Man always yearns for knowledge.
It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. By being adaptive, an organisation can produce the same products cheaper to improve profits. By being inventive, an organisation can keep producing better products to keep customers paying, which is what Apple successfully did.
Deciding between these two approaches, whether to improve upon existing solutions or design new ones altogether, is a choice that education policymakers are currently facing in Pakistan.
The test score data in the Annual Status of Education Report for all provinces from on shows little improvement in learning. Ten years from now, Pakistan may have more high school graduates, but that may not mean much in terms of being employable.
If learning does not improve, policymakers could even argue that these children are better off outside school learning a trade or being employed.
The injustice aside, this is a waste of precious material and human resources, something that a developing country like Pakistan cannot afford. What is truly surprising is that Educational reforms in pakistan government has tried every single policy in the standard playbook to improve matters.
Evidence should guide our choices in education. The first surprising fact was that there have been more than reforms since alone. The second surprising fact is that all these reforms make sense; they are consistent with what countries around the world do to improve their educational outcomes.
They include incentivising teachers, raising teacher qualification levels, improving the curriculum, more testing, better textbooks and better education support services. Name any reform, and it is almost guaranteed that it has been tried.
Given this huge emphasis on education reform, why has learning not improved? At the recent Ednovate conference, many representatives from public, private and non-profit educational sectors agreed on the need for effective innovation in education reform, however it became clear that consensus on the approach remained elusive.
Should the focus be on improving the current system or trying out new strategies? Because all consequences, good or bad, of either route cannot be immediately envisioned, any proposal could be countered with legitimate dissent. To illustrate, take the Punjab school merger and staff rationalisation policies.
To counter teacher shortage, the government of Punjab introduced teacher rationalisation policies that allowed teachers to be transferred from low to high-enrolment schools, where they were needed.
The government had done this twice before in and with the aim of having one teacher for 40 students in a school.
However, the imbalance kept returning because teachers sought transfers to their previous schools. The government took an adaptive approach in to improve upon the current solution by merging low-enrolment schools with high-enrolment schools before shifting surplus teachers to schools that needed them.
The policies led to unintended consequences including a loss of female teachers because the merged schools tended to be further away, causing some women to leave the profession, along with increased teacher absenteeism. In fact, this effort worsened the shortage of teachers.
Despite an adaptive approach, this policy did not achieve its desired objectives. In fact, the assumption that schools require one teacher for 40 students has not even been tested, let alone challenged. Being inventive means challenging the underlying assumption, and managing the process of change with the bureaucracy.
A common theme emerged from the conference: A prerequisite for effective innovation is to bring all stakeholders on the same page, and one way to achieve that is through evidence-driven decision-making. If the Punjab school merger policy had been tested before it was executed, policymakers may have accounted for unintended negative impacts, perhaps by involving teachers at the policy development stage.
Policymakers too may have been less wedded to the idea and thus more open to reassessment if glitches were spotted before too many resources were spent on large-scale policy implementation.
Being committed to evidence-driven decision-making can lead to more effective innovation. Now is the time to let the evidence speak for itself and guide our choices, whether they rely on improving on current solutions or designing new ones altogether.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, Read Education Reform in Pakistan analysis, issues, solutions & funds. Education Reform in Pakistan - History, Analysis, Issues, Funds The education system of Pakistan is consists of , institutes & is facilitating 41,, students with the guidelines of 1,, teachers.
Pakistan’s policy makers need to allocate a major chunk of the overall budget for educational reforms if they want to permanently uproot the menace of extremism from Pakistan.
Education Reform in Pakistan: Through Popular Demand or Political Activism? By Irfan Muzaffar W hen worrying about the inadequacy of education reforms in Pakistan, we are often reminded of Albert Hirschman who claimed that public organisations needed political influence (or voice) for improvement in their performance.
The biggest of Pakistan’s four provinces, larger in terms of population (m) than all but 11 countries, Punjab is reforming its schools at a pace rarely seen anywhere in the world.
Education system of Pakistan: The education system of Pakistan is comprised of , institutions and is facilitating 41,, students with the help of 1,, teachers. The system includes , public institutions and 80, private institutions.
EDUCATIONAL REFORMS in PAKISTAN Some Aspects & Prospects Syed Muhammad Waqas (DG BIRF) *** An Introduction to the Existing Education System in Pakistan Education has always been the key phenomenon of a human society.
Man always yearns for knowledge. And we thus use different techniques for the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom.