Who will bring change?

Dr Shujaat Mubarik

The writer is Professor and Associate Dean at Institute of Business Management (IoBM) Karachi.

Whenever we refer to societal or economic issues, we speak about bringing a change, need to change our system, infact the skeletal framework of our nation. We often hear about the need to change the existing system if we want to make a difference. In the past, many raised the slogan of ‘change’ to come to power. In fact, the main motto of the incumbent government was ‘change’ on which the PTI came to power.
How successful has the PTI been in bringing change can be gauged by the changes in the education system, considered the hallmark of change around the world. The development and progress of the modern world is the education system. In the developed world, scientists, economists, industrialists and sociologists played a vital role in the progress of their countries.
The question arises why our education system has been unable to raise individuals who can bring a revolution in the economic progress of our country. There are many reasons for the failure of our education system; the capabilities of our teachers and the way education is imparted.     
As long as teachers and the practitioners are not familiar with the aims and objectives of education, they will not be able to impart a decent education. You may be teaching in the fancy buildings with all the advanced facilities and technological advancement, as long we do not understand the core meaning of providing an education, we will be unable to raise quality students and produce the best scientists, economists, and inventors.
We need to admit that our teachers lack the capabilities to produce the leaders of tomorrow with their limited qualifications and worldview. Those who are supposed to lay the foundations of a nation are unaware of its history. It is unfortunate that most important pillar of a strong society – the students – are not as steady as the entire building is crumbling. To improve our education system, we need to reform our teachers. We need to train them, make them experts in their subjects, and even provide academic and personal development.
According to a UN survey, around 80-90 percent of teachers lack creativity and personality development while many university professors are unaware of it. We need to train teachers in this regard and then introduce creativity as part of our curriculum. Students need to productive members of society but the respect of a teacher in our society is gradually fading. Private schools need to raise salaries and society needs to respect their teachers.
Our education system focuses on rote learning and securing the highest marks. This affects the thinking capability and creativity of our students. They are unable to learn new concepts and are only concerned about learning them to pass examinations. We need to encourage students and shift them from this traditional system towards one where they make their own decisions.
The main purpose of education is not to get a job but to become enlightened, honest and truthful, and to gain skills. If the core objective of education is achieved, we can bring a change in our society. We will not need to change our political our economic system and we will observe gradual changes in our society. If we are unable to reform our education system and raise hollow slogans of change, then we will be disappointed and not gain much.
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