Education for the Rural Population
Reaching the heights of development and prosperity is led ever so bravely by the forerunner; namely Education. A primal source of economical and individual development, this principle characteristic is sparing throughout the developing world.
Considering Pakistan, despite the increase in literacy rate in the recent years, educational quality is particularly neglected in the rural areas. The total rural educated population, overlooking the otherwise-vital elements – i.e quality of teaching content and style, has just barely crossed 50% (increasing minutely from 51.9% to 53.3% between the years of 2016-2019).
Several factors leading to the disparity between urban and rural education show that the gap needs to be bridged to increase the literacy rate – and hence the developmental status – for a stable, steady, and permanent welfare of the country as a whole, and not just the ‘privileged’ social groups.
A brief insight into the realities of unequal education lie in the main difference between government and private schooling systems, lack of educational disbursement, semi or unqualified staff, ingrained disinterest from ‘backward’ mindsets towards female education, and monetary issues to afford enrollment in the first place.
A government school or private village school – being Urdu medium – would automatically mold the student in a traditional type of way. While a private English medium school would construe situations, habits, as well as general thinking schemas similar to the Western culture. Institutions in villages also hire less-qualified local teachers at lower wages, ultimately leading to a lower knowledgeable standpoint of the pupil. What is saddening, and often shameful, is the lack of government interest in improving the current condition.
Although one could argue on the constitution’s side stating an insufficiency of finances, an equally accurate debate would be to pose the fact that loans taken, and also the advances made in the country’s gross national income, should be portioned equally towards educational facilities in the rural areas as they may, for example, be done for infrastructure and public market leisure. An increase from 2.2% in 2016 to 2.4% GDP in 2018 specified for education remotely shines light on the latter argument.
Coming to gender inequality, one could write pages, but for the topic at hand; the chief issue is the bitter reality of rural population despising female education, as well as siding to child labor extensively; overworking, underpaying and many-a-times abusing the potential intellectuals. Gruesome as it is to see a young child sweat in jobs not meant for his frail mind, like being a house servant, mechanic, kiln worker, etc, the less affluent parts of the country have still not abandoned the custom of children as breadwinners. Furthermore, the endemic poverty in every nook and corner of Pakistan facilitates this unfair enforcement of tedious occupations, as well as in lowering the enrollment in the few functioning schools that could be made available to them. Without dismissing the efforts by the governmental sector to lift the educational deprivation, the actual work and subsequent results are not praiseworthy enough. Not only do the schools require properly trained expertise, but also need to have the resources to aid in child-development from basic principles like speaking manners, to decision making. Adding on, the imbalance between public and private sectors should be reduced in order for a more unified mental and intellectual state of the population at large, keeping in mind the quality of content taught. The government should speed towards refinement and enhancement if it is planning to rule over the said state of Pakistan in the next one hundred years as well. Reform of current status, acknowledgment of the grave issues, and immediate action and implementation of educational plans need to be the primary focus in the blueprint for a better economical, industrialized, and cultivated country.