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Citizen Voices Education

PIC Incident Is Reminder Of Deep-Rooted Flaws In Our Education System

What happened in Pakistan Institute of Cardiology (PIC) a few weeks ago is still fresh in our memories – an appalling and sad incident. Hospitals are not assailed even during wars but apparently, the altercation between doctors and lawyers was even greater than that.

Various videos of marauding lawyers and angry doctors were depicting the scene of chaos; this incident cannot be viewed in isolation. We need to dive deep down and see why such violent episodes break in our country every now and then, and for that, we must review the outdated notion of our education system.

This incident brought forward many things including the failure of the Safe City Authority Program, the inaction of the police, and lack of moral and ethical values but most importantly – the failure of our educational system. Is it not true that all these young doctors, often found holding strikes on the roads for salary increases, and these lawyers (supposed protectors of law) have been to many educational institutions throughout their life? Is it wrong to say that the frustration and depression rates have been increased among the youth due to the increasing number of private medical and law colleges with astonishingly high fee structures, that are producing a sea of young doctors and lawyers while the employment rate is exponentially decreasing? Are we not condoning the fact that our present education system is nothing less than a race for getting good jobs after cramming a few course books and holding a degree? We must remember “The environment of classrooms reflects the future of a nation”. And what happened in International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), the fight between two student groups is a stamp on the aforementioned quote.

So, what exactly is the solution to this conundrum? Our educational institutions must hold lectures for uplifting moral and ethical values with the addition of courses to enhance students’ intellectual level. There should be a focus on bringing out good human beings in students rather than good crammers and facts-remembering-computers. Patience and tolerance should be inculcated in students from the very beginning through folktales and group activities. Students should be taught to respect each and every profession and develop a passion for the service of their country rather than bringing a bad name to their country through acts of violence and aggression. They should be taught to listen to each other patiently and respect each other’s opinions irrespective of the class, caste or color.

“As a teacher, it is your role to oversee this process in its entirety and nurture the children involved. Demonstrate kindness, fairness, and patience whenever you find yourself dealing with young people to show what is expected of them. Especially in earlier grades (1st-5th), pupils look up to their teacher as their role model during school time and are likely to copy their behavior. If the example set is a positive one, this can only be a good thing,” according to an article ‘great ways to teach your students tolerance.’

Patient and tolerant behavior is not something that comes forthwith. It develops with age but the benefits it brings are useful for the rest of life. “A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret.” In order to protect our cultural heritage, make it free of intolerant and shameful acts and let the coming generations be proud of their ancestors. We must strive to make our generation more forbearing and enduring.

Educational institutions should deal with the aggressive students strictly so that they know their limits before entering into their professional lives. There should be a check on speedily sprouting private educational institutions. There should be a beady eye on their fee structures and control on the number of students getting degrees per year. We need to focus more on the quality of our education rather than the quantity.

In the article ‘Dynamics of the digital economy’ by a senior economic policy expert Haroon Sharif, he stated “There is a clear gap between institutions and technology in Pakistan. Academia and industry need to invest in their students and employees by offering relevant training programs to prepare them for future job markets.”

Parents should also keep in mind that the environment of the house affects the mental capabilities of their children. So, an intolerant environment will lead to an intolerant society. We seriously need to focus on our societal values. It is true that a few black sheep’s behaviour have proved to be defamatory for respectable professions like medical and law but for now, the culpable individuals in the PIC incident will be hopefully punished and held responsible for the loss of innocent lives and expensive hospital machinery. Let’s see whether the heads will roll or not.

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