by Shah N. Khan
Some time ago daily Dawn had editorially commented: "The news that the Higher Education Commission has recruited 67 foreign-based teachers - mostly overseas Pakistanis - and inducted them in some local universities is welcome. It is expected that those hired will help in raising teaching standards in our universities.
Equally important, if not more, is the need for reforms in teaching methods and standards at primary and school level. Government schools are so poorly maintained that one feels ashamed. Meager budget allocations for education hampers social development,
Poor standards of instruction have been one of the major complaints from students in recent times. Some students say that the mode of instruction is outdated and needs to be changed along with the curricula in a number of disciplines.
There are also complaints from students who go abroad for higher studies that they find it difficult to cope with the level of studies at foreign universities. These are areas where the newly inducted teachers could make a vital contribution.
Another area of concern is academic research which has long been neglected. If at least a beginning is made in addressing these problems, the worth of Pakistani university degrees abroad would rise.
An important aspect of the induction of foreign academics would be the interaction between them and the students and teachers in Pakistan. That should prove helpful in bringing new ideas and approaches at the level of higher education. It would also raise the level of academic discourse at our universities which is lacking at the moment.
Despite its obvious advantages, there are some factors that the government would have to take into account to make this scheme a success. For one, the HEC should ensure that academics of equivalent qualification, whether working in Pakistan or abroad, should be offered similar remuneration packages.
Also, the mode of selection of these academics needs to be impartial and transparent. This would make the best and the brightest of them to want to come to Pakistan. The government should also be aware of the resentment the arrival of foreign teachers may generate amongst local academics.
This issue needs to be tactfully handled for the program to be successful. Finally, this scheme should be part of a larger program to address the problem of the decline in the standards and quality of higher education in Pakistan. Or else the program would be of limited worth. "
President Musharraf had focused his attention
1. Teaching Quran Nazirah (reading only) may be supplemented with primary "Deenyat course" compiled by the Provincial/Central Text book board. Experts like Maria Montessori opine that the first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.
2. When we talk about modernizing education we look towards West where serious thinkers themselves are not satisfied with their own methods and are constantly looking for improvements. Generally people in the West educate their children as they build their houses, according to some plan they think beautiful, according to their own cultural values and background which may not be considered suitable for our children except in the advanced studies of science and technology. Thinkers like Camille Paglia , U.S. author, critic, educator. opine that Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity. It is the past, not the dizzy present, that is the best door to the future.
3. A teacher affects eternity; he can never
tell where his influence stops. But it is so distressing to find that corruption
and copy-culture has crept in many educational institutions in Sind as
well as other remote areas. In interior Sind hate and prejudices are damaging
not only the national unity but also standard of education. I find many
first class MA and MBA are not able to write correct English and fail miserably
in test or interviews for jobs in good commercial concerns.
5. What I feel is that Education in our
times must try to find whatever there is in students that might yearn
for completion, and to reconstruct the learning that would enable
them autonomously to seek that completion and thus become a
good citizen fully aware with Huqooq Allah and Huqooqul Ibad. Not
only Ulemas and our educational experts but psychologists must help in modernizing
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