Ali Raza Momand
Facts, ideas and skills that are learned, either formally or informally, and that positively impact one’s attitude towards existence may logically be defined as education.
If one’s behaviour is not changed positively or a so-called educated still remains part of the engineered propaganda firmly staged against sections of humanity on some offensive religious, ethnic or even patriotic lines, this simply is something not more than the accumulation of the necessary data for getting a degree to run the concerned systems and no, any education.
Moreover, education needs liberal environment and the absence of constraints and control to flourish a culture of research and get the educated lot capable of navigating the pace of time.
Anything like a controlled syllabus and indoctrinating techniques in the form of injecting certain conservative thoughts into the tabula rasa of students are soul-killers for education. The realm and domain of education stands far above than those conservative and static mental landscapes.
The objective of education is to equip humanity with the knowledge to understand time and reality and thereby enriching its soul and intellectual faculty. For all practical purposes, education is above every effort aimed at organising it and overseeing its operation.
We are exposed here in Pakistan to a number of education systems: government-run educational institutes, military-owned garrison schools and cadet colleges, private sector institutes, and the madrassa system. Neither of them imparts education and all of them do nothing more than equipping students with the necessary information required for attaining degrees.
Sequentially, the first two kinds are propagating the schemed programme aimed at producing servants for state services, the other is fulfilling market demands and the fourth manufactures dictatorial clerics. You cannot have free thinkers out of any of the said systems who can otherwise be bringing positive changes in our society. In the first two kinds of educational institutions, students are indoctrinated in state ideology wherein anything, around the world, which is not conforming to the contents of the ideology is rejected or taken as a threat to the state.
History is engineered likewise for teaching purposes at the institutes as well as for propagating in the society in order to have a controlled, unquestioning, yes-boss, sociopolitical robots instead of rational and humane thinkers. In nutshell, the knowledge, what we have, devoid of research and analysis, is far more dangerous than ignorance.
The result of such manipulated schooling is that we don’t have authorities on any discipline of social or natural sciences nor art and literature nor we do have critical thinkers to question the status-quo and mould our sociopolitics in accordance with the demands of time.
Though, on contrary, we have an abundance of state servants produced annually in larger than large numbers. Similarly, private sector educational institutes here with us are established on material grounds designedto produce a workforce for running industries and markets. They have nothing to do with art and literature, philosophy and other disciplines of social sciences for these subjects are considered worthless in job-markets.
As a result, we have business robotshere to produce. On the same pattern, our madrassa system teaches dogma and orthodox divinity devoid of critical questioning, research and the needs of the time. Madrassa of one school of thought teaches hatred for the other giving thereby an addition to our sectarian violence in the end instead of producing students with know-how to coexist and preach religion in accordance with what the time needs.
It can be concluded that in the absence of a researchoriented education system, our society and state haven’t been growing up rather down in terms of sociopolitical and economic thoughts and riches. Our education system has until date produced much the less of the graduates who can add something new to the established knowledge regime. All our problems are yet unresolved.
To make our society and state out of the existing static order into an operational growing one, we need to revisit and open our education system to research and critical thoughts.
Ali Raza Momand