PSC suggests uniform medium of instruction in province

PESHAWAR: Public Service Commission, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has called for adopting a uniform medium of instruction in public and private schools and colleges with one set of books and syllabus so as to provide opportunities to the educated youth who could compete for jobs and services on equal basis.The suggestion of adopting uniform medium of instructions tops the suggestions of the commission for improvement of education standard and services efficiency in its annual report for the year 2008.This is for the second time that the commission is pointing towards the matter.The present system of education based in the province is based on two mediums of instructions namely English and Urdu. The private educational institutes follow English medium while state-run schools follow Urdu as medium of instructions.The report said such kind of dichotomy in the system leads to the creation of two separate classes of educated youth with a different set of mind and standard of education.Students coming from Urdu medium schools, being lower in standard than the students of English medium schools usually face problems in finding jobs through selection on merit and thus get frustrated in the end.

For creation of a national outlook and cohesiveness, a uniform medium of instruction is required to be adopted in the educational system. Education is imparted to the youth in the province in four tiers i.e. elementary, secondary, college and university levels.It has been noticed that the teachers complain at each level that they have to teach the basics of the subjects which the students should have studied at the lower level.There is no coordination between the university and college, college and secondary, secondary and elementary levels for the purpose of syllabi, teaching methodologies and educational pursuits are being carried out in isolation in each tier.

The educational system needs close coordination and linkages between all its tiers. In this connection, not only review of the syllabi will be required but refresher courses are needed for college lecturers in the universities and for school teachers in the college during vacations which will improve the teaching skills of the teachers.Successful completion of a refresher course may be made mandatory for elevation of the teachers to the next higher position/grade. The courses could be arranged with a minimum cost in the shape of some honoraria to the master trainers and grant of normal TA/DA to the course attendants, the report added.

It further said human resource is in abundance in the province and in the adjoining tribal areas which need proper education and training to make them useful citizens of the province contributing to the provincial/National development and economy as well catering for external demands.The educational system needs complete revamping to provide higher education to those who are talented and will find place after completing their education instead of producing degree holders without opportunities of employment who could be enticed subsequently by anti-state elements.

The medicores need not be given higher education but should be given professional, technical and skill development trainings keeping in view the internal and external labour and work markets. Technical and vocational training programmes should be revisited and should be devised according to market needs with emphasis on research and technical training instead of theoretical knowledge, the report recommended.The internal markets and external requirements must be kept in view while revising the technical and vocational training programmes and the Chambers of Commerce and Industries must be consulted in this regard.

Education up to secondary level may be made universal for all to be provided at state expenses.The report said that it has been observed that Master’s degree holders in specialised science subjects such as MCS, Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Biology etc could not answer simple questions of Pakistan Studies, Islamiyat and general knowledge which they should have learnt at secondary school and college level.

The report also expressed concern over the decisions of the universities allowing private examinations in many subjects in which no laboratory or practical experimental work is involved.Such examinations are passed through its intricacies.The commission has noticed a lot of weaknesses in students getting master’s degrees as private students in comparison with regular universities’ students.The universities are required to carry out a careful analysis of the issue and should evolve a system where private candidates can be awarded degrees only when they attain the required educational standard, the report maintained.

The examination system needs complete overhaul to eliminate subjectivity and to introduce objective type examination system where under instead of 5 or 10 long questions based on selective chapters of the course and memorisation, the students should be confronted with 100 or more short questions covering the entire course.The commission has noticed that the universities have neither adequate research facilities nor they give any importance to research work in the relevant field of studies.Research should be important component of studies at mater’s level so as to upgrade the standard of education to bring it at a level nearer to international standards.

The report suggested that government may consider to constitute a Task Force of all stakeholders including concerned authorities and educationists to address the issues raised above and many other points connected with the subject matter and to recommend some practical measures to be taken for improvement of educational standards and efficiencies in the province – Statesman