Academic success requires discipline, commitment, dedication, intelligence and most importantly hard work. Universities and schools system are a medium for students, they provide a platform for demonstration of their mental abilities academically by providing a proper academic infrastructure, cultivated faculty members and facilities. Pakistan’s education system has gone through massive improvements and amendments in recent years but there are still many loopholes to be filled. Despite outstanding talent and enthusiasm for seeking education in Pakistani youth, Pakistani universities are far behind at international academic rankings.
Individually Pakistani students win prizes and accolades for their excellence in academic performance but as a unit and as a nation we have not reached the high levels of academic excellence in comparison to our neighbors such as China and India. The lack of facilities and incompetent research base in Pakistani universities is particularly to be blamed for deterioration of rankings at international level. The top 10 facilities that lack at most of our universities and colleges which need immediate attention of authorities to be provided according to our survey are as follows:
1- Lack of Physical Facilities:
It is a dilemma that our universities still lack basic physical facilities such as electricity, water supply, furniture, libraries, dispensaries and proper boundary walls. Students require a proper systematic infrastructure and appropriate setting for seeking education and lack of physical facilities impact the overall environment of the universities in a negative manner. Despite allocation of specific budget to public universities by the government, the authorities seem to neglect the need of durable and comfortable study domain for students.
2- Teacher per Student Ratio:
Our public universities and colleges in Pakistan are overcrowded and the teacher per student ratio is uneven. A single teacher attends 100 to 150 students in colleges and universities which is the main reason behind inattentiveness and illegible grades of students. Teachers are unable to identify the individual qualities and academic deficiencies in student and therefore cannot work on their improvement. Direct communication and frequent question/answer sessions are rare, teachers are helpless to interact and engage with each and every student and hence the quality of education compromises and it impacts the entire education standards of university negatively.
3- Unprofessional Administration:
Anyone who had studied at Government College or University of Pakistan must be known to unprofessional impropriety of administrative staff. Whether you visit a college/university for taking information about admissions or are submitting documents or even it is about paying tuition fee, the administration does not pay heed to bustling queues of students. The administrative staff is often absent to perform their duties and responsibilities but always active at charging fines and unfair dues. There is never on time dispatching of roll numbers, student id’s or score cards to students and mostly students are being treated subordinates.
4- Career Counseling:
The colleges and universities in Pakistan require career counseling departments for all academic levels imperatively. In a country where the only two successful professions are considered to be doctors and engineers, it is hard for natural artists, economists, musicians, writers, teachers and painters to find their place and consider themselves as academically able. There must be exclusive career counseling departments in college/universities in Pakistan to help students find their aptitude in education so that they can work towards their forte and achieve success in the field of their interest rather than wasting their precious time on cramming syllabus they don’t understand or have passion for.
5- International Exposure:
The world has become a global tribe, whether it’s about thriving economically or academically foreign collaborations and sharing of information is vital. We must learn from our close neighbors; China and India, the universities there have strong partnerships with international universities and they have introduced a plethora of dual degree programmes with high ranking foreign universities to give exposure to their alumni. Our universities are far behind in terms of international affiliations and partnerships, dual degree programmes and inviting foreign lecturers at our seminars and presentations. As of lately, universities like COMSATS and GCU have welcomed affiliations with foreign univ ersities of USA, CANADA and UK but still it is insufficient to meet high progressive pace of our neighbors. Our universities can open doors of diverse opportunities career wise for their alumni by establishing ties with foreign universities, they can invite foreign recruiters and employers from abroad at convocations, seminars and talent exhibitions to give required exposure to students.
6- Research Based Education:
Pakistan is incompetent in producing effective and rational research publications at post graduate level. At global level, the universities have reached the hallmark of excellence with so many emerging breakthroughs in fields of science and technology through researches done in universities. Critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and research in education universities is subdue and mostly overpowered by cramming system. The curriculum at the colleges and universities itself does not allow students to explore their mental faculties and come up with solutions and cogent arguments on topics with their unique prospective. There are very few research centers and think tanks in our universities which happen to be evidently increasing in numbers at global level. The young graduates are basically voice of the future, their contribution in modifications and improvements of existing theories is important for establishing bright future of Pakistan but at present the authorities need to pay keen attention to eradicate the deprivation of research based education from our country on emergent basis for us to grow and prosper academically.
7- Number of Universities:
The government must establish more universities to meet the growing need of education for increasing population. There are no second questions about immense talent and paramount intellectual ability of Pakistani youth but it is mostly wasted because of fewer public universities as they cannot pay tuition fee of private universities. The public universities are few in numbers and they have limited seats, students fail to achieve a place at the university just by a margin of 1 to 2 marks and despite getting above average percentage in exams they are unwillingly forced to change their academic field or take admission at private universities which they cannot afford. There must be more universities in each city, village and district of Pakistan according to the population so that no civilian remains deprived from the right to get higher education.
8- Quality of Education:
Pakistan is an economically developing state and its education sector is its asset. But it’s unfortunate that the precious and scarce resources extracted for education sector from the national budget have always been taken for granted. The administration and teachers do not perform their respective assigned tasks with full potential. The quality of education has no proper evaluation system, the teachers take undue benefit of their positions, favoritism and nepotism is at its peak, non-merit hiring of teachers and recommendations are at the top and there is partiality in universities towards teachers on the basis of financial background and political pressure. Our universities and college suffer from a corrupted administrative and management system and hence it effects education quality and overall performance on behalf of everyone involved.
9- Moral Education (Encouragement to Think Independently and Innovatively):
Pakistan is under the clutches of social constraints and shackles of religious dogmas that impacts independent and innovative thinking of students. Universities must give students freedom of speech, unbiased analysis of history, ability to question cultural and religious dogmas, create innovative ideas and discover facts through education. Questions and disagreements must be encouraged for personal and mental growth of students but it is not a popular practice in our universities. Victimization and religious, social and cultural targeting is common and university’s authorities neglect to control its presence. Regularly on media we hear a student was killed because of his/her religion or because of holding unpopular political perspective but nothing changes and yet another case occurs. The teachers and administrative staff should sit together to create an implementable policy for ensuring independent, innovative and learned thinking of students while they are studying. Because if after graduation the disease of narrow mindedness is still present in the mind of a student, it will constitute a malign society. Universities and colleges are producing future citizens so they must understand their heavy responsibility.
10- Discipline in Universities:
There is extremism in our country wherever we look even at the universities. Where there is freedom it is too much and where there are restrictions it is too much. When we visit the private universities, it seems as if we are at some modeling talent hunt, great personal freedom, no check on dress codes and the ambience is way to open for an Islamic state. At Public universities such as Punjab University, the hold of religious group does not even allow male and female student to stand together. Where is the governance of authorities, the administration and the government to set an acceptable cultural milieu all over the universities? We seem to be divided and confused about our identity, religious beliefs and cultural when we look it comes to universities; it polarized between west and east big time.