It is said that man is a social animal by nature, but what makes this social animal a human, it is knowledge, and the knowledge comes through education.
All the world knows the importance of education, and it has been established that no nation or country
can develop without education.
Education is the key to the development, not only industrial or scientific but it also the key to the social
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the neighboring countries, these two countries have many similarities, not
only their religion, society, languages, customs are almost the same but they have economic similarities too.
Most of the people in both the countries are poor, they have a low income, so education is almost unaffordable for them, not in the means that they have to spend a lot on the education of their children, but they cannot even afford to feed their children without the help of the children. So they don’t want their children to study, they simply want them to work, this is a big misfortune.
Another common reason in Afghanistan and some part of Pakistan is the marriage, yes in the pakhtoon belt of both the countries, marriage is a very costly thing. To marry a girl a man has to spent almost 20,00,000 Pak rupees which equals to 18518 US dollars, and this is a lot of money for the poor people, and also the expenses are ever growing, marriage is a uphill task, in fact it is like conquering K2(I did not mention Mount Everest because a 60 years old man has done it too). To marry, one has to collect or save money right from the childhood, if he saves 200 rupees per day then he will be able to get married in 10000 days which is equal to 27.7 years provide that he is never sick or no vacation if we count one weekly vacation, it will take 31.7 year, if he studies till the age of 20, then he will be able to marry in the age of 52 years. This is also a big misfortune, our society has to think and solve this problem, because it is ruining the future of their children.
Religious values are also a big hurdle in the way of education. Most of religious people don’t want their girls to get the education, even if they agree to educate them, they don’t let her get the higher education.
They don’t want her to do a job or interact with men. An interesting thing happened in Bannu medical college (KPK), a Taliban man came to the principal of that college and warned him about the girls studying in the college, and he told the principle to stop educating girls. This principle was a very wise man, he asked him (to Taliban man) a question “if your wife or sister is ill or if she is going to have a delivery case, where would you take her, to a male or a female doctor”, and the man replied that he will take his women to a lady doctor. Then the principle said “let these girls become doctors for your wife or sister”, the man went and never came back and till now there are no threats to this college from Taliban.
Education system in Pakistan is also a big misfortune. There are three systems of education in Pakistan,
One is the system of government schools, the education here is less costly but of a very low quality.
The second one is of the private schools for the middle class, education in these institutions is a bit costly but it is better than the government schools.
The third one is for the elite class. This is a higher level of education, can only be afforded by the riches.
The drop level of the students from the government schools is very high, even if one continues the study, in the end he gets nowhere. It is hard to get the job for a government school or college qualified. This also is the reason that poor people are reluctant to study in government schools, they consider it a waste of time.
Many people also relate education to westernization, but they are not related, I have seen many well educated men and women who wear Islamic dress, in fact my wife’s lady doctor wears a veil, I have never seen her face, but she is a very good doctor, she has a very good social behavior, and an excellent personality, I like her (as a doctor) very much.
We are lacking behind because of education, it will take hard work and sincerity of the purpose to catch up with the other nations of the world. Our leaders and our society will have to find a solution to these misfortunes, to educate our children for the betterment of their future and for the betterment of next generations.
TARIQ MEHMOOD AWAN
3RD NOVEMBER 2013.