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Education System: Experts Cite Glaring Disconnect Among Policymakers, Teachers, Others

ISLAMABAD: The education system is in dire need of correction, experts said and cited “disconnect” among different stakeholders as a major problem.

There is a great disconnect between students and teachers, teachers and administrators, among teachers, and, above all, between policymakers and academia, with the end result of different players having different expectations and completely different set of ideas, they said.

These views were expressed at the launch of ‘Academic and Intellectual Dialogue on Social Harmony, Tolerance and Education’ – a study by Islamabad-based think-tank Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) – on Tuesday.

Former chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Khalid Masud said when it comes to fixing education sector, there is a stark disconnect between what the policymakers want and what the intellectuals produce. While intellectuals want to go in detail about a problem, policymakers are more concerned about immediate, black-and-white response, he added.

Sargodha University VC Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed said students lacked exposure and especially those from rural areas had not been to major urban centres and didn’t have interacting with the people there. The universities can provide them with those opportunities, he said.

Columnist Khursheed Nadeem argued that despite having multiple systems, each catering to different socioeconomic class, they, at the end of the day, were all producing the same mindset. “It is the mindset that is dogmatic, not receptive to diverse views,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s educational system produced “degree-holders, not knowledge holder”.

The participants said societies flourish and progress when they ask questions, but the trend of asking questions is fading. Intellectual foundations are built on probing, which is what universities should promote. However, it was asked whether the culture of self-inquiry can thrive when the space for freedom to express views is shrinking.

Shahid Anwar, a teacher in a college in Rawalpindi, said Pakistan’s education system is failing at the fronts of curriculum, co-curriculum, and extra-curriculum.


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