For a couple of years, the KP government has been standardizing the textbooks, really appreciable, but the bottom line remains the same, there no refresher courses and training for teachers, which has led to another catastrophe, the untaught syllabus.
Rush through a local bazaar or make a one-by-one communication with a gathering in the front of a Jama Masjid after the Juma prayer or gossip with a person sitting across the table in a Chai hotel and asked a plane question, how the government schools are doing? As expected, you will get a negative response, ‘not better’.
The point is that why the public opinion regarding the public sector education is so undesirable? After all quality education is the fundamental right of the people which should be provided on the doorsteps in a social welfare state.
Let’s go through the miseries of the public sector schools in KP as now it is a provincial subject after the 18th amendment. There is a wide consensus among the educationists that the process of education is a triangle. The students, teachers, and parents are the wings of that very triangle. Any looseness or a poor coordination among the just mentioned wings of the triangle will, definitely, lead to inefficiency.
The ongoing meritocracy in the KP education department, especially, in the hiring of the educators, has brought a number of well educated, talented and learned youth to the public sector schools. But still, the ratio of new blood lacks behind the old and outdated teachers. The efforts and enthusiasm of the new teachers evaporate in an outdated and old-fashioned environment.
Thus the base of the educational triangle has prayed to the perplexities ineffective system. Let’s take the remaining arms of the triangle—students and their parents.
Roughly estimating, more than 95% of students of a government school keep a very low socio-economic background. It’s a common experience that educated parents bear educated children. A child from a well-to-do family has better genes compare to his /her poverty-stricken peer group. Today, it’s a talk of the town that the private sector schools are working well, notwithstanding of poor facilities. Here we should keep one thing on your mind that only those parents send their children to private schools who afford the expenses. The affordability of the parents means the parents are well-to-do which is connected, most probably, with more literate and aware parents. Unfortunately, the students in government sector schools keep poor and illiterate parent ship, Consequently, more dull in learning. The poor and illiterate parent ship causes also another misery, the lake of modern and scientific approach in guardianship and counseling of the children. Which leads to a low or even not-at-all coordination of parents with the teachers of their children. It’s my personal experience that my first entry into the education department was in 2015 as SST, since then, I never saw a father or a brother of any of my student who visited the school to ask about his children. Being the class teacher of a class I have been trying too many times to keep in touch with the guardians of the students. Either the cell phone numbers provided by students at the time of admission are wrong or powered off. In case of a rare successful attempt, the call ends with a not enough excuse made by the guardians to visit the school.
Government is the designer of the stated triangle. For the sake of rationality, put the two wings of the triangle aside for both these wings do not come under the direct domain of the government. Because they need long-term policies. But the base wing of the triangle—teacher, infrastructure and curriculum, is directly connected with government and education department.
Undoubtedly, the PTI government has done much in a meritocracy but still, a lot remains. As earlier stated that the ratio of new teachers to old teachers is meager. The management and high positions are still in the hands of old-fashioned officers.
Besides this, for a couple of years, the KP government has been standardizing the textbooks, really appreciable, but the bottom line remains the same, there no refresher courses and training for teachers, which has led to another catastrophe, the untaught syllabus.
Now, the PTI is again in power, both in the province and in the center, it is a good opportunity and enough time to readdress these faults.