Education is a mechanism of building humans as respectful, empathetic and wise specie. Unfortunately education is the most neglected and therefore most forgotten sector in Pakistan. If you know the rules for Dart games, you might know that it doesn’t matter how close the darts hit the board but how close they get to the board center. Precision is important but accuracy is the top priority. Following reasons may help us to analyse how our darts deviated from right place.

1. We tagged “literacy” as “Education”

Literacy is a part of education which helps in transforming thoughts and ideas and works as a medium between humans. Literacy is like a language, which enables someone to communicate in understandable form, but education is holistic. Education enables a person to think, doubt and evaluate realistically, higher the education more unbiased analysis is expected. Education builds high order thinkers with high moral and social values and literacy is their tool to express their capabilities. Mistakenly we confused both.

Unfortunately we seem to be doing it all the right way, instead we are deviating from the original stance of education. So with “aimless literacy” today we have educationists who are less privileged in this field and yet take the ownership of being the advocates .We need to bring a positive change right from the roots of elementary level till the highest level of education, So as to produce the required manpower for our nation, in order to boost up the economy of our country and to give chances for all those who are deprived of it. Training our people, vocationally, technically and educationally will definitely give us a change and a complete revival of where we stand now.

There is dire need to rejuvenate the existing curriculum and rewrite a new educational contract with the nation along with a mission statement for the country while focusing on few fundamental questions i.e. “What to study?” “Why to study?” “How to check we are focused on mission statement at every level?” We don’t need educational revolution but educational transformation.

2. We personalized everything

In true educational system nothing is personal, but built around the core mission statement, the big idea and few essential questions. Education cannot work and is fruitful in mechanical way rather in organic perspective. From the lowest to highest ranking hierarchy in our entire nation and education system, we need to work as one team .As we talk about collaborative learning in schools, it needs to be built here, so there is harmony and balanced approach towards the mission -education. It entirely doesn’t matter what you personally believe in but the most important questions is “what future generations require?” This question must not be answered on the basis of word of mouth but supported by statistical data.

We need to depersonalize and build everything on one big question “Where our kids should stand after 50 years?” It will be painful for us to deviate from the tradition but cultural change needs ten to hundred years and results are long lasting. We have the example of Singapore where teachers and educationists worked as social reformers. We have living example of Finland where people don’t even know the meanings of school dropout.

3. We shifted the paradigm from ‘professional capitalism’ to ‘Business capitalism’

The top educational models such as Finland, South Korea, Singapore and Canada focused on professional capitalism. In Finland only 11% teachers can get into this profession due to high benchmarks of competence and knowledge of educational pedagogies. South Korea introduced a model where teachers continuously pass through cycles of teachers training and refining the practices.

What we did? The public sector needs to be revised from top to bottom, to get the desired results of efficient and effective personals. Teachers in public sectors are not given opportunities to work in a healthy environment, or rather not trained in an effective manner, so as to, give their best shots. Few teachers I have met in public sectors have immense potential to raise, but chances that are provided, lack success. With no thought provoking and character building curriculum being made, it automatically leads to a more serious problem, that is, the workshops.

Our so -called workshops, at times fail to provide the right hit on the nail problematic areas which the teachers fail to connect. These trainings got failed in changing the mindset and therefore teachers do not apply if ever they get chance to know about educational philosophies. Education Sector receives less than 5% of total annual budget, which naturally is very less, if we talk about providing a concrete manpower to this nation, it needs investment in every area of education you can think of.

Denial is not the solution but taking up the issue by redesigning trainings on one question “How our teachers can give us high order thinkers?” The dream of “No child left behind” cannot come true until we strive for “No teacher left behind”.

Private sector is another competition for our Government, at times giving them insecurity. But, no one should be exploited in the name of private schooling. Even private schools need to have a thematic curriculum across the board to ensure quality and sustainability. We need to pull ourselves out of this traditional topping system. Every child has own capabilities and every child has a right to grow in it. Being creative and forcing to be creative are two different things. We need to grow out of the fixed mindset that we have, orthodox thinking of examining /testing every child at one level.

These named and branded tests which have been dawned upon us by the international names will never show us the true potential of our nation's children. Our nation has a generation which needs a hand to be taken away with care and right guidance. They can rise and shine with their true colors.

Teachers in private sector started exploitation for their survival and today everyone is focused on business not the quality; so the ultimate sufferer is the kid and parents. What else one can expect when schools look for cheap manpower for the most prestigious profession and today anyone can get into this profession which has turned into an orphanage with a slogan “Those who can do; do. Those who can’t; Teach”.

In present situation, we need to take everyone on board and depersonalize educational model. The nation needs new, entirely new educational curricula and assessment mechanism with a focused objective. Government cannot leave its public on the mercy of exploiters in the name of ECAT and MCAT and doubting own examination boards. Pakistan needs to learn from the best education models of the world. Let’s throw the darts precisely at the center of the board.

Article by Umair Qureshi - Teacher, Educationist, ASCD Emerging Leader 2015, International Conference Presenter, Tedx Speaker, Oxbridge Fellow, CEO 'Leaders in Education & Academic Development (Pvt) Limited, Founder and Executive Director Islamabad ASCD Connected Community, Activist for Educational Reforms and Legislation, Originated Nationwide Project for Teachers Empowerment & National Teachers Internship Program.