It is an undeniable fact that in today’s world and times, innovation, science and technology act as meaningful driving force for national economies. The countries, which invested in research and development and worked on improving the quality of their human resource, have touched the horizon of success and are world’s giant economies. On the flip side are the countries that neglected this area and are dependent on advanced countries for their scientific and technological needs. Pakistan belongs to latter category. The ‘Global Innovation Index’, which annually assesses countries’ innovations and their results on economies, places Pakistan at the bottom.
This is both unsurprizing and unfortunate. This lack of innovation is attributed to the flawed education system in Pakistan, which struggles to develop creative and imaginative skills in students. The culture of rote learning is too a mainstream practice and so ruthlessly promoted to pass the exams with good grades. It destroys the imaginative and creative abilities of a student and mutilates his curosity and questioning sense. Moreover, the quality of science education in public schools and colleges is also below par, as ill-equipped science and computer laboratories and flawed teaching methods alienate students from science subjects. Higher education has its own baggage of problems. A meagre 0.29% GDP is spent on research and development projects compared to 2-4% in many developed and developing countries. Little collaboration with industries and foreign universities, and lack of incentives offered to PhD students working in foreign lands, are some of the other hurdles that suppress innovation in Pakistan.
Authorities must shift their attention towards fixing the glaring inadequacies of Pakistan’s education system, which often stymie students from realizing their full potentials. Pakistan possesses a burgeoning human resource and only by building a knowledge-based economy, Pakistan can stand tall in the comity of nations. —Via email