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Rise of private schools that prioritize profit over quality education is the main reason behind the decline of public education in Pakistan, especially in Sindh

SHOUKAT LOHAR

Education plays a crucial role in shaping the future of societies and individuals. However, in recent years, the public education system in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh Province, has faced significant challenges leading to its deterioration. Let’s explore the reasons behind the decline of public education in Pakistan and specifically in Sindh, highlighting the subsequent rise of private schools that prioritize profit over quality education, and commoditized the education.

Dysfunction in Public Education

The public education system in Pakistan, including Sindh Province, has been plagued by numerous challenges. These challenges include inadequate infrastructure, a lack of trained teachers, low budget allocations, corruption, and outdated curricula. Insufficient funding and mismanagement have resulted in crumbling school buildings, poorly equipped classrooms, and a scarcity of teaching materials. As a consequence, the quality of education has suffered, leading to a decline in enrollment rates in public schools.

Mushroom Growth of Private Schools

The dysfunctional public education in Pakistan has opened the door for the rapid proliferation of private schools. Seeking better educational opportunities, parents have turned to private schools, resulting in a significant increase in their numbers. Unfortunately, many of these private schools are nothing more than two-roomed houses masquerading as English medium institutions. Desperate for employment, untrained individuals are employed as teachers, compromising the quality of education offered to students.

Profit-Driven Approach

One of the primary factors contributing to the commodification of education in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh Province, is the profit-driven approach of private schools. Instead of focusing on providing quality education, these institutions prioritize financial gains. Due to the lack of regulations and oversight, many private schools exploit parents by charging exorbitant fees and additional costs for uniforms, books, and stationary. This places an unfair burden on families, further exacerbating social inequality.

Neglected Infrastructure and Plagiarized Standards

While the public education system suffers from dilapidated infrastructure, private schools are not immune to criticism. Many private schools in Sindh lack proper facilities, including libraries, laboratories, and playgrounds. Moreover, some private schools resort to plagiarism, copying curricula, and teaching materials from established educational institutions. This results in a lack of innovation and creativity in the learning process, hindering students’ intellectual growth.

Addressing the Issue

To reverse the commodification of education and improve the public education system in Pakistan, a multi-faceted approach is required. The government must allocate a higher budget to education, ensuring funds are efficiently utilized to improve infrastructure, train teachers, and develop updated curricula. Strict regulations should be enacted to monitor private schools, ensuring they meet the necessary standards of education and affordability. Additionally, efforts should be made to enhance public awareness about the importance of quality education and the role of public schools in fostering societal development.

Conclusion

The decline of public education in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh Province, has paved the way for the commodification of education. Dysfunctional public schools have resulted in the mushroom growth of profit-driven private institutions, compromising the quality of education and burdening parents with excessive fees. Addressing this issue requires comprehensive reforms, including increased funding, improved infrastructure, teacher training, and enhanced regulations. By prioritizing quality education over profit, Pakistan can restore public schools’ significance and ensure equal access to education for all.

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Shoukat LoharShoukat Lohar is Assistant professor in English at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro. He can be reached at Shoukat.ali@faculty.muet.edu.pk

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