Published Date: Jan 5, 2017
Pakistan’s education system needs to be overhauled in order to produce thinkers rather than mere job-seekers and the present education system, despite having some strong foundations, is failing because of the presence of some vested interests.
These views were expressed by Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan at the launch of book ‘Reorienting Educational Efforts for Sustainable Development: Experiences from South Asia’, at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Wednesday. Tahir Dhindsa of SDPI has contributed Pakistan Chapter of the book.
Dr Mukhtar was of the opinion that we should revive hope for the nation and the way forward is to keep education system at par with the developed world. Education is a key factor to keep us relevant in today’s world, he said. Dr Mukhtar said portraying ourselves as a reactionary nation is our major dilemma and that’s why we are reluctant to adopt a proactive approach and it is the biggest challenge before us. Similarly, absence of good policies was not our real problem but it is always lack of implementation that keeps us failing in every arena including our education system. He added further that for a sustained change, we need to revamp our education system gradually instead of looking for some quick fixes.
Prof Dr Tariq Banuri, Associate Director from University of Utah on the occasion said that we have not been able to teach our children about the threats that they were going to face in near future. “Our education system is without vision. One of the challenges is climate change and other phenomena resulting by excessive emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, he said. “Our curriculum, researches and campus operations must be designed in a fashion that our children could learn about sustainable development and to be able to face the future challenges,” he said.
Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director SDPI called upon the universities to link with policy making process. He said that sustainable development was a dynamic concept and it should be taken as a multi-sectoral approach. He said that it was imperative for our education system to encourage critical thinking and a culture of query besides imparting knowledge on how we can build partnerships at different levels for our shared goals.
Earlier, Tahir Dhindsa, a contributing author to the book explained the challenge in the past was to make a student integrated into the society which was there. Now with climate change the paradigm is changed, now the world needs students to grow up to the challenge and change the social economic and commercial behavior of the society, therefor reorienting educational efforts for sustainable development is need of hour.