The problem with Pakistan’s education


Ratta maar



It goes without saying that Pakistan’s education system is deeply flawed. The problem does not lie in the institution itself; in fact, it is the methodology which is blemished. We often hear the phrase ‘ratta lagana’ in most schools, even universities. I, for one condemn such a practice and encourage all students to do so. The word ‘ratta’ itself intimidates the brightest of students be it alone an average, slow learner.

Moreover, another core problem associated with our education system is the questionable techniques and methodologies assumed by teachers and university professors to impart knowledge in students. Unlike any other country, Pakistan is an exception in view of ratta-fication which diminishes creativity and confines students to mere textbook words. Is that really how we want our future generations to blossom? The instructors should use alternatives to grasp ready attention, not merely of two or three students but the entire class. The methodology should be inventive, creative and above all, tangible in a sense that individuals can have a grip on the concept(s).

I had the misfortune of being taught by some university professors who relied solely on ‘ratta-fied’ notes and encouraged students to do the same. A few of my friends would exchange awkward glances with each other after one of our professors would say, “Yeh word to word yaad ki jiye ga.” The rest I leave to your imagination, fellas! I heard one of my friends blatantly say; “Maine poora ratta lagaya hai! Pass toh hona hai na!”

What is next; making ratta a part of the curriculum? This abominable word is ubiquitous though the connotation varies from culture to culture. In addition, there are psychological implications to it as well. Since education is one of the most important, universally accepted social institutions, alternative techniques are often espoused for learning and passing examinations.

We started off as kindergartners and learned faster, grasped concepts within seconds. Perhaps our methods of learning are not the same as they used to be. Moreover, I do not believe in people who say that a person’s learning is affected with the passage of time, as one ages. I condemn this very theory. Maybe we have become more indifferent and uninventive.

Another important aspect to discuss here is; Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. His theory enlisted some stages through which infants develop their cognitions and understanding of the world. One of the stages was object permanence. Infants learn through pictures, not words. They develop a greater understanding through visuals than text. This concept applies to us as we grow older. We learned ABCD through visuals and have it stored in our long term memory. So, my question is; why is Pakistan’s education system thwarting progression and creativity? I take stand for those individuals who are slow learners as I am myself. We all need time to grasp a concept. Some absorb things faster than others while the rest take their time.

What can be done? There are many ways to improve our education system. First, employ qualified professors/teachers who are willing to show commitment. Constant observation and evaluation always helps in this regard. Second, students should be discouraged to rattafy. Instead, use inventive and creative methods for teaching; take for example, more visuals, less text. Third, have interactive sessions during lectures to bridge the gap between teachers and students. Fourth, use alternative techniques to grapple the attention of those who demonstrate indifference. Lastly, encourage questions all the time. Unless these measures are not undertaken, our future generations will learn nothing. The world will be a much better place if we encouraged diverse opinions and creativity. As a society, it is our sole duty to motivate masses about an issue as important as education.


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