The Miserable state of professional education.docx

(Muhammad Usman Noraal, )

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.

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