I was recently invited to a forum hosted by a ‘prominent’ political party (no obvious hints like ‘rapidly emerging’ or ‘well-established’) to participate in a debate on the future education policy of Pakistan.  My colleague and I were the token representatives of the private education sector at this gathering.  The meeting chairman, a distinguished gentleman with far more to his repertoire than just politics, opened with the following words: “We want one education system for all!”  Then, looking at me, he quickly added, “I know what you’re thinking… ‘one education system’ doesn’t mean that we’re going to pull down the private sector! – that’s what you private school guys all think –  no, no, we are very clear that we need to push up the public sector!”  Having made this political statement, he proceeded to lay out a range of proposals (albeit, to be fair, they were just proposals) that, if ratified, would mean precisely that this new ‘level playing field’ would be created by leveling the private schools.

Indeed, the suggestion that the very existence of private schools creates an uneven playing field, one in which children schooled in the public education system are deprived of equal opportunities, has become the narrative in certain sections of civil (and not-so-civil) society.  In simple words, this is what these people say:

1)    Public schools have failed.

2)    Private schools have succeeded.

3)    Therefore, children in government schools are deprived of quality education.

4)    Since the above is true, we are creating two classes of Pakistani citizens.

5)    This ‘class divide’ is the fault of private schools.  (Restated: If they too had failed, we would have one mediocre class of citizens.)

Okay, so I may have over-simplified the argument a bit, but basically that’s what it boils down to.  It’s what I hear from all my media friends (and foes – I just added one to the list yesterday) as well as politicians, bureaucrats, policymakers, and others.  But do you know where all these people – bar none – send their own children or grandchildren to school?  No prizes for guessing.  What these people are essentially saying is this: “all children must go to government schools (except ours, of course!)”

(Why are hypocrisy and double standards so deeply ingrained in our society?  I think that requires a blog post of its own so let’s forget it for now!)

Let’s look at some interesting numbers here:

1)    Approximately 45% of children in the Punjab alone attend private schools.  These are not all “elite” private schools, as the media has labeled schools like Beaconhouse.  The vast majority of these schools charge between Rs100 and Rs500 a month and function out of one or two rooms.  Yet parents prefer to send their children to these schools rather than free government schools.  Why?

2)    Contrary to popular perception, government teachers are paid quite well! Their salaries are not much lower than those of newly appointed teachers at Beaconhouse – and about THREE times higher than the salaries of teachers at low-cost private schools (according to the ‘Education Emergency 2011’ report).

3)    If low-cost private schools can succeed with a much lower ‘per-student’ budget, then why can’t public schools?

Perhaps the best answer to the above questions can be found in a different context:  Beaconhouse has now been around for almost 37 years.  What would have happened if we had changed our complete management and strategic direction 10 times during this period? Would Beaconhouse have been the successful organization that it is today?

Sadly, that is precisely what the government has done.  It is a fact that, between 1947 and 2012, we have had 10 different national education policies.  This means that our direction has changed 10 times because every new government has come in with a different vision, often arresting all previous initiatives – good and bad. (We won’t even talk of the fundamental change that the 18th amendment has brought.)

The net outcome of the above is that public schools have been poorly managed.  Meanwhile, the private sector has risen to the occasion and filled the void created by this series of disasters.

The scary question is, what if there HAD been no private sector schools?

The reality is that anything ‘good’ creates a perceived level of deprivation for those who do not have it.  The Internet has created the ‘digital divide’ because many in the third world do not have access to it; clean drinking water has probably created the ‘water divide’ because a large part of the world’s population does not have access to it; finally, one could even argue that the availability of food has created the ‘nutrition divide’ as we can see in parts of Africa and, sadly, closer to home.

So how do we tackle these great divides?  Do we drag down those with clean drinking water and education and therefore create a uniformly miserable population?  (Sure, that’s one way of creating ‘equal opportunities’…) Or do we actively and aggressively address the situation on the other side of the divide and try to understand WHY we don’t have food in parts of Africa or why our public education system has failed?

So, going back to my meeting earlier this week, here is how it ended.  After the distinguished gentleman had finished explaining how his party would ensure that all schools, public and private, would be forced to follow the same system of education, I all but said to him: I hope your party never comes into power.

 

Next time: Challenges for a Common National Curriculum

  81 Responses to “Are private schools creating a class divide in Pakistan?”

  1. I read this blog, and it’s a good one. Yes, there is a ‘education divide’ in public and private schools. There should be same quality education in both public as well as private schools. But there is a fact that the private schools are little expensive for the children’s parents that they cannot afford their children to send to the private institutions. My point is that the private schools should be easily affordable for all, so that their children can get good quality education. It shouldn’t be the fashion or trend of elite class parents to send their children to private schools.

  2. Very well written sir!
    That is what I am trying to look into the issue of scholarship programs offered by different private schools of Islamabad for my M. Phil thesis. I also recently contacted your institution for research assistance in the phase of data collection and interviews. There has always been discussions on private and public divide but no one talks about the crucial role private sector is playing in the promotion of quality education. It is a misconception that private schools only cater to the needs of elite class, infect there are students who are from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Private schools do facilitate students of various socio-economic backgrounds via offering scholarships.

  3. I think question was class divide and this class divide is expanding because of the competition between private schools. Discussion in such forums which Mr. Qasim referred to should be oriented towards the policy making to ensure that minimum level of quality education should be guaranteed irrespective of Private or Public school system. I know schools are offering new curriculum to compete in private school business and that is where our policy makers should step in to guide and tune the solutions offered by private schools to fit according to our needs and culture.

  4. Dear Kasim,
    I really appreciate your entire effort, keep it up

  5. Well, Private schools do create class divide but that’s something positive because they are creating at least some people with better skills to compete and we can’t say that this is the reason why other children are not able to get the same facilities. The bottom line is that our public sector should also be the part of this level of learning to give an “equal opportunity” of education to all.

  6. A real interesting piece of reading… And a great forum to share the thoughts directly with the CE

  7. A public – private partnership is imperative for government schools. This will lead to public schools in becoming more productive and perhaps even more result oriented regarding a student’s academic achievement, where these students will directly contribute in the country’s work force with much needed professionalism and innovation on the job.

    However, with the current nepotism and conflict of interest amongst government officers, I do not see this happening for at least some time – perhaps not in my life time.

  8. asslam-o-alekum !
    Allah created different categories in the world (He knows better) then it is impossible for us to bring all mankind on one level.

    best regards,

    yours faithfully.

    um-e-kulsoom

  9. I Think Private Schools are to much expensive

  10. Sir the points raised by you are very pertinent, the public education system is dismal due to lack of efficient management but this issue is broader. Regarding curriculum no matter how much you improve public education system, children who go there cant come up to the level of oxford and Cambridge system students, the privileged classes would not like to lose O and A levels because of benefit of easy admissions in foreign universities. There can be no two opinions about revamping our public education system as well as curriculum but in the short term IMHO the private schools need to take some social responsibility and may be set aside some seats for students whose parents aren’t able to pay expensive fee, this would be a nice gesture towards needy students!

  11. In these times of utter devastation in all the institutions run by government, thanks God we have some system which is continuously evolving and contributing to the society. In this grim situation when our students bring laurels to our country, competing internationally, we need not pay heed to these people. Actions speak louder than words!

  12. Respected Sir,

    I really appreciate the way you have discussed the division of private and government schools.Thank you Sir for adding into my information.

  13. Well they are out to get us people…..
    Bhutto’s privatization drive ruined our economy and now they wont rest till they turn the education clock back to the stone age.
    I wish someone in the corridors of power would have the courage to admit the contribution of private schools in Pakistan. Our country allocates a mere 2% of its total annual budget to education,its curriculum remains a state secret….(frankly how many of you can claim to have seen our national curriculum) and boasts of thousands of ‘Ghost schools’ can hardly afford to ruin its private institutions.
    Edwards college Peshawar got a grant of 300 million , Cadet colleges get annual grants worth millions and what do we get…. demand for sibling concession from elite!

  14. AOA SIR,
    I read your blog.it was nicely written but sorry to say that inspite of being a BEACONITE and studing in BEC as O LEVEL FINAL YEAR STUDENT, I and most of final year students have to take academies of most subjects including the sciences one.Almost 95% STUDENTS ARE BUSY IN THIS TASK BECAUSE OF POOR MANAGEMENT of SCHEME OF WORK BY THE MANAGEMENT.PLEASE take it seriously and visit BEC and ask students about it.OTHERWISE that time is not far enough when PRIVATE SCHOOLS WILL TURN INTO PRIVATE TUTIONS and every student will prefer to do O LEVEL PRIVATELY.

    M ZAHID (CLASS 11 CD BEC)

  15. Dear Mr. Kasim,
    It was great pleasure reading your blog about “Class Divide”. There could not be a better answer than this to such hypocrite politicians who utilize most of their “talent and energy” in criticizing the best of others rather than reflecting on the worst of themselves. I remember you had well answered the same type of question in a public confrontation in Children Literature Festival last year and I did second your argument there by explaining the pyramid of class distinction deeply prevailed in our society. So I wish our politicians start inviting the educationists to take their worthy suggestions to improve education in public sector rather than playing this blame game.
    Regards,
    Attia Randhawa

  16. Well it is too late to change the system now, it will be disastrous. we need to design a strategy for our public schools and slowly gradually bring it to the level of private schools. Here heads of private schools can play a major role to groom the public sector.
    well i feel terrible abt our education system since a long time now, people only talk never work on it so it is pointless to even discuss it :(

  17. My two kds study at a reputed islamic school.but their timings dnt suit me . I am thinking to make them study here at beaconhouse as ialso started with kg and ended up in 1996 at matric level. Talking abt the quality of education, my teachers of all the classes were superb and we constantly heard about teachers workshops being attended, my son ow in class 5 is nt up to the standards of cjass five. He as always been promoted and the other class is always tougher than the previous one but he was never retained in eveery class the teacher says that u need to work on him really hard. Is this the standard of your school? Every kid who goes to beacon for admission gets it easily. WHY? There Re students of every family back ground and language. I am truly nt satisfied by this

  18. If we want to equalize our education system i think we need to follow west in this, especially government.

  19. Private Schools/Colleges/Universities are now must for brighter future of Pakistan. They are the ones who are providing the quality education and no one can deny it.

  20. OK, good argument to defend private sector or business but statics are not good. Just a quick view of another.
    Public sectors school are serving enormous amount of students. each school, each class, each section filled with more then one hundred students. A student with empty stomach, pocket, bag and mentally absent can put his 100%.
    So there is a huge difference between public and private sector. because target market is different. however private sectors teaching methods are good. but it doesn’t meter because handling of 20 or 25 students and handling of 100 and 120 students are completely different scenarios.
    These schools charge between Rs100 and Rs500 a month and function out of one or two rooms are doing business because of law less environment and fuel price. So they prefer school in their neighbor or near to home.
    Ah!, I know private sector create a huge difference in English education. Because of our English manic environment. But majority of private sector don’t know.
    “what is basic purpose of education”.

  21. Happened to be a father of three, all studying at freedom and their will. I just want them to ensure they know what they learn not the grades. I believe this will make them something who can contribute to improve life of self and others by the knowledge and experience they are accumulating during this period.
    I do agree “THE DIRECTION” with defined goal,

  22. Indeed your comments and replies were very realistic, but I feel that that pioneers of educational field like your family and few others in this country are the only hope for the derelict public sector education system in Pakistan. If there is any solution to this problem and if there is any hope in ever bridging this mammoth gap then it will have to come from the side of likes of you.

    Whether the problem is in the management of the public schools or the curriculum they are following, the solution can only come from this side of the fence. Why not take an initiative and be the leader and trend setter yet once again. Why not adopt a public school as a pilot project????

    Happy thinking !!!
    Best of luck.

    • You are absolutely right and proposal is also valid. A school in every district can be adopted and other can be controlled through that station.

  23. Indeed, private sector has always stepped in to bring quality education for our nation.
    Government needs to ponder on strategies which keeps on fluctuating every year , further more corruption has damaged the back bone of quality education at public sector.

  24. … everything is linked to the curriculum… I would endorse Ms. Roohi’s viewpoint. All efforts at especially BSS and generally at other ‘elite’ schooling systems nationwide and internationally are being made to align the standards around common cores and principles; indeed commendable and nothing should stop us all from doing so. However, the reason for sending kids by many to low cost private schools is not explicitly for the so stated “quality education’ , rather it is the ‘status’ and ‘brand’ awareness of all and sundry. Nowadays, the difference it makes to have studied in an “English medium, private school” is obvious whether in the country or abroad. So perhaps that is why your question # 1
    Yet parents prefer to send their children to these schools rather than free government schools. Why?
    Sir, maybe we could think of doing what is possible to stop this trend of brandishing our “Brand” ? Just a concern, as a humanitarian, I too would wish for everyone, I mean everyone to have equal and fair opportunities and access to quality education around the same curriculum standards and core principles of Knowledge! And Thanks for sharing the comments of the politician, we will certainly not allow them to be voted in power, if level playing field means to turn all private schools to the level of the government schools, no way Sir, rest assured, I put my trust in our children, they will steer my country out of this.. AMEN

  25. Kasim Sb,

    I think what government needs is “HELP”. They may have the resources but what they don’t have is the vision and quality. Since Beaconhouse is the leading institute in education in Pakistan and has taken many initiatives over the past years to promote education, why can’t this be another one? We are educationists not politicians or bureaucrats, we know how to think out of the box for the a better future of our youth. As a private organization we have been able to make them realize the difference in public and private sector education system.Now let’s guide them how to go about it !

    Thank you

  26. In these times when nations are thinking of redefining the minimum criteria of being considered literate to match the requirements of how life is going to be in future….we are living in a country where definition of being literate is declining i.e over the past many years it has shifted from ‘acquiring the potential to both read and write (with comprehending) a short, simple assertion on everyday life’ to ‘be able to read and writre one’s own name’.

    our politicians really need to review their vision about future of education in Pakistan….Instead of thinking of ways to raise quality of teaching and learning according to international standards, they are busy in creating “uniform poor level of education across the board”.
    Very well said sir, may they never attain the power to run this country in a reverse gear!

  27. Having studied in London my entire life, I was really happy to have found a school like Beaconhouse to teach at. Now, after 16 years of teaching (all at Beaconhouse), a number of professional development certificates under my belt, and an undying passion to make education better; I can truly say that I am in awe of Beaconhouse. I am really impressed by the way this system keeps reviewing its practice, striving to improve and setting milestones in education and teacher development. I believe stiff competition makes people raise their own game and I guess the same applies to companies and institutions. Beaconhouse is continually raising the bar … and that’s what important!

  28. Dear Sir,
    I am a beaconite and studying in Beaconhouse Educational Complex (Bec). I totally agree to your views about the fact that private sectors are being discriminated. The standard of Beaconhouse is quite good and will flourish further but in the eyes of government we are the ones who create problem. We should raise questions to them to tackle through it. I totally agree and am satisfied by your blog

    Thankyou Sir!

    Regards,
    Momina Saeed.

  29. It is really very informative and eye opener article for everyone who thinks wrong for Private sector.
    If we charge we perform as well,but what about those who are getting all benefits as a public sector employ but their performance has a question mark.
    Regards

  30. Yes , thanks Kasim, I fully endorse your last comment…I happened to be somewhere too last week where such issues were being discussed..and I asked a simple question after we had all had a grilling look at the national curriculum… Which was …what is the governments vision of education in Pakistan? Is it real, is it relevant to our context ? How will it benefit the people of Pakistan economically? Or is it an imported picture meant to benefit a host of different countries on the planet !
    Perhaps this comment is more relevant to your next blog , but to me , everything is linked to the curriculum.
    Private schools began with a market demand ….does the government ever want to find out what the people actually want?

    • Dear Ms Haq

      I endorse last line of your comment by adding that education now-a-day is no more considered as moral services but it has a potential to grow as Education Industry in the world of Technology. The entrepreneurs in education sector must and should spent in technology embedded education along-side gender and education specifically.
      The gender aspect in the learning process should be clearly examined in Pakistan’s national curriculum (prospective). This is unfortunate that not only learners but most educators limit gender to sex only. In the age of technology gender studies require immediate attention in learning and teaching process.

      Stay Blessed!
      Regards

    • dear ms roohi haq, i am really thankful for your presence and for your contributions to bss curriculum. i have met u once and loved your simplicity and your selfless, untiring work that exudes from just everywhere. i just want to tell u that i love being in bss only because of teachers like u, and i pray all over pakistan such thoughtful people run education system. ameen

  31. The class difference had always been there and it can never be eliminated completely,it had never been eliminated ever since the start of history.Islam is not against class differences though it tries to narrow it down through ZAKAT and SADKA.I think hating private education system will not do us any good as it will only deprive us further.But only if some sort of sharing and communication could be established between the two systems on government levels would have been very rewarding for the public sector in lowering the sharp contrast.

  32. Just sharing an interesting piece of information. Many years ago, (perhaps in the late 80′s to mid 90′s) I remember reading an article in which Arif Hasan spoke about what it costs the Government to provide Education per child in the Public Sector schools. It cost the Government more than the fee Beaconhouse charged per child that same year by Rs. 200/-. Why could the government not provide one tenth the education & facility that Beaconhouse could provide after what it spent? So what is the cause of the divide?

    It was such a shocking piece of news that I have never forgotten it. Wish I had saved the article. Would dearly love to find out the cost to Government today to compare with.

    Learning and teaching in the Public Sector Schools requires a complete re-vamp, including in their thinking and mindsets as well as in the infra-structure of the education department. The divide is caused by them not due to the medium of instruction being Urdu or English.

    Some years ago I was involved in a study (survey) of Government schools. The findings were even more shameful than we think. The divide is caused by the abdication of all responsibility to the people by every Government that has been in power.

  33. Dear Sir, i just want to enjoy the private sector at level best with some financial relief to the general people, who cant afford the private schools in their limited capacity, in this regard they will be able to switch over to private sector and one day it would be amazing when the government sector merge into private sector to promote the quality education with high market shares instead to just show off the carry on changing the policies .

    Thanks

  34. A very well written, crisp and witty piece!! I totally agree that the solutions are never concrete if based on a compromise! rather than trying to bring down what is better than us we should strive to reach their standards. I am really interested in the next topic for blog as “National Curriculum” is a big topic in States as well as they have started the common core curriculum and states are vary about it. Would love to read a comparative analysis of similar situation in Pakistan.

  35. Dear Kasim Sahib,

    Great reading and a lot of food for thought in a candid manner. ( as you always are…)

    Ideally it would be great to have one standard for all in Pakistan…but then it is not an ideal world and certainly not in Pakistan.

    The reality is that there are too many issues, problems, concerns in Pakistan stemming from poverty and illiteracy and to top it all Greedy, conscienceless leadership ….

    so let the people who are doing a good job in the field of education – do a good job and the government tries to tackle the grass roots problem of poverty and illiteracy…..if we provide good quality education at all levels and raise the standard of our people then the class divide ( in its many forms) would perhaps begin to die down anyway!!…

    again, very interesting read.

    looking forward to more …

  36. Education is a right for all whether private or public.As a nation what we should work is on quality.Now question arises why public sector has failed in Pakistan? It is surely the non serious attitude towards education sector.There is no proper realistic approach towards curriculum development,lack of training and monitoring and of course continuous change in policies.If we should work on these areas there wouldn’t be any class divide.
    What I like about Beaconhouse is we have followed our Mission and Vision and have built on it.Which eventually has brought success and still we are moving forward to achieve excellence.

  37. Oh I tottaly agree with you Mister Kasim Kasuri

  38. Dear sir

    The root cause is corruption and the ruthlessness of people in the elected chairs who would never let us jump from the 3rd world status to anywhere else, be it the “water”, “food” and/or “education” divides.
    If this emerging/prominent party politician thinks he can finish the “divides” ALL OF THEM than may be he has the right to finish the education divide. I (as a mother) have a very tender heart and I want all the children to have same sort of food and clothing and education at least but I know alone I wont be able to but I don’t want someone like this politician to put an end to something (few things) good we have left in this Mumlikat-e- khudadad, only in the name of straightening things up.

  39. Dear Mr. Kasim,
    Thank you very much for sharing the thought provoking comments & experiences of your interaction on that forum. I also thank you for your able leadership of steering this icon of quality education in Pakistan. I also thank Mrs. Kasuri for her vision and unflinching efforts, establishing the Beaconhouse school system and giving the generations of Pakistan wonderful opportunities of quality education of international standards within the cultural framework of our country.

    Coming to the point let me share with you and the readers a simple incident. From 2001 to 2004, I was at Johar Town Boys Campus, Lahore with the BOEP project. One day, as I went a little ahead of the BSS main gate, I saw the govt school students in their pink dresses. The same time I saw a teacher beating a few students madly. There was no limit to his ruthless punishment. I was so shocked and finally called him to stop. This teacher turned to me with his comments that it is his job, and I should not interfere any more. I had cramps in my stomach and could do nothing except feeling sorry. Unfortunately, nothing has changed so far in the govt schools, the attitude of teachers, the teaching methods, and the style of punishment and, most painful, the comments & psyche of the gentleman, who says that “his party would ensure that all schools, public and private, would be forced to follow the same system of education”.

    I am sure this gentleman literally knows that the well-educated youth of private education system are not his future vote bank. He would definitely love to have a generation of mediocres and uneducated in the society.

    On the other hand, we must be proud of the contribution of private educational systems for the last few decades. The recognition of Pakistani youth at the international setting would have not been possible without the vision, leadership and hard work of the private sector. If we want to have a vibrant, just and safer society then I think, the only option is equipping our future generations with quality education guarding the future of Pakistan and its people.

  40. very well said qasim sahib.i totally agree with your point of view rather i am impressed to see the high order thinking of chief exective of bss.u know what is the problem of Pakistani people they r in habit of blame game.They know problems but they dont want to find out the solution.in private sector mostly top management is stable and when they own it they always go for talented people on the other hand in private they usually hire those who are having back.if we talk about public schools and college buildings they r pretty good and they can maintain easily.but they usually blame govt and higher authorities.i am the one who left 17th grade and joined private sector than talent.because i can not send my kids in public schools and if my kids have to go to private schools why not me.you are totally right they are sending there kids in private schools and above all they want to have class in everything and then they are talking about class discrimination.another problem with public sector is they believe in age more than talent.I totally believe exposure is important part of learning but………….i am not against public sector but i feel pity that they are having good building,talented teacher,high salaries and much more even then they are unable to uplift the standard because the upper authorities are changing frequently and even if they are working even they they dont know how to take work .last but not the least instead of blaming private sector for class discrimination they can take help from private sector educationists for uplifting standard.

  41. Respected Sir,

    This is very fruitful discussion, Actually whole negligence credit goes to Govt.its planning and many other hidden facts. For example
    A Head Master of Middle School in Sahiwal gets duplicate degree of some one other from University with same name ABC S/O XYZ, and enjoys Salary and then pension to his family after his death. Basically he was primary pass.
    It is surprising that he did job for a long time in school, promoted from teacher to Head Master, what was the criteria and what was the method of evaluation.
    Off course every success needs a very hard work in background. If today private sector is on top the basic reason is a proper planning and strong curriculum in background.
    Every System needs to follow basic Model PDCA (Plan Do Check Act). Same Model is being followed by EU and ISO Standards like 9000, 14000, 18000, 27000 etc. Unfortunately there are a lots of plannings in Public Education sector by Govt but cannot be implemented due to lack of interest and or personal unfair interests of personalities etc.
    In simple words “Jamhori” Govt have to pass their tenure so that they enjoys a lots of experiments on “Awam” and blames to previous setup.
    I remember a funny example of textile sector;
    A new joining GM asked some tips to leaving GM to handle the mills. Leaving GM handed over three closed envelops to him and advised him to Open envelop No.1 when he will face any problem for the first time in future. then no2 and no 3 at the time of need.
    After a few months GM could not prove his abilities and was very worry, all of sudden he remembered about envelops so he opened # 1 Envelop and saw a statement “PUT THE WHOLE MATTER ON LABOUR” so he acted upon accordingly and told to mill owner that the labor and technical staff have affiliations with resigned GM so they are creating problems for me to run mills successfully and to get targeted production. Owner advised him to change whole staff so he passed further next six months on this base. But the problem was on its own place again could not gave targeted production. No he opened Envelop # 2 and saw statement “PUT THE WHOLE MATTER ON MACHINERY” so he again acted upon and reported to owner that ex-workers and technical staff have created many problems in machinery so how he can give targeted results so he needs so many parts accessories etc. Again he passed next six months in this activity. BUT the problem remained same NO OUT PUT.
    He opened last envelop and saw statement “WRITE DOWN THREE ENVELOPS FOR NEXT GM” and resign.
    Same position is with our Govt. so we cannot blame lower level or other people for such gaps. In any case schools in private sector have limited resources than Govt. but due to devotion, hard work and specially due to consistent policy and strong curriculum schools like Beaconhouse is not only running its successful education network at national but also international level.

    It is very very rare but I think Govt should give at least one school in every District under the supervision on such bodies for experiment for improvement on any agreed terms and conditions.If the outcome will be positive so other schools in district can be controlled through that specific school. Means schools can be divided into groups etc.

    I think it will be too long for this time. Remaining for next time. Thanks

  42. A very thought provoking article . Being an educationist I believe that a strong and stable education system is considered to be the backbone of a well developed country but surprisingly Pakistan is one of those very few countries who is standing still without a backbone and where the system of education has constantly deteriorated.
    I totally disagree with the fact that private schools are creating a class divide as whatever development and advancement we see in our education system today is due to the untiring efforts put into organized planning and effective implementation by private schools. In this regard I see Beaconhouse as a source of light, enlightening the world with its power of knowledge.

  43. Hi Kasim, really enjoyed reading the article and hope to hear from you on many other challenges that our education system is facing. I, for one, am not convinced how govt. is approaching the whole issue and there seems to be lack of ownership at their end. I cannot think of the scary question: what would have happened without private schools in Pakistan? Hats off to BSS for the type of work you guys do to ensure our children get quality education. Previously, I had worked for BSS when your mom was all into this – and now proudly sending my future generations to your school – that speaks volumes about BSS. Keep writing!

  44. Dear Mr. Kasim,
    I whole- heartedly agree to your reflections and the specific analysis that you have shared. I agree with Ms. Farhana Iqbal about the national curriculum of the European countries that she has mentioned. They are planned and being implemented in the same manner. I have studied those as well as all of our national curriculum . Ours have been very beautifully made but lack the realistic approach. The organization, management, monitoring and evaluation is missing there. Saying that there is a class divide because of private schools, I don’t agree. I have seen and read that many private organizations have helped the govt. sector in developing their teachers, management team, etc. Instead of planning for yet again another policy, they should reflect on what has been achieved uptil now ( that is again if they have that kind of understanding). I know this that most of the teachers doing B.Ed or M.Ed (in a university where I used to teach ) used to come from far off places like interior Baluchistan were keen to learn. So people are ready to learn but is the govt. fulfilling their need of professional development. I have worked in many private schools too but I could say this that Beacon house has always been very pro-active wherever any support was required by the larger community. ( the students, parents and staff know about it and now of course through TBT online sharing is done too). Today if Beaconhouse has become a part of the global community, I know how much hard efforts have been put from the top management to the school level. It is easy to talk for talking sake but what these people need to do is “walk the talk”.
    Way to go, Beaconhouse!

  45. How many public schools have provided training to their teachers. When teachers will be appointed on the political basis then obviously education quality will go down. Only private schools maintain the standard because they provide high quality standard international training to their teachers. The Government will need to focus seriously on education and should declare an emergency in this sector to improve the standards of their teachers education first.

  46. I believe as educationists our focus should not be on ‘Why public schools have failed’ .The reasons are too obvious . Rather we should focus on ‘ What role can we play as a private school system in bridging this gap?

  47. me n my fellows were in a meeting with education minster, he started his speech in urdu than he asked from students main ap say kis language maen baat kero urdu or english , he made all of us speechless, after 1 second he himself answered his own question urdu maen he ker layta hoo q k main english maen main confuse ho raha hoon “so this is the level of our education minster .n the words he used in his speech were with out pronunciation.like he said gonment but the actual word was government. so how they can blame private sectors.
    “The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are damnsure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
    - Bertrand Russell

  48. Very well said and I totally agree with you Sir.
    Fact of the matter is that education had never been our priority. Government had not provided required resources and what was available had been poorly managed. On top of that change in education policy after every few years have worsen the situation.
    So its the public schools who are responsible for this class divide not the private schools as government schools have left far behind and they need to pull them up tremendously.

    • Hey good stuff keep up the good work! I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack ssbntauce but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)A definite great read :)

  49. Aslamoalikum!

    i m sadia from skp, Pakistan, really it is so considerable message for all the parents and a very good effort for the all people if they have awareness then they can takes the step for the better future of their children.
    thaks

  50. Last paragraph was hilarious !!

  51. ‘A thought-provoking discussion’. It is just a blaming game instead of evaluating themselves. Education should be of the highest quality, accessible and effective for every child. Public schools evaluate themselves instead of blaming others.
    If private schools are going to merge, the things would not change for public schools but it might affect private sector.
    Our children are our future that is why EDUCATION must be the first priority of any government. They need to reform the education system to improve the quality and efficiency of public schooling and bring their own children in this system to see the improvement.

  52. Mr. Kasim
    First, I appreciate that you opened a limited forum to take up your STAKEHOLDERS on board. In your blog, the analyses of ‘one education system’ portray a limited approach. From the entire analyses one cannot say whether private schools creating a class divide in Pakistan?
    When I go around the phrase ‘one education system’, it diverges in multiple directions. Being an educationist when I look into Macro and Micro standards of the National Curriculum of say UK, Ireland, New Zealand, USA or Canada, it gives me systematic details of skills set that children of the specific region are required to learn. Regardless of Public and Private educational institution every child in the developed countries is supposed to learn life-long learning skills within his own entity. The national curriculum is the specific document based on a nation’s geographical location, religious beliefs and social system that does not demand child’s social class in the learning process. In Europe, America and Australia, public and private education institutions are run side by side without any differentiation in the National Curriculum, for instance Condoleezza Rice University in USA is considered amongst the expensive institution in America however, it follows the same standards set in the National Curriculum of USA. Moreover, the curriculum of IB registered schools in Canada and Europe is aligned with their national curriculum and so on. The main difference is in delivery and instructions.
    Unfortunately, we do not have any national curriculum. So if someone says ‘one education system’, he might have an understanding of National Curriculum of our specific region. The good thing is that there are very few private education systems which developed their own curricula, otherwise just printing the books and including the content from foreign education is a joke to education system.
    Now moving to your concern whether “private schools creating a class divide in Pakistan” is a different assessment. There are a dozen of factors, which can be considered to probe your concern.
    And there is no more digital divide in our country. Mobile, Internet, cable network is accessible to everyone in the cities, towns, villages etc except some remote areas.
    Beaconhouse is providing remarkable educational services not only to a limited class but everyone from middle class onwards. And I think BSS is bridging the gap between adjacent social classes.
    There is a lot to say but time is a limited resource.
    Stay Blessed!
    Regards

  53. Dear Mr.Kasim,
    It was nice to read your blog about the issue of educational divide. You have analysed the situation very realistically. I would like to suggest that if we wanted to upgrade our education system run by the government it should be an obligation for every government employee to get their children educated through government schools only. This is the only way we can see some improvement in the system.
    Regards,
    Aisha Haseeb
    NNP III

  54. hahaha the last line was amazing……very nice piece

  55. It was interesting reading your blog on ‘one system of education for all’. What the government fails to understand is that the government is mandated to offer an acceptable ‘minimum’ standard and should not have any control on ‘maximum’ or higher standards. Even in a country like the UK, the government schools offer the basic acceptable standard of education, yet private schools thrive despite their high costs.
    The government and all political parties are confused over their own role in offering education to the population. To their minds this failure is reinforced by the success of the private sector and the private sector becomes the favourite whipping boy.

    • Thanks for your input Mrs Malik. I agree completely with your analysis regarding the government’s responsibility of maintaining a minimum standard education for all. I was in India on a week ago at the ‘World Economic Forum on India’ where the same political leader from Pakistan stated, on a panel discussion, that “the education system in Pakistan is creating inequality”. Whereas this may not be an untrue conclusion, his hint was that the mere existence of private schools is the problem. The irony, of course, is that they (govt and opposition alike) all send their own children to private schools! So it’s good for their children but not acceptable for others.

  56. Thank you for sharing an important piece of information in a good informal style. The end was also good, a bold statement you gave; thumbs up for your courage. We all pray that may Allah gives us deserving and capable leaders who shall be more interested in coming up to the mark themselves by seeking and accepting advice from the professionals and achievers.

  57. Private sector is playing there maximum role in Pakistan for education system, we can not said that every private school are providing there best role, but some renown names in Private schools are provide quality in education and also maintain there levels since long time…

  58. This exercise is proof positive that learned behaviours absolutely shape what we think about ourselves and others as well as what we will become in life. Indeed, school plays a role in our identity, but how we are treated and what we are taught is crucial from the beginning of our lives and on if we want to create the kind of consciousness that will prevent our species from destroying itself and the world that sustains us in what is most certainly a global community. Although generally speaking, private schools have often been criticized for worsening the problem of inequality in education, the evidence clearly indicates that the private education sector is very important in Pakistan. It is providing quality education in a context of the government’s failure to impart good basic education that is accessible to all Pakistanis. As long as the private school are doing good for the education, we are all for it.

  59. its really an important issue for us as we are still deprived of quality education and divided in the confusion of education and status. there should be a forum which enables the quality or required standards through thorough research on a national level which is helpful for both public and private sectors (as per thoughts).
    according to me putting the heads of all private and public sectors together as a team would bring out a solution as i think whether public or private its for the benefit of our youth which belongs to PAKISTAN!!!!!!!! and we all are PAKISTANIS!

  60. Hi,

    It is really an eye opening information you said which enable me to think and say that there are NOT two education systems exist practically public and private: There is a huge gap (quality and affordability) between two which have started filling with new breed and half cooked education system, which is not hurting public pathetic education system as much private sector.
    What your thoughts on it ? We like to hear.

  61. This is reall good to hear from u .We wish to have a one education system or at least some of the private sectors worked on it besides all tht money making business its really apreciated .

  62. This is a good initiative taken by you. I think that there should be equal education. But not by destroying the private sector. How about signing an MOU with the government schools to have a joint education system.

  63. Very well-said Sir and I totally agree with you…

    This is a very sad truth that people often blame others for their own mistakes: if today the Public sector is unable to match the Private Sector, it is NOT because of the Private Sectors but themselves! They had the same time (or maybe even more) and should have improved their standards… It is sad how so many people are so biased and go on mocking the Private Sector just because of their hard work through the years and proper planning and organization, failing to understand that the Private Sector is a part of the same Home Land and is training individuals to be loyal and useful to the same land!

    Now I can just pray that our Public System, too, gets liberated from the bureaucratic muddle and steps on the road to success!

    • Thanks, Huda, for your comments. Yes, it is unfortunate that the government is so obsessed with private schools. Their time and energy would be far better spent trying to improve their own schools. No one would be happier than I if the quality of schooling at government schools were to improve because that truly is the future of Pakistan!

      • Exactly, Respected Sir! The Public System does belongs to every one of us, and then so does the Private System! Every one, belonging to which ever system, must be wanting the improvement in both, just for our own country to prosper! Competition is good and necessary, but a ‘healthy’ competition, and not one with a negative frame of mind!

        Thank you!

    • i would appreciate the effort being taken by the private schools. our public sector needs to work hard to cope up the private sector. it was good to read your blog Mr Kasim.

  64. Very thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing your ideas. We need people like you to uplift our education system.

  65. Instead of making it a mere political debate,I think it should be generously accepted that the educational standards improved once private sector got hold of it. Certainly. if efficiency is the outcome of privatization,then it should not be taken negatively. Now this is again a fact that public sector education is significant for our low income group. But the quality of public sector education is just multiplying the figures of low income group and is not making them a fruitful part of the society.So instead of this debate,ideas should be explored on how public sector educationists can be taken on board with the private sector .

  66. Whatever reason we give or how much we argue… facts will never change… We have seen that private schools have divided people into classes ..I am not blaming private schools but surely Govt …that why they couldnt uplift the standard of the public school so that there would have been no difference between them.. thus no class system as well !

  67. An applaud-able argument in reply to the statement of the ‘gentleman’,but your actual reply certainly shows a reaction rather than the pro-active approach we follow at Beaconhouse.

    ‘Life is all about perspectives’ and the perception of a seasoned educationist like yourself certainly outweighs that of a star turned politician!

    Regards,

    Javeria Naeem

    BM, A’levels

  68. Thank you for bringing up some very good points regarding our schools.

    Private schools have been contributing to the solution of the shortfall between demand and supply of access to basic education moreover they are important because they augment the government’s efforts in the provision of quality and internationally acceptable education.

    Regards,

    Faisal

  69. Kasim Sb,

    This was an excellent piece of Information….. Really enjoyed reading it :)

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