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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

Report: By Aqsa Hanif

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

Dr. Rauf-i-Azam

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

Dr. Abid Husain Chaudhry

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.

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