There Is a side to Pakistan most of us are blind to. A lot of Issues came Into my mind after watching the movie ‘Khamosh Pant’. Extremism, the unfair treatment of women in our society, and implication of Zia-ul-Haq’s polices are some of them. On a personal level, the character that I could relate the most, was Saleem. In this movie, Saleem represented an undereducated and easy-to-influence character who became a victim of the preachers of fundamentalism. Despite of being highly motivated to succeed and having a strong drive to achieve something, his carefree attitude led him to live an adrift life.

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Saleem perfectly represents the youth of our country. Islamization and other related politically driven policies have exploited our misguided youth to a great extent. In this paper, I will be discussing the Impact of such policies on the education system of Pakistan. The education system of any country is its strongest intangible asset, and optimizing it is very crucial. When a well- planned and unitary education system is combined with the provision of enlightenment, students not only start to think freely, but also start developing their own ideas and Judgments There’s a Chinese proverb, “If you give a man a fish, you eed him for a day.

If you teach the man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. This quote is applicable to education too. Education does not only provide students with enough knowledge to make better decisions for a day, but their lifetime. However, sadly, our politicians have always used education as a means to indirectly Implement the ideologies of the state on our youth. While taking Pakistan as an example, Islam is said to be the binding force that unites all sects of the society. Firstly, as Qadeer has menuoned In his article, the policy of nationalizing the educational Institutes by

Bhutto “eroded the institutional base of the modern component of the civil society’ . The society was further radicalized by Zia-ul-Haq when he imposed his Islamic policies on a society, which, from my point of view was not Islamic at all. Eventhough Zla did change the course books and extended the Madrassah system, English medium schools were still being operated and they catered the middle-upper and upper class . This created a dfference of opinion, a two-track system of education that functions, till today.

Page 2 History and Education in Pakistan Essay

Even today, various educational systems operate InPakistan; Exclusive institutions tor the elite lot, government institutions for the middle and lower class, and the Madrassahs that accommodate the requirements of the majority of the low-class population ata cheaper cost. This amount of divergence in education results in equally diversified youth. Young students who get education the top expensive institutes clearly manage to do better than the others, which leave the students, who get their education from the cheap government Institutes, wander In distress.

Not only their degree is not valued much, but also they do not have the right ources to get good Jobs in the professional sector. However, when it comes to the Madrassah system of education’, it seems very disturbing to me that it has remained the same since the very beginning. It Is the only education system In Pakistan that has not even changed a bit since the separation of the sub-continent. Even today. the same values, the same courses, and the same ideologies are being taught as they were at the time of independence.

The number of Madrassahs in the country has ‘Of3 are functioning in Pakistan currently, with almost one and a half million students studying in them (Ahmad, 2010). Apart from that, a large number still remains unregistered. The courses being taught in these Madrassahs are primarily in Urdu. There’s no change in the courses being taught in these Madrassahs. The same values that were being taught ages back are passed on without any space for flexibility in ideologies. Most of the students studying here come from low-class background, and they ought to learn the text by heart.

As Haider has mentioned in his article, ‘Students from impoverished backgrounds at the Madrassahs were taught an obscurantist understanding of Islam with no modern subjects, making them easy rey for their handlers’, most of the time these students are not even supposed to question afar a definite extent, as it concerns religion and questioning these values is considered disgraceful . This severity in the teaching process polishes off the opinion-forming and speculative ability of children.

As a result, a narrow-minded and rigid bunch of young people, who lack the mental capability to think from a broader perspective, comes out of these Madrassahs. As Ahmad has said, “It has been observed that while there is considerable unemployment among the youth ducated in secular schools and colleges, the graduates of Madrasas have never faced such problems and have usually been able to find Jobs commensurate with their training”, it would be very unsurprising to know that the unemployment rate amongst the Madrassah-educated students is relatively low.

To add to it, some Madrassahs at primary level encourage extremism, and give it the name ‘Jihad’. It becomes easier for the youth to become a victim of these radical teachings since they do not know how to think out of the box. For the students who study there, these teachings give them a sense of direction, and a purpose in life. Saleem is a perfect example in this case. Youngsters like Saleem are faced with only the option of failure owing to the fact the system itself lacks provision of sufficient information regarding progressive opportunities.

Even then, there are some exceptions. Government institutes and Madrassahs too, can still produce students who know how to manage their lives well, and they, at times have produced scholars who have the ability to think out of the box. Even then, the feeling of animosity and dissatisfaction among the young people, however, seems to be growing day by day. There are numerous reasons behind this kind of feeling; differences between private and government-educated students, the high unemployment rate, and the inability of the teachers to come up with new teaching methodologies.

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