education is one of the most important and necessary factors for development. Development means the process and perspective to grow in terms of social, economic, physical and environmental sectors. Education plays a crucial role if a country is in a developing stage. While talking about development, we must know that education and development go hand in hand. Education has a vast field. It can be divided into technical education, political education and also moral education. It is an armor against any accident in life. Productivity and creativity level is increased in people due to education which also helps to promote self-started businesses. Development is when there is poverty reduction in a country. Both boys and girls should be given quality education so they can think maturely and enjoy better opportunities coming their way.
Education at early age is necessary and plays vital role in character building and development. It is not just the age of learning basic skills but the age of learning social as well as emotional skills and it is the time when a child builds a partnership with his parents and teachers. Nations also have understood that this time in child’s life plays crucial role. In Pakistan also, education at child level/ kindergarten level has become extremely costly now. Because children at this age demand extra care and it is the best time to instill moral values and good character in them which are going to be there for the long run. In this age, whatever they learn remains with them for life.
The situation of Pakistan’s education sector is not very uplifted and fine. The low enrollment rates at primary level, less qualified teachers, poor infrastructure and less equipment provided by government for taking classes are the reasons behind the poor performance of this sector. Almost 22.8 million children aging 5 to 16 are out-of-school. Low level of public investment is another reason for poor performance. A nation is determined by the state of education in a respective country. Primary schools in Pakistan are very less in number and unavailability of teachers is another cause of students being out-of-school.
UNESCO says: “Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and well being. ECCE has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens.”
- Investment in early quality learning education so that children are ‘ready for school’ has high positive impacts on primary school enrolment, survival and learning, and it is cost-effective. The ECE policy has more advantages for children belonging to poor families and many provinces have already planned their policies and plans.
- Another thing to ensure is that equal educational opportunities be given to both girls and boys. For the development of country, education of women is as much essential as men and they are the two wheels of a cart. It has been rightly said, if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a family.
Children are the future of any nation and they play a fundamental role in rise and fall of nations. If the future of any nation gets lost in darkness of ignorance then its upcoming tomorrow is going to be gloomy. If a nation reaches and touches the heights of sky, it is certain that its children and youth must be educated. So we must focus on the education of children for the better development of Pakistan. The base of children must be made strong so that when they grow up, they can play their role in society and in fulfilling their duties as better citizens of state. Educated people know and realize their responsibilities toward their families and their country. An educated man is refined, matured and resourceful, so in this way he can contribute his services for nation building and for the development of a country.
The writer is a student of MSc Digital Media at Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore.