It’s time to analyze the state
of professional education in the country. Apparently the mushrooming growth of
Engineering and Management Universities in every corner should guarantee some
promising outcome. But I regret to say that we are only producing junk in the
name of professional education. This junk human resource is incapable of
drivingthe economy forward. They are good only for government jobs which they
can get by bribery or by reference. The reasons for this miserable situation are
lack of progressive educational policy formulation/implementation, Absence of
rational/critical thinking, rote culture, lack of career counseling, lack of
academia and industry linkages, herd mentality in people, insatiable lust for
profits, and lack of research culture.
At government level education is not a top priority. Only 2% budget is reserved
for education. Besides budget there is no progressive professional education
policy,we only see Laptop distribution ceremonies. In Musharaff era
Dr.Attaurrehman did focus on higher education but that policy was also flawed.
HEC is recognizing every university without establishing the current and future
needs of professionals. Also only certain fashionable fields like Engineering,
Management and commerce are focused. The criteria for recognizing universities
are also ambiguous. Due to lack of proper check n balance by HEC, these
universities are working like profit making machines. Parents enrolled their
incapable and uninterested children in these universities. The admission
criterion is just the financial capability to pay charges.
Another reason for the situation is the absence of rational and critical
thinking skills in students. Our education system is so pathetic that it taught
only the blind following of authority. It never taught students to think for
themselves for the problems of real life. Our students are trained to memorize
texts and reproduce them on paper. Creativity, critical thinking and problem
solving has no reward and place in education system. These students when go to
professional jobs they create mess because rote education had never prepared
them to tackle real life problems. Now organizations are looking for people who
can solve problems. Google, Facebook, Apple, Samsung and others have no place
for people who have excellent academic background but failed to model and solve
real life problems.
Career counseling is an Alien phenomenon in Pakistani society. Since someone has
told us that we are very intelligent people so we need not to ask someone for
guidance. Parents are spending millions to see their children becoming doctor
and engineer without analyzing children interest and orientation. No career
counseling is provided to students. Students struggle to get the professional
degrees for the happiness of their parents. They personally have superficial
interest in that degree. The real problem is blind following of popular trends
in the society.
Academia and industry linkages are also a big problem. In modern economies
industry provide their skill set demand and universities develop their programs
based on these demands.This provides job guarantee to the enrolled students and
fulfillment of industries goals. But in our situation there is no industry
linkage. So requirement of skill set is unknown to universities and is not their
focus. The absence of industry linkage has also created the problems in the
field of research. Students are not trained on empirical research techniques.
The topics of research are not real life industrial problems. Since focus is on
getting degrees, nobody care about the research. Unless we improve our research
our professional education would not improve.
Last but not the least is the excessive greed of universities. They are
exploiting vulnerable parents. The dreams and hopes of better future are sold at
high rates. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can take admission in n university without
merrit. For profit maximization they provide poor infrastructure including labs,
libraries, playground, and lecture rooms, Incompetent people are hired at
nominal rates to cut costs.There is no check n balance on teachers regarding
teaching methodology and style.Curriculum is not revised according to the
changing needs.Above problems and many more if continue wouldmake professional
education more miserable and irrelevant to current time.