Revitalising Fsc’s Rotting Core
Poor educational system is one of the major reasons why we are drowning in failure. The system has inflicted collateral damage by erasing inovativeness from the minds of students. It has tried its best to suppress the minds of the young generation. “Creativity” is basically believed to be a criminal act which carries the “career death” penalty. Unique ideas are completely rejected and the seeds are rooted out as soon as they are sown in the minds of students.
While thinking about this, a question comes to my mind. Can any country prosper by exterminating innovativeness from its generation? Success of a country is dependent on the future generation and that generation has to educate itself to be formed as the face of the country. Unfortunately, we ourselves have forsaken the image that our ancestors dreamt of. Frustration alone is not enough to express the pain and sadness, but giving a voice to the frustration is what matters. Some of you may have read about our flawed system in Hamid Dastgir’s article. I will quickly go through those points and will provide my solution regarding them.
Two years of our life are wasted in studying irrelevant material and outdated concepts. For example, the book of Physics is categorized as a book with fundamentally flawed technique of expressing itself to the reader. Physics teachers usually praise it in the following words, “Don’t study physics from your course book. You’ll forget the concepts that you just learned in my class”. Eleven authors, three editors and one supervisor, all of them failed to produce a book worth studying.
Same is the case with Chemistry. Chapters like “Atomic Structure” are so outdated and many new proven theories regarding electrons have come into existence. Well, by the look of things, the board certainly thinks that “Old is Gold’’. This clearly describes why we are still studying Mr.Chips which has been a part of our intermediate English course (part 2) for over 4 decades. Whereas Biology aims on making students botanists instead of doctors. Transport/co-ordination/reproduction in plants is given preference over human physiology. Pak-studies is no different. Use of incorrect language is found in abundance. Wrong information is also present in the book. Take a look at this statement of book:
The reality is, out of a total budget of 4394 billion, 860 billion is allocated to defense which is barely 20 percent (Source). One can not classify it as “unaffordable“.
Students complain the most about Urdu, which is the most demanding subject when it comes to writing. Explaining verses and describing the feelings of a poet is an art that won’t do any good to a doctor or an engineer.
The course must be modified and the focus should be on simple and interesting content rather than dull and difficult topics which are taught no more.
Our papers are made, not to check the concepts of the student, but to test the cramming skills. The subject, “English Language” lays emphasis on the interpretation skills and writing technique. In FSc, the story is different. No matter how masterfully you craft an essay, the examiner won’t care because the students must know about all short stories and should be well aware of the events that took place in them. The art of translation of English into Urdu and vice versa, must be ‘mastered’ (who knows one might find a job as a translator). It’s difficult to comprehend the wisdom behind this ideology as it is pretty useless when it comes to enhancing language skills. Students have to provide long answers which extend over 3-4 pages, in subjects which belong to the science category. These long answers defy the fundamental principles of Science. Lengthy derivations in Physics are absolutely baseless. Application of principles should be the prime requirement instead. Putting stress on derivations is comparable to looking back into the past and learning nothing from it. The paper of Urdu can be considered a ‘serial killer’ and the career of many students has been murdered in a gruesome manner because of this subject. The examiner demands volumes of explanation in a short time and most of the students fail to comply with it.
A doctor is supposed to prescribe medicine to the patient, not Ghalib’s verse. Since Urdu can not be made an optional subject (a group of visionaries would rise and would dismantle peace through violent protests), the difficulty level has to be decreased. The demands have to be simplified and marking should be made just. Emphasis should be on those topics that are of significance and the concept of long answers should be eradicated from all Science papers. Science demands brief answers, not stories.
Hiring incompetent examiners is one of the major reasons for our failure. Most of them believe in the following principles:
- The more you write, the more you score.
- The more neat you write, the more you will score.
- In order to score more in your paper, you have to make sure it’s decorated well.
In these doctrines, significance of content is missing. They follow this simple rule, “Always judge a book by its cover”. Another interesting fact regarding the examiners is, just like all other human beings, they disrespect the chain of command. A marking scheme is distributed to all examiners but no one bothers to open it as its time-consuming to check a paper according to the marking scheme and it very well might help a student to score more in the exam.
They judge the paper according to their own racist ideology. I truly consider this to be simply unacceptable. One of my friends told me that he went to get his Urdu paper rechecked. In the “talkhees” portion, the examiner had marked it correct but while giving marks, he forgot to write 1 with the zero, and as a result, he lost ten marks even after attempting everything correctly. If qualified examiners, who focus more on the content rather than its beauty, are hired, things will dramatically change.
The general population view academies as the only source of success. They consider them, the saviors of the careers of their children. In reality, they are nothing but an organisation of hypocrites whose sole objective is to earn money and fame(which eventually leads to more money). Drug trade is considered to be a dangerous, but, monetarily beneficial form of business (no wonder why Pablo Escobar got so rich). If you subtract danger from the equation and compromise a little on money, what you get is the “academy business”. It is unfair to paint everyone with the same brush. One thing is true, some academies do hire professional teachers who are dedicated towards teaching. They are well aware of the corrupt system but they choose to be silent. If they openly condemn it, they will lose their jobs as it will lead to the business of academies being hurt. This alone proves that business is the thing that matters, not education.
It is immature to declare FSc as ‘Dar-ul-Harb’ and migrate to A levels. More than ninety percent of the population in our very own country can’t afford “A-levels”. 25.2 million minds are rotting in the streets as they don’t have the slightest access to education. I believe that we have to promote our own system. In order to make it worthy of promotion, the changes mentioned before in the article must be implemented. Quaid-e-Azam always stressed on education. This quotation shows the immense significance he gave to students, “The students are the architects of future. The nation expects discipline and unity from them so that they may confront the challenges of the time”. The sad part is, people who do check our papers openly show contradictory ideas. They play with the careers of millions of students but the government is lost in their sleep of ignorance.
This is not education! This is an illusion of a flawed and outdated educational system. Intellectual and spiritual enlightenment is defined as education. But here, both are absolutely absent.
A few geniuses might argue on the fact that there are students who score more than 90 percent. I have no doubts about that myself. But, they are no more than 5 percent of the total students who appear for intermediate exams. This unveils the weaknesses of this system and how much deficient it is. Below, is an essay of an intermediate student who scored 83% in matriculation exams. Though, i think a 4th grade student can write a lot better than this.
Rather than motivating a student to study, they are continuously haunted by the fear of the possibility of an unworthy result, which inculcates a feeling of despair in the minds of students. A person who I know quite well and is studying in a medical college told me that he personally knew four people who sought deliverance by committing suicide due to study pressures. How much shameless have we become? How many graves are we going to let this system dig?
It’s time to raise our voice against this system and to end the genocide that has been killing minds since the last few decades. In order to create a better future and to watch this country prosper, a major overhaul in the system is a necessity. It’s time for us to choose bravery over blindness. This generation is the future of this country and we can’t allow a few roughnecks to sabotage our future and paralyze it with their virus. It’s time to end this once and for all by showing the government where the problem actually lies. Improvement in the educational system is way more important than an Orange train project or a Metro bus.