How effective is the education policy of the government of Pakistan
Reforms such as e-transfer, e-service book, e-promotion, e-leave, online training, e-retirement and single curriculum were not common before the last three years, indicating that the government is working to digitalize and modernize the education sector.
Advantages of online system
With all these issues being online, many chapters of corruption have been closed forever and the red tape of interference of Brahmin bureaucracy in important positions and obstruction of government work has also been stopped.
To deal with the above issues online, the government has introduced an application called Sis Punjab where a complete record of the employees of the School Education Department has been preserved. This has a direct effect on the bureaucracy, which extends from the clerk to the top officials of the district.
Before all the affairs were online, if a teacher applied for transfer, promotion or retirement, he would have to pay a bribe of Rs 40,000 to Rs 100,000. If a teacher had the ghost of honesty, his file would not go beyond the clerk’s drawer. Then, whether he visited the DC’s office or the commissioner’s office, the status quo was in vogue.
Over the past three years, countless clerks have been transferred who have become part of the department. These clerks have luxury cars and bungalows of modern models which have never been accounted for by any department. Education officers were also helpless in the face of their strongest organization, APCA.
With all matters being online, the authority of important matters like transfer, promotion and retirement has been taken away from the district officers. This has eliminated the mafia in the system. Now a teacher can apply for any service online from home and the department is responsible for responding within the given time frame.
Disadvantages of the online system
While digitization of services has benefited in a number of areas, teachers and principals also have some grievances. Some headmasters believe that the government is forcing them to pay less for promoting Android applications, a clear example of which is the dengue app. Where every school has to upload dozens of photos and if not, the name is included in the defaulter list. The job of uploading photos is also a duty during the holidays for which the headmasters have to come to the school just to take pictures from remote areas.
The second big issue is the Education Department’s visit to the WhatsApp. Now all government orders are being placed on WhatsApp. The proliferation of WhatsApp groups is causing numerous problems for principals. And seeking advice from these groups about your school is a gamble and a waste of time. All the energies of the heads of educational institutions are being spent on these two issues.
Upgradation of schools
Some of the government’s plans appear to be merely election campaigns, an example of which can be seen in the case of school upgrades. Dozens of middle schools across Punjab have been given high school status. But these schools have not been given buildings as per the new requirements and no plans for computer labs, physics, chemistry and bio-labs are under consideration. And neither you nor the high school staff have been provided nor DDO powers have been given.
In practice, only the exterior boards of the upgraded schools have been replaced with high schools instead of middle schools. The government has shifted the responsibility of staff, building and labs of these schools to the new government in 2023. It is not that the government does not have the budget to give to schools. Gymnasiums and community halls are being built in every city at a cost of crores of rupees, which reflects the government’s priorities.
The Government of Pakistan is gradually introducing a uniform curriculum to bridge the gap between the different classes, taking into account the interests of the state rather than the requirements of the modern age. Our curriculum still revolves around obsolete items. The world has entered the age of e-commerce with digital marketing and we are still reminding children of the names of eighteenth century scientists and obsolete devices.