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Education is not a Solution

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Reddington, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Reddington

    Reddington FULL MEMBER

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    Education is not a solution

    Anjum Altaf
    July 25, 2019


    PEOPLE often insist that Pakistan’s lack of development requires investing in education. They should reconsider this relationship.

    Consider the following arguments:

    In countries we consider developed today, mass education followed development, not the other way around. Countries did not wait till they were fully educated before they began to develop. Rather, they began to develop which created the need for the spread of education. Great Britain became a global empire when there was relatively little mass education. Today, with universal education, it is a minor player in the global system. There is no linear relationship between education and development and certainly the former does not cause the latter.


    Apply this framework to British India. There was little mass education when the British took over but because there were so few they needed local intermediaries to help administer the colony in ways familiar to them. That was the genesis of the limited number of BA and MA programmes set up to produce the babus they needed. Pakistan has continued to produce many more babus than it needs. By any measure, there is much more education today than there was in 1947 without commensurate gains in development. By comparison, many countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia with similar education levels at the outset have greatly outpaced Pakistan.


    There is yet another problem in attributing the lack of development in Pakistan to a lack of mass education because the key economic and political decisions have been made by well-educated people. Why have they been making very poor decisions despite their excellent educations? It is a travesty to blame uneducated people for the sins of the educated rulers.

    Pakistan’s development problems are not going to be resolved even if every citizen acquires a postgraduate education.


    These arguments should suggest that the emphasis on mass education in the context of development is misplaced. Policy choices, which are made by the educated, matter much more and if the policies are flawed no amount of mass education can undo the damage. Climate change is a good example — the existence of universal education in the US is of little avail if the Trump administration opts to disregard the evidence on global warming.

    All this is not to argue that education is without value — it is obviously better to be educated than not to be educated. But to appreciate this point we need clarity on what is meant by education and also differentiate between its two quite different functions.


    At the level of individuals, education confers the ability to realise their full potential. Just as the lack of adequate diet results in physical stunting, the lack of adequate education results in intellectual stunting — both are handicaps that hinder the realisation of human potential. But this education provides very different kinds of tools — the ability to think, to learn, to reason, to evaluate evidence, to argue logically, to differentiate truth from falsehood. In short, this education provides the foundation for leading a life based on reason


    On the contrary, what we commonly understand as education is much better described as training in particular skills like medicine, engineering and accounting. We mistakenly believe that the earlier we start students on acquiring such skills the better off they would be — thus the existence of pre-professional streams in high school. This insistence on acquisition of skills comes at the expense of the general education that ought to be the mandate of schools. It is no surprise that we have many highly skilled technicians who appear intellectually stunted.


    This second type of education, the acquisition of skills, is what people need to earn their livelihoods. Here we are guilty of a major fallacy because the demand for skills does not exist independently of the state of the economy and society. To take an obvious example, if an economy is not generating any jobs, training a whole lot of professionals is not going to lead to development. We should be familiar with this phenomenon having seen huge numbers of Pakistani professionals emigrating in search of jobs. They are moving to developing economies requiring specific types of skills.


    This reiterates the claim that development comes first and signals the kinds of skills required. In economic terminology, the demand for skills is a derived demand. It derives from the state of the economy, its needs, and the nature of its growth. For example, unilaterally overproducing highly specialised doctors in a low-income country with no environmental sanitation makes little sense — most would seek to emigrate while the majority of the population would be unable to afford the ones that remain and be forced to resort to quacks who respond to the effective demand.


    These arguments should make clear that Pakistan’s development problems are not going to be resolved even if every citizen acquires a postgraduate education. All that would happen would be a worsening of the existing crisis. Today, an advertisement for the job of a naib qasid draws thousands of applicants including many with postgraduate degrees and professional qualifications. Many lawyers can be found driving Uber cabs.


    Yet another societal malady militates against the acquisition of even those skills that are needed by the economy. One often wonders why in a country of over 200 million, with serious underemployment, it is difficult to find a competent electrician or plumber. Is it because employment and advancement are not based on competence but other factors? If most jobs are doled out on patronage or exchanged for bribes, it is smarter to invest in connections or acquiring funds to buy jobs than to acquire additional skills.


    Given the above, why do poor people in Pakistan acquire any education at all? Simply because the oversupply of labour relative to economic development has made degrees a filter for recruitment for even the most mundane jobs. This has transformed education into credentialing. People need credentials and many institutions have responded by becoming diploma mills, either churning out worthless degrees or selling them outright.

    Regretfully, more education is not going to provide an easy solution to Pakistan’s development problems. A good schooling would provide a platform while sensible economic and social policies would be needed to spur growth leading to appropriate skill acquisition.

    The writer was dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Lums.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1496099/education-is-not-a-solution
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  2. Reddington

    Reddington FULL MEMBER

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    Only economic growth creates jobs. Education without economic growth would just increase unemployment. That's what is said by the writer.
    @Mangus Ortus Novem
     
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  3. Syed1.

    Syed1. SENIOR MEMBER

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    An educated population fosters growth itself. You mean to tell me I have at my disposal an army of talented engineers and well trained technicians with all the skills in the world but they all will just sit at home twiddling their thumbs because there aren't any jobs? No, these folks will go out and make jobs for themselves and others.



    Pehlay sahi taaleem deh kar tou dekho.
     
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  4. Indus Pakistan

    Indus Pakistan ELITE MEMBER

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    One of the most dumbest articles I have ever read. Development correlates with mass education. This assumes that mass education means quality education in modern science then madaris education on how to fart when fasting.
     
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  5. D!nGa Ch!Ba

    D!nGa Ch!Ba FULL MEMBER

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    The author is Muslim and suggesting education isn't solutions, he is trying to convince the people for which the first letter comes from ALLAH ( subhan na tahala) is "Iqra" par.
     
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  6. Indus Pakistan

    Indus Pakistan ELITE MEMBER

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    For example take Malaysia. Quote -

    (1970’s) In the early 1970’s, the average enrollment rate of government assisted schools was 88.2 percent at the primary level and 52.2 percent at the lower secondary level, and in the early 1980’s , the primary level came to be 93.6 percent and the lower secondary

    in 1970s Malaysia had 88% enrollment rate. 50 years later in Pakistan we still are slightly below that figure. In Pakistan of 1970 it probably was below 25%.

    https://www.ide.go.jp/library/English/Publish/Download/Report/2005/pdf/2005_04_15_08.pdf
     
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  7. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    What a total imbecile this writer is---he has written his article half arsed---so if education is not the solution---then what is the solution---.

    Why is there so much show of stupidity in young pakistanis---?

    It is always the implementation of the ORDER IN THE SOCIETY & THE RULE OF LAW that is a solution for the nation---.

    That is the part of the history of successful nations---. Ruthless enforcement of the law---that is why these white nations are so disciplined---because their great great great great grandparents were sent to decades in jail for stealing a loaf of bread---or sent to death for stealing or had their hands or legs chopped off for minor crimes---were put on prison ships and sent to godforsaken lands where 20% died on the ships and another 20 % died on the land---.

    Human being by itself is an extremely vicious creature----. The only way to control him / her is thru quick enforcable rule of law---.
     
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  8. Simurgh

    Simurgh FULL MEMBER

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    100% agree with the OP, when true development happens, it in itself creates new fields of education for the society where the development takes place and indeed a nation cannot become developed just by "education", it is the implementation of that education that matters truly to realize economic progress and development. One can learn all the theories of physics, chemistry, biotechnology, all kinds of engineering but without actually implementing that education for useful progressive purposes, all that education is nothing more than just a social status symbol which has been the case for most the education degrees in Pakistan for decades. Believe it or not educational degrees in Pakistan are primarily acquired as a social status symbol rather than to utilize them to realize the development and progress of Pakistan as a country.

    Someone who has acquired a 3 year engineering diploma from a poly technical institute after his matriculation is looked down upon than a BSc engineering degree holder from a university. Even though in country like Pakistan the diploma holder technicians contribute far more in the functioning of the economy of Pakistan than BSc degree holder engineers whose prime dream is always to move to another country to "utilize" their education for the development of that country.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  9. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    What Modi has done---he has taken peace out of the deal between pakistan and India---.

    Too much hatred has been infused in india against the existence of pakistan---.

    Modi signed up with the DEVIL himself to come to power---and Modi gave away everything in exchange that was humane to be in power---.

    There is no hatred for india on pakistani streets---even though all the terrorist acts being commited in pakistan 99% are being funded by the indians---yet pakistanis don't hate the indians as much as they should---.
     
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  10. padamchen

    padamchen ELITE MEMBER

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    Just stating the obvious, but if Pakistan "solves" Kashmir, India then becomes a blood enemy for posterity.

    It solves nothing then. Certainly not employment for the youth - asides from the armed forces and other favoured strategic non-state levers.

    Cheers, Doc
     
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  11. jamal18

    jamal18 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Excellent article.
     
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  12. Indus Pakistan

    Indus Pakistan ELITE MEMBER

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    That is a economic problem. Requiring economic solutions and nothing to do with Kashmir.
     
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  13. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    Very good article. People must read the article in its entirety before jumping to the conclusion. Imbeciles are jumping to the conclusion just by reading the title which is created to attract attention..or you can say click bait but on the whole article is really good.
     
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  14. Death Professor

    Death Professor FULL MEMBER

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    What people are not understanding is the type of education. With ratta culture, you can throw away first 10 years of education in a bin. The problem is so severe that it is hard to make people understand. With this internet era, you do not need degrees, unless you are going into the research and development.

    In india 93000 candidates applied for a job of a peon and those included 3700 PHD's. Money is what matters, instead of giving it out to have a useless degree, one should invest that money into a business after a full feasibility analysis. If you don't have money do some job, earn it through internet. Become a youtuber, use fiverr and you don't need a degree for this, all you need is investment of time, effort and some common sense of-course. I don't recommend taking a loan with the current high interest rates, but still take a loan if some family member is willing to invest in you. We are a nation of 200 million people, we all consume things. Stick to one thing, invest in that and become an ace of that thing so that you don't need to waste money on marketing.

    Education without jobs, is pointless. And jobs are created with investment and money.
     
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  15. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    What you are missing is---we don't care about india becoming our " blood enemy"---.

    What you should worry about is that we may not become your "blood enemy"---. That should be your biggest worry---.
     
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