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The News

Published Date: Jan 6, 2017

System producing job-seekers, not thinkers

Higher Education Commission Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmed has said that the education system of Pakistan needed to be revamped in order to produce thinkers rather than presently producing just job seekers.
Dr Mukhtar was speaking at the launch of ‘Reorienting educational efforts for sustainable development: experiences from South Asia’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The HEC boss said that the present education system, despite having some strong foundations, was failing because of the ills brought in the system by vested interest. He said that there is a need to revive the hope of the nation and for this purpose, making our education system at par with the developed world was imperative to keep us relevant in today’s world.
He said that our major dilemma was that we have always portrayed ourselves as a reactionary nation and thus adapting a proactive approach was the biggest challenge before us.
He said that absence of good policies was not our real problem but it was always lack of implementation that kept us failing in every arena including our education system. He opined we need to revamp our education system gradually instead of looking for some quick fixes.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Associate Director from University of Utah, said that unfortunately we have not been able to teach our children about the threats that they were going to face in near future. He said that our education system was blinded on phenomenon like climate change and other problems resulting by excessive emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
He said that our curriculum, researches and campus operations must be designed in a fashion that our children could learn about sustainable development and be able to face the future challenges.
Dr Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, stressed that our universities should be linked 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, contributing author of 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 as the world needs students to grow up to the challenge and change the social economic and commercial behaviour of the society. Therefore, reorienting educational efforts for sustainable development is need of the hour.