The education business is ‘the’ business. The other day I went to a local bookstore to buy a few school books for my niece and nephew. Usually, my elder brother takes care of such matters. Due to his busy schedule, he asked me to do him a little favor. My niece is in grade 5, and my nephew is in grade 3. I purchased textbooks and some worksheets of Maths, General Science, and Social Studies. Can you imagine what the total bill was? Over 6000.
Textbooks were in tape binding, and worksheets were loose printed paper. I wonder why there is no price control over the curriculum. No government, no media has ever taken up this most fundamental issue, not even for a discussion. The education business is now an industry. Those who are supposed to fix it are the real stakeholders.
My niece and nephew go to Pak-Turk School. The school is expensive even though it is not among the ‘so-called’ best schools. The best schools are only for the upper-middle class. Sending the kids to ‘the best’ school is more of a matter of status than education. In cities, private school mafias are everywhere, and government schools are rare. In the rural and remote areas, the situation is even worse.
Educated Pakistan is one of the worst nightmares for our establishment. If the people got educated, they would question authority, speak against injustice, and demand their rights. It is not what they want. Pakistan does not seem to progress. Pakistan is not likely to make progress in the foreseeable future. The country will go from bad to worse. I am now sure of this fact. No country can prosper where education is more profitable than drug trafficking. What will happen to a country where medicine and health facilities are luxuries?
According to UNICEF estimates, more than 22 million children do not go to school in Pakistan. It makes Pakistan second on the list of most out-of-school children in the world. If seen gender-wise, the numbers are more horrifying.
This discussion might offend many. But, no matter how ugly the facts are, this demon ought to be faced and slain if Pakistan were to move forward in a positive direction. The education business is a sad reality like health facilities. We are not just damaging our roots nation is eating into its very soul. The solution is simple we need to redefine the concept of a strong nation. The strength does not come from accumulating modern weaponry. It comes from the people. Make people healthy and educated, and you will have a strong nation.