Education is a benchmark for excellence and is crucial for any developing country’s efforts to achieve sustainable development and prosperity. Well-being of a nation comes with education, as illiterate individuals do not turn out to be fruitful for any nation. It needs to be understood that education not only equips the population with knowledge and creative approach but also acts as an engine to accelerate economic growth. However, although a number of educational policies have been framed by former government, unfortunately, they were not put in practice in letter and spirit. "Although" with "in Pakistan”” 68 million children under the age of 15 to educate, what is required are more efforts to overcome the challenge, and create a sustainable path to a better future for the country and its youth.
Many educational policies have been designed since the inception of Pakistan; we are adept at making policies but slow in fully implementing them. Now the time has come to have a realistic approach and innovative ideas that may help to improve the standard of education in Pakistan. In this regard, it is necessary that government should work on mass mobilization and have awareness campaigns in every village, town and city. Political and religious leaders, philanthropists and civil society organizations should participate in campaigns in their respective areas. Participation of local communities is said to be the key to success of basic education programmes. This participation has been lacking in Pakistan where many parents and communities neither understand the importance of education nor support it in any way. Thus it is important that community-based awareness campaigns are started everywhere, as such activities would be helpful to eliminate lack of awareness, conservatism and ignorance of parents about benefits of education. These factors are deemed to be basic hurdles that impede enrollment of all children into schools.
We must celebrate children’s voices and rights in the classroom and the school. And in order to make that happen there should be events where civil society members, parents, and teachers interact with children. This influence should extend to pedagogy as well as school councils; for it is the classroom where citizenship starts, and it is common knowledge that discussion, dialogue and argument are very powerful tools for learning.
By Shahid Nauman NUST University Islamabad