“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” — Chinese Proverb
Pakistan, the land of the pure is now the 6th most populous country in the world with a population of over 200 million people and with its current growth rate, it is expected to double up near 2050.
Still a young nation, with an abundantly high population of most of its individuals being under the age of 25, Pakistan has one of the highest number of out of school children worldwide which in itself could be the biggest untapped opportunity of our time if they are given the right resources & this starts with a good education.
An opinion on this is that students enrolled in Pakistan’s education system are not able to achieve desired learning levels and thus are not able to convert their education into meaningful and sustainable economic opportunities and from here on our conversation begins with, Dr. Mariam Chughtai whose portfolio ranges from Harvard University to now LUMS and who is on a mission to bring systemic social change through education.
Where some might believe that private sector schools offer much better education, that scope is limited because on the outside their facilities and add ons might be better as pretty book covers are but inside the approach to education & willingness of teachers to focus on learning and not on achieving grades is still the same.
Public schools because of lack of funding, have a shortage of basic facilities such as consistent electricity and sanitation and in most cases, are filled with ghost teachers that soak up public payroll without showing up for work and some lack the motivation, energy and openness one needs to be a teacher, the latter of which can also be said about some private institution matriarchs.
With the rise of covid-19 and the staggering shift in moving to online learning platforms, technology is becoming an integral part of the education system and companies like Edkasa, run by Annum Sadiq, the host of our insights chat with Dr. Mariam Chughtai, are the forefounders of education accessibility and e-learning in Pakistan.
“There is still a need to design the right content and make it more user specific and human centered”
It was elaborated that public-private partnerships in the education sector will only be beneficial if headed by the right people and not used for the sake of political point scoring as have been in the past, and personalised learning plans, training teachers and incorporating technology in the classrooms is the only way forward.
Listen to this entire conversation on daftarkhwans Youtube channel and stay tuned for more content like this.