Few days back I went to a branch Library of Ann Arbor District Library. Busy within my own world of thoughts, I suddenly saw a family friend, Uncle “M.” He has been here in US certainly over 2 decade now (came from Pakistan). So we started having a brief conversation, which went a little like this:
Me: Assalam-o-Alaikum (peace be on you) Uncle M, how are you?
Uncle M: Good Alhamdolilah, how are you?
Me: I am good. What are you doing here?
Uncle M: Just sitting here and waiting. Came here for him (pointing towards his son)
Son walks pass me saying to his father that he needed to print something. I glanced over the stack of books in front of him and asked
Me: What is he doing?
Uncle M: He is researching. He has a paper, so he is working on that paper.
I had this sarcastic laugh, which came out naturally and said “Haha he is researching! He is in class of what like 5 or 6 and he is researching. Back home our high school graduates don’t even do that!”
Uncle M: He just kept his smile on the face, like not willing to say anything in the Library.
And then we exchanged hal aur ahwal (asking about each other familes) and I left.
I studied my k-10 education back in Karachi, Pakistan. I went through the Cambridge System too (just O Levels). Research, I didn’t know how to do it until I came to US and had to write spontaneous essays, researched papers, critically think and write what I think!
This shows the state of education in the State of Pakistan. A nation cannot move ahead, when the State has a gay Educational System. Forget the Public Education, that is not worthy of even talking about, I am talking about the education in the Private Sector. Of course, Private or Public, they both try to fulfill and prepare the students to fulfill those requirements set by the State (well for the most part, if you rich then all is well for you!).
What are these State’s Educational set requirements. Preparing a confused generation- ignorant of Islam, ignorant of the history of Pakistan, production of the clerks on the same line of Lord Macaulay of Imperial British government in Greater India, or investing in preparing a export brand of good Pakistani Youth to countries across the globe, mainly in-US, Canada, Australia, UK, & Dubai.
What is mind boggling to me is a 6 grade student researching. This is what makes America’s educational system and the countries I just mentioned above better, that attracts people from across the globe. Yes I admit that American Education system needs reformation and changes and I am not against it. However, right now I am comparing Gay Pakistani system to the US system that I studied back home which. What I want to ask to the Politicians of Pakistan and all these people eating up the tax rupees is how can a failure student, constantly a struggling student, a Math hating student in Karachi, can be an ‘A’ student of Calculus here in Michigan. I am talking about myself, no fairy tales or hypothetical situations here!
Some may ask, what is so important about researching? It is important because researching makes the researcher aware of the diverse opinions in the field of research. You might start with a preheld idea, and after research you might come across so many evidence of the other side that you might start understanding the argument of another side. It is important because not everything is Black and White. It is important in a Pakistani society because people don’t read the religious books of another Scholar because that person has been taught by their maulvi to be deviant. People don’t read what otherside has to say in matters of almost everything-relgious, historical, cutlural, and political.
Research is important because it makes the researcher read. Majority of the K-10 students in Karachi in general do not read books outside their curriculum. Research helps peolpe write. Oh did I talk about writing. I forgot, in Pakistan you memorize the essay and write what you remember and try to fill those pages. What non sense am I talking about!!!
The most important change that needs to take place in Pakistan is the radical reformation of what I bluntly call the Gay Educational System of Pakistan (GESP). The system should be integrated enough so that student doesn’t ruin his/her entire year while transferring a school because one school doesn’t accept the classes of another school in the same city, let alone of another Province.
Research, critical thinking, and creative ways of education should be used in teaching to students. It also helps in understanding the diverse opinions (because people in general understand the viewpoint of another).
Another important change that is needed in this GESP is Islamiyat (Islamic Studies) class [as it presently is] should be eradicated because it is completley useless. It says the same thing that the public hears in Friday Prayers and during Ramadan. This class should be changed into; Quran, Islamiyat (Aqeedah/ Muslim cultural education), Islamic History, Fiqh, and the Science of Hadith for least. This will help muslims at the young age understand the basic principles in Islam, and they won’t reach the age of voting with their minds twisted and confused. This will greatly help reduce the recruitment towards Extremism (secular and religious) also.
I am not an Educational expert, in fact I am not even studing education studies. Based on my experience I see GESP need to be changed and all Pakistanis should divert their attention to this area. Indepndent Judiciary and chants of Democracy is good, but depriving massive population from the right to education, and providing totally useless education to the rest of them is also useless. Pakistan can’t go any where if the Education system is GESP. No matter what Zardari says on TV, what Zaid Hamid says in his conferences, and no matter how many times Lawyers protests chant of democracy and independent judiciary. Its all useless.