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
LAHORE (Wednesday, July 18,2018): Pakistan has a history of developing detailed and well-designed nine ed ucation policies since 1947 to 2017, but has fallen short of implementation 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 then the promises will not get 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 economically weak 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 scolars, 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.
On the other hand, taking weaknesses of NEP (2009-2015), the policy looks like a long wish list, such as allocation for education will be 7% of GDP by 2015, level of public sector schools will be lifted to match the level of private sector schools, and a common curricular framework will be applied for abolishing educational apartheid. Siddiqui (2010) considers it too good to be true.
Financial resources for education come largely from the public sector, which spends2.5% of the GDP (2006-07) on education while 0.5% is estimated to be the contribution of the private sector, putting the combined resources at around 3% of GDP for 2006-2007. The data on public expenditure on education points to low priority Pakistan gives to education as it spends relatively less on education in terms of GDP (2.3%) as compared to the countries like Iran (4.7%), Malaysia (6.2), Thailand (4.2%), South Korea (4.6%), India (3.8%), and Bangladesh (2.5%) .
National Education Policy (2017-2025): This policy was announced by the Ministry of Federal Education of Pakistan. The major programs and targets proposed for promotion of higher education include: increase access from the current 8% to 15% of the 17-23 age group; initiatives of establishing community colleges in underserved areas to prepare certified technically competent manpower; establish 15 new public science and technology universities; facilitate the establishment of 50 new private sector universities; set up 70 smart sub-campuses; increase number of sub-campuses of Virtual Universities to provide education at the doorsteps of working men and women; and enhance use of high speed connectivity to all degree granting institutions. The Policy provisions proposed for Library and Documentation services are: improve the quality of library services; promote the reading culture; equip the libraries with modern facilities including internet connectivity; extend the network of libraries up to the union council level; introduction of mobile library services; and capacity building of library professionals.
The main policy provisions recommended on Physical Education, Health and Sports are formulation of curriculum for grade I-V; pre and in-service training of teachers in physical education; annual sports week; establishment of physical education and sports colleges at provincial level as well as a university; and a separate directorate for Health, Physical Education and Sports is recommended..
The target of participation rate of special children has been fixed as 50% by 2025. Besides, creating inclusive learning environment in 50% existing formal education institutions at all levels. The main policy provisions enunciated include expanding access to special need children; allocation of 5% of education budget for Special Education; provision of modern technologies and teaching learning aids; transport facilities for all the special education institutions; in-service training and staff development of faculty and management of Special Education Institutions; provision of basic facilities and services for inclusive education; and training and sensitization of general education teacher regarding inclusive education.