Ed­u­ca­tion qual­ity

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - HIRA ISHAQUE

‘Qual­ity’ con­tin­ues to be an is­sue that gravely con­fronts ed­u­ca­tion in our part of the world. One of the ar­eas pri­ori­tised by the World Bank re­port on qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion is that learn­ing out­comes should be­come the cen­tral goal of the ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy. Stu­dent learn­ing in South Asia is far be­hind lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. Stu­dents do not get even the ba­sic numer­acy and lit­er­acy skills af­ter putting in a rea­son­able time in school.

The re­port au­da­ciously em­pha­sises that “school­ing is suc­cess­ful when it en­ables stu­dents to lead fuller lives – as in­di­vid­u­als and as labour mar­ket par­tic­i­pants. For this to hap­pen, merely spend­ing time in school is not enough; there has to be a sig­nif­i­cant gain in cog­ni­tive and noncog­ni­tive skills”. Yet an­other area pri­ori­tised by the re­port for qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion is ‘teacher ef­fec­tive­ness and ac­count­abil­ity’. Teach­ers in our coun­try are found lack­ing on both these counts. The grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion makes it in­cum­bent on those en­gaged in pol­i­cy­mak­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in the coun­try to put their heads to­gether and find out as to what should be done to deal with this gar­gan­tuan challenge – a challenge that con­tin­ues to un­abat­edly con­front us even af­ter seven decades of our in­de­pen­dence.

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