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Why all 9 education policies failed in Pakistan?

  • All policies were good on paper but implementation lacked: experts
  • Governments were not committed to fulfill their promises: Rauf-i-Azam
  • Dr. Abid Hussain blames weak planning and change of political scenario
By Aqsa Hanif

LAHORE: Pakistan has a history of developing detailed and well-designed nine education policies since 1947 to 2017, but has fallen short of implementing them. On the other hand, many political parties highlighted their education manifestos but the same could not be properly implemented. Vice Chancellor education University Prof. Dr. Rauf-i-Azam said, “If governments are not committed to fulfill their promises, the promises will not be implemented.

Similarly, in many cases the actual strategies on ground are not aligned with the policy so the policy objectives are not achieved. In addition, high rates of population growth has eaten up the progress we made and there’s no attention to this explosive problem,” he added.

Prof. Dr. Abid hussain (IER Department Punjab University) said, national education policies could not be implemented properly due to weak planning on education and change of political scenario.

National Education Policy (1947): First national education conference was held at Karachi from November 27th to December 1st (1947). Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan, was its convener. He provided basic guidelines for future educational development. Fazal-ur-Rehman, the then education minister, proposed three dimensions of education i.e. spiritual, social and vocational.

A number of committees were also formed at this occasion such as including, primary education committees, secondary education committees, technical education committees, scientific education committees, university education committees, women’s education committees. The major recommendations of the conference were, free and compulsory education in Pakistan, and the education should be teamed with Islamic values. This policy could not be implemented properly due to various reasons including increased number of immigrants and other administrative problems.

National Education Policy (1959): Another education policy was introduced by the then president of Pakistan, general Muhammad Ayub Khan on January 5, 1959. Commission was established which made education compulsory up to 10 years of age. The commission also recommended equal rights for boys and girls education. The major focus of the commission included, character building, focus on science and technical education, establishment of universities, combination of internal (25%) and external (75%) evaluation in examination system and introduced of religious education in three stages: compulsory at middle level, optional at secondary level, research at university level. Unfortunately, this policy could not be implemented due to the limited resources and weak position of the country.

National Education Policy (1970): Another education policy was finally adopted by the cabinet on March 26, 1970. Emphasis on ideological orientation, emphasis on science and technology education, decentralization of education administration, and formulation of national education units were salient features of this educational policy. This policy was also not implemented mainly due to the separation of east Pakistan, less resources and weak economic condition of the country.

National Education Policy (1972): Zulfiqar Bhutto proposed the then president of Pakistan, proposed a National education Policy on 29 March 1972.This policy include. Promotion of ideology of Pakistan, equality in
education, personality development, technical and science education should be introduced, free and universal education up to class 10 for both girls and boys. This policy was a good for the betterment of education in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, this policy could not be implemented due to the less resources and the two wars between Pakistan and India. Pakistan economic rate was too low, that’s why this policy could not be implemented properly.

National Education Policy (1979): Education Minister of Pakistan announced this policy in October 1978.The work plan of the policy was presented in December 1978.The policy was announced in February 1979.In 1979 National Education Conference was held for the reviewing the education system:-                                                          Creation of concept of Muslim Ummah, promotion of science and technical education, equal opportunities for girls and boys. The strategies to achieve the goals are: curriculum revision, merging madrassas a d traditional education, Urdu as a medium of education, linked scientific and technical education, separate set up for males and females.

This policy was also not implemented properly and failed due to lack of planning and financial resources.

National Education Policy (1992): National conference was held at Islamabad in April, 1991 under the chairman of the Federal Education Minister. In this conference scholars, writers, newspaper editors, scientists, teachers and lawyers proposals for preparing the Education Policy. The Policy was announced in December 1992.The major aspects and goals of this policy include: Promotion of Islamic values through education, improvement in women’s education, demand oriented curriculum, expanding span of graduation and post graduation.

This policy could not be implemented due to the change in political scenario of country.

National Education Policy (1998-2010): The then ministry of education designed a new education policy in January 1998.The policy was announced in March 1998.Major objectives of NEP 1998-2010 included making the Quranic principles and Islamic practices on integral part of education system, to achieve universal primary education, to meet the basic educational needs of every individual, to expand the basic education to ensure opportunity of higher education.

This policy could not be implemented due to the untrained teachers and lack of quality of education.

National Education Policy (2009-2015): National  Education  Policy  has  certain  merits  as  far  as  policy  formulation  is  concerned. Siddiqui (2010)  opines  that  NEP  (2009-2015)  is  different  from  previous  education policies  in  the  sense  that  its  process  of  designing  started  almost  three  years  before.  A number of  seminars  and  meetings  were  organized  for  shared  vision  of  different  groups of  stakeholders. Early Childhood Education (ECE) has been addressed in NEP.  Historically,  however, ECE  has  not  been  formally  recognized  by  the  public  sector  in  Pakistan.  The  traditional ‘katchi’  class  in  some  public  sector  schools  has  predominantly  remained  a familiarization  stage  towards  formal  schooling  for  un-admitted,  young  students.  A limited  part  of  the  Grade  I  National  Curriculum  is  taught  to  this  group.  The  policy denotes  that  ECE  age  group  shall  be  recognized  as  comprising  3  to  5  years.  At  least  one year  Pre-primary  education  shall  be  provided  by  the  State  and  universal  access  to  ECE shall  be  ensured  within  the  next  ten  years.  Non-formal  Education  has  been  given  due consideration  and  has  not  been  merely  addressed  as  Adult  Education,  like  previous policies.

This NEP recommends that government schools should initiate Non-Formal Education (NFE) stream for  child  laborers.  Children involved in various  jobs  or  work shall  be  brought  within  the  ambit  of  non-formal  education  system  with  need-based schedules  and  timings.  NFE programmes, currently in practice up  to  grade  5  shall  be expanded  up  to  grade  where  required.  Special literacy skills  programmes  shall  target  older  child  laborers,  boys  and  girls  (14  to  17  years).  Special educational stipends shall be introduced to rehabilitate child laborers.

Quality Assurance in  Education  has  been  given  high  consideration  allocating  separate chapter  on  quality  and  its  constituents  in  education  sector.  The policy highlights six basic pillars that have the major contribution.  These are curriculum,  textbooks, assessments,  teachers,  the  learning  environment  in  an  institution  and  relevance  of education  to  practical  life/  labour  market.  The most significant  action  is  required  in improving  teaching  resources  and  pedagogical  approaches  that  teachers  employ.  The reform of teaching quality is of the highest priority.

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