The following article, “What is the Role of Education in Character Building? Highlight Major Pitfalls in Pakistan’s Education System.”, is written by Areeba Fatima, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
2-Understanding the term character building and education system
3-What is the role of education system in character building?
- ✓Nurturing intellectual virtues
- Evidence: As Martin Luther King Jr. has aptly said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.”
- ✓Strengthening moral ethics
- Evidence: As Jerry Springer has rightly said, “We are all born as empty vessels, which moral values can shape.”
- ✓Fostering civic virtues
- Evidence: According to John Adams, the famous US president, “A free society requires, for its very survival, a citizenry devoted in large part to moral and civic virtue.”
- ✓Boosting performance values
- Evidence: According to Confucius, “Education breeds confidence, confidence breeds hope, and hope breeds peace.”
4-What are the major pitfalls in Pakistan’s education system?
- ✓Outdated and irrelevant curriculum
- Evidence: According to our founding father, Quaid e Azam, the world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advancements in education, we shall not only lag behind others but may be wiped out altogether.
- ✓Lack of pedagogical skills
- Evidence: According to the survey conducted by the Alif Ailaan Organization, over 40 per cent of teachers received no training in Pakistan.
- ✓Ineffective education policies
- Evidence: According to multiple pieces of research, there is a massive contradiction in policies the government launched and steps to achieve its results. Due to poor monitoring and inappropriate management, the applied policies did not give the desired results.
- ✓Lack of career counselling
- Evidence: According to multiple surveys, more than 90% of students in Pakistan don’t know where the boat of their lives is going due to the lack of career counselling.
5- Suggestions to improve Pakistan’s education system
- ✓To timely implement effective education policies and make them free of political intervention
- ✓To ensure the uniformity of education through a single national curriculum
- ✓To introduce a modern and relevant curriculum and its evaluation on an annual basis
Answer to the Question
Education, the kindling flame, is indispensable in developing humankind’s character from darkness to light and in the evolution of thoughts from ashes to the phoenix. Moreover, education serves as a lubricant fueling society’s intellectual virtues, moral ethics, and civil virtues, cultivating mutually beneficial individuals with social traits. Besides, enlightened education also breeds critical thinking, integrity, transparency, and rational judgment, central to character building. However, Pakistan’s education system has drastically failed in the enculturation of masses within the established social values, moral codes, economic principles and political traits, ultimately leading to inclusive development. There are many flaws in Pakistan’s education system, like the lack of pedagogical skills and ineffective education policies, owing to which it has been in shambles for years. Further, outdated and irrelevant curricula and the lack of career counselling have put the country into hot waters. Nonetheless, to cure the ills of Pakistan’s education system, various concerted and sustained efforts are required to achieve the desired results. Thus, Pakistan should revamp its education policies and update its curriculum annually to have its say among nations.
2-Understanding the terms character building and education system
Moving ahead, character building is a cognitive learning process adapting core ethical norms, intellectual virtues, and civic values. It also fosters critical thinking and decision-making abilities and encourages students to engage in meaningful dialogues and debates. Similarly, the education system includes all institutions and opportunities for formal education. In a broader context, the system consists of all institutions, public and private sector, profit and non-profit, onsite and virtual, and the ones that are directly involved in financing, managing, operating, and regulating such institutions.
3-The role of education in character building
Furthermore, education encultures masses with cognitive, social, and moral values necessary for the betterment of society and enables them to meet the demanding dynamics of life. A few ways education can help in character building are given below.
Nurturing intellectual values
First, the role of education in the generation and expansion of intellectual human capital cannot be overemphasized. It breeds creativity, critical thinking, and curiosity, nurturing the intelligent minds of youth who are the tangible assets of a nation. At the same time, it also fosters the growth of latent abilities to unlock personal talents and the quest for understanding. As Martin Luther King Jr. aptly said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.” Moreover, proper education, which makes a citizen develop cognitive abilities, is the best tool for intellectual development. Thus, quality education is considered a means to harness the intellectual virtues of a nation in all its facets.
Strengthening moral ethics
Moving forward, education, a multipurpose process, decide the fate and future of the moral development of a nation. To illustrate, education also reaps the seeds of ethical values and norms, such as honesty, compassion, respect, and accountability. It is an undeniable fact that education helps a nation to discern between right and wrong and to differentiate between fact and myth, bringing a positive change in society. As Jerry Springer has rightly said, “We are all born as empty vessels, which moral values can shape.” Hence, education fosters the ethical qualities and moral values that are the guiding principle of life, uplifting the all-around development of an individual.
Fostering civic virtues
Going down the ladder, education plays a crucial role in promoting civil values, which can play a vital role in shaping the future of society and preparing students to navigate challenging civic quandaries. By fostering a sense of community awareness, responsible citizenship, and social welfare in youth, education further enhances the establishment of a democratic society. According to John Adams, the famous US president, “A free society requires, for its very survival, a citizenry devoted in large part to moral and civic virtue.” Education also helps cultivate future leaders who lead with civic participation and a sense of social responsibility and prioritize the greater good through imparting civic ideals. Hence, civic values’ role in generating a better citizenry cannot be overstated.
Boosting performance values
Last but not least, education boosts the performance values of students, which can create a utopic impression in the eyes of the audience. A confident personality, motivational nature, and phlegmatic character are essential to thrive in the contemporary world. In this regard, Confucius’s argument is well supported by the evidence that education breeds confidence, confidence breeds hope, and hope generates peace. Hence, it shows that education is the ultimate source of confidence and motivation, allowing youth to break barriers and explore limitations.
4-Significant pitfalls in Pakistan’s education system
Sadly, there are a plethora of challenges to Pakistan’s education system which impede its successful administration. However, a few of them are given hereunder.
Outdated and irrelevant curriculum
Listing the first one is the outdated curriculum has been the bone of contention in developing Pakistan’s education system, making it unable to meet the current demands. It is an old curriculum that compels the learners to memorize specific facts and figures without considering the reality of education. According to our founding father, Quaid e Azam, “The world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advancements in teaching, we not only lag behind others but may be wiped out altogether.” Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s present educational curriculum does not meet these modern standards of education and research. In summary, it does not promote the interest of the learner in practical work, research, and scientific knowledge.
Lack of pedagogical skills
Likewise, the teaching process of Pakistan’s education system is currently in shambles as teachers are suffering from a lack of pedagogical skills. These skills enable teachers to instruct students, manage their classrooms, and strengthen collaborative learning. The most critical requirement of Pakistan’s education system is to improve the quality of teachers’ training, which is essential to enhance students’ outcomes. According to the survey conducted by the Alif Ailaan Organization, over 40 per cent of teachers received no training in Pakistan. It shows that there are no proper training institutes in Pakistan, and most existing institutes are closed due to the lack of funds. Hence, it is the need of the hour to bring about much-needed improvements in the teachers’ pedagogy training.
Ineffective education policies
Similarly, Pakistan has had several education policies since its inception. Still, due to political interventions, lack of collaboration, corruption, and ambiguous objectives, policies could not be implemented in true letter and spirit. Moreover, the policies are not based on the needs and challenges of each province and district, and they have also ignored the development of teachers, leading to alienation between the teachers and the education system. According to multiple research studies, there is a massive contradiction in the government’s policies and the steps taken to achieve its results. Due to poor monitoring and inappropriate management, the applied policies did not give the desired results. Therefore, many ineffective education policies have drastically failed to take the country out of social, political, economic, and development quagmire.
Lack of career counselling
Another flaw of Pakistan’s education system is the absence of career counselling at the school and college levels. Moreover, due to the lack of career counselling, most students make the wrong decisions after graduation and fail. According to multiple surveys, more than 90% of students in Pakistan don’t know where the boat of their lives is going due to the lack of career counselling. At the same time, the unemployment rate is increasing in the country as youth are unaware of job opportunities and demands. Hence, the main reason behind the prevailing depression in Pakistani youth lies in the roots of career unawareness.
5-Suggestions to improve Pakistan’s education system
However, to revamp Pakistan’s education system, multi-pronged strategies are required, which can put the country back on the road to development. Some of them are discussed below.
To timely implement effective education policies and make them free of political intervention
First, education policies should be implemented promptly, free of political interference. It will allow the system to function smoothly and without any discrimination. The glaring example is Sweden, the first country with a well-developed public education system that has worked day and night on implementing effective education policies and stands out as the 3rd best country in the world. Therefore, Pakistan’s education policies should not remain as a potter, but practical steps should be taken to provide the right shade to these approaches.
To ensure the uniformity of education through a single national curriculum (SNC)
Moreover, by properly implementing a single national curriculum, Pakistan can reach the heights of national development and unity. A unified national curriculum can help close the divide between social classes and promote national unity. As Mohammad Iqbal, a renowned author, has beautifully explained the situation of the education system, “The system of education in Pakistan is not based on uniform principles, and only the unified national curriculum can help ameliorate the situation.” In summary, SNC can upgrade Pakistan on social, political, and economic grounds as it offers equal prospects to all stakeholders of society. To sum up, a single national curriculum can become a positive step in Pakistan’s education system and, in turn, promote national development.
To introduce a modern and relevant curriculum and its evaluation on an annual basis
Furthermore, the curriculum should be kept relevant and updated, and it should be evaluated on an annual basis to meet the changing demands. Therefore, a vast survey should be conducted, and the curriculum goals should be redefined. Further, the curriculum should be changed according to the recommendations of the education’s researchers, teachers, and students. Hence, the curriculum should cater to the psyche and needs of the society and country, making it flourish nationally and internationally.
Character development, as per the prompt critical analysis, is a vital skill for students of all ages. Among all the character development traits, moral codes and civic values dare to change society’s track. However, Pakistan’s education system promotes a herd mentality that ends up producing only factual literature. Thus, it is high time to adopt tangible measures, revamp education policies and ensure quality education for all.
In conclusion, education is a tool that sharpens character development by fueling intellectual virtues, moral ethics, development values, and civic virtues. It also nurtures the social traits and personality development of an individual. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s education system has drastically failed to promote its citizens’ moral codes, social values, economic principles, and political will. The significant flaws of Pakistan’s education system are the lack of pedagogical skills, outdated curriculum, and ineffective education policies. However, the menace can be curbed by implementing and updating a single national curriculum annually.
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