When quality education is a mere dream

Sehrish Mallah

The girl was a dweller of her own soul. She had a universe within herself where she existed.

She lived in the village named after her grandfather Rustam-e-Sindh Sher Mirbahar. The school she attended was solely managed by the head Sir Nisar. A shortage of faculty members, along with the lack of other resources, meant that the school found it very challenging to deliver the essential goal of providing a quality education.

The young student was keen to learn. But was not able to avail the right education to develop herself given the inadequate facilities. Along with her, other girls of the village felt let down too. The people of the village had a mindset which made them decide that girls should not be permitted to study further than Class 5. This was the reason her family left their ancestral village and shifted to Nawabshah city.

Sadly, even the schools located in urban areas such as Nawabshah were unable to provide the quality education the students craved for and needed to be in sync with the times they had to live in. The only approach used by the teachers to teach was rote-learning. They used to write the answer on the blackboard after posing a question and ask the students to copy that and learn by heart. That meant the students were never given an opportunity to explore and find the answer themselves. The students’ learning ability thus diminished as was their creativity and their ability to ask questions.

But the teachers could hardly be blamed. They did not seem to have attended a single training session aimed at aligning them with modern concepts of teaching and imparting learning in a meaningful manner. From them to teach effectively in the 21st Century, they would have had to first have proper training to develop those skills themselves. Interaction with the students and imparting a quality education would have had to follow.

Therefore, the prospective mentors who could have taken the pupils down the path of learning and enlightenment stayed bogged down in their own inadequacies and those of the system.

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Her dream shattered, she was reduced to thinking about her past life in green surroundings, seeing golden mornings as the rising sun lit up the fields of her village. The golden sunlight shining through the pearls of dew on the leaves in the early morning. The fragrance of the fresh and sweet morning air reminded her that she too was a tiny part of a huge world.

Curiosity and learning fire the appetite of a person to study and explore more and more. So the little girl, who had become a teenager now, went to college.  College exposed the poor quality of education she received in the school. Students who had a better quality school experience hogged the attention of the teachers and she was deprived again.

Her inherent curiosity and thirst for knowledge and the desire to educate herself became a victim of the system that failed to match her desire to arm herself with the best quality education to as to meet every challenge head-on. It saddened her to realise this was not her dilemma alone.

Millions of girls, and even boys, suffered the same fate across the length and breadth of the country. The system would have to change, and change dramatically, to be able to come up to the expectations of the multitudes and provide them with quality education. Only such an education would bring them enlightenment and be their ladder to climb out of their poverty and miserable existence.

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