Educated people understand the issues, and are easy to convince by the leadership. They cannot be dictated.
Extent of the issue:
- Education makes people understand what is good for them.
- Education makes governance easy.
- Education promotes democratic values.
- The countries with high literacy rate have strict adherence to law.
- Education increases socio-economic mobility and protects people from exploitation.
- Educated people vigorously protect and defend their rights.
- On the national level, educated society strengthens national defence and repels external
The problems of Pakistan and failure of education to bring meaningful change:
- Repeated martial laws were imposed due to weak education system.
- The citizens follow the law not habitually, but due to fear of punishments.
- The recognition and enforcement of fundamental rights are weak.
- People evade taxes and do not make a meaningful contribution in national development.
- Governance is difficult but driving people around is easy.
- Low literacy rate and poor quality of education.
- The prevalence of different education systems prevents the development of uniform citizenship values.
- Education system does not promote spirit of inquiry.
- Irrelevant and outdated curriculum.
- Improving literacy level and standard of education.
- Students must be encouraged to hold divergent opinions.
- Adopting a uniform education system.
- Education system must inspire confidence.
- Updating and improving the relevance of education.
- Removing gender and regional imbalances.
Education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.
Education is the most powerful instrument that a man possesses. Education makes people aware of their rights and turns them into responsible citizens. An educated man is easy to lead for he knows and understands the right path. It is, however, difficult to drive him into doing an act which he believes to be incorrect. Similarly, educated man is easy to govern because he understands his rights and duties as a member of society. But to enslave an educated man is an impossible task. Knowledge is power which protects man from attempts aiming at curbing his freedom. When anyone tries to usurp their rights, they resent forcefully and successfully. It is, however, quite unfortunate that Pakistan has failed to derive benefit from education and practically establishing its society in accordance with its lofty ideals for which the country was created.
Let us first take a look at how education guides the life of a person and benefit both the individual and the society and then we’ll take a look at Pakistan’s failure to derive the desired results.
The most important power that education gives to a man is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. An educated man knows what is right for him. He follows the path that ensures his overall well being. Man is a social animal. He lives in society. The betterment and well being of all the persons who composed the society is in the development of whole society. Thus, in the literate societies one finds that people habitually performing their duty towards the society and state. People pay taxes, not out of fear, but because they feel it as their bounden duty towards their country. They have been led easily and successfully to the correct path.
Education makes governance easy. One political scientist famously remarked that the best government is the one that governs the least. An educated person knows his responsibility towards the county. When everyone adjusts their action according to the desired conduct, state feels little need to implement its authority. One the other hand, on illiterate societies people are engaged in all sorts of actions. The governments there have to take special measure to direct and control the action of its members.
Similarly, education promotes democratic values of equality, social justice and respect for human rights. Democracy is the best way of exercising political power because it is the rule by consent. However, democracy is flourishing in countries which have high literacy rate. The proper functioning of democracy requires that citizens must understand the nature of politics. They must have the ability to judge the performance of the government. Thus, educated citizenry promotes democratic system and democracy in turns foster equality, social justice and respect for human rights. In democratic societies all citizens are equal in the eyes of law. The law ensures the social justice among the citizens and promotes the recognition of human rights. The population that enjoys the rule of such a government is no doubt, easy to govern as it aligns itself. It is, however, difficult to enslave such a nation because it understand its role as well as its rights and would resent any attempt to enslave it.
Education increases respect for law which makes governance easy. As we have seen that in countries with high literacy rate the governments are organized on democratic principle. The democratic governments derive their power from the people; hence, they promulgate laws that will go down well with the citizens. As the laws are made in accordance with the aspirations of the people, they feel no reason to violate it. However, if the government for political expediency or any other reason enacts believed by people to be tyrannical, it is not the people who suffer the ordeal under the hands of such a regime but it is the government that loses its power. People in such circumstances would readily form an opinion against the government and it would become difficult for the government to reign any further. Also, in countries with educated population citizens understand the need and importance of law and they habitually follow it.
Education promotes the socio-economic mobility of the people in the upward direction and protects people from exploitation at the hands of their fellow beings. In this modern capitalistic world, the social, emotional and economic exploitation of the weak by the powerful is not the rare a occurrence. The uneducated person is more likely to fall a prey to the exploitation than the educated one because there is little chance of his being misled. The exploitation of poor tenants by the feudal lords in Pakistan is an illustration in hand. The tenants are uneducated, devoid of any material resources are less likely to raise voice against the injustices of their feudal lords. But education is an important instrument that can enable a person to move upward in the socio-economic scale and guard himself from injustices and exploitations.
The fact that education makes people easy to lead and govern, but difficult to drive and enslave can be verified from the ever-rising influence of the media. They growing influence of media is due to the awareness generated by the education. The modern media is a powerful entity because its audience is an educated person. Now the issues raised by media are readily absorbed by literate persons. The public opinion formed as a result is an important check on government and valuable instrument of individual freedom.
The educated people are conscious and aware of their rights. They vigorously protect and defend them. When their neighbour or a fellow citizen encroach their rights, they know the procedure for obtaining the redressal of their grievances. Similarly, when government infringes their rights they know how to vindicate themselves. Thus, an educated person is always ready and on guard to defend his rights which makes him impossible to drive and enslave.
On an international level, the world is a galaxy of states. The states interact with each other. Not all the states of the world are similar in power and prestige. There are few states that are regarded as developed; whereas, others are classified as developing and least developed. The difference between the rich and poor countries is invariably of literacy. Education strengthens national defence and repels external aggression. In today’s world, a country defence is directly linked to the level of education its citizens. The countries that are scientifically and technically advance have better defence capabilities. Thus, to maintain its free and sovereign status, state must ensure the providence of education to its people.
At this stage it would be relevant to look at the problems of Pakistan and the failure of education to bring meaningful change here.
First of all, there are weak state institutions with the unfortunate consequence that Pakistani nation has been enslaved four times in its history by the martial law regimes. Had the nation been given education and made aware of its responsibilities, the interruption of political process would have been averted. The low literacy rate along with the poor standard of education made the political issues all Greek for the common man who failed to understand the consequences of martial law.
Secondly, due to lack of education and awareness, people follow law not habitually but from fear of punishments. The fragrant disregard of rule of law in our society could be attributed to the weak education system. People are not educated enough to appreciate the importance of law in the society. Resultantly, many social evils erupt in the society which ultimately plagues its social fabric.
The educated people are conscious of their rights and defend them vigorously. Similarly, illiterate population is ignorant of its rights and fails to protect them. Thus, we see that affluent and powerful segment of society blatantly violates the rights of weak and illiterate people.
The citizens of Pakistan do not make their contribution in the national development, but continuously blames the government for failing to provide them essential services. The so-called literate people are equally ignorant of their duties towards the state. They make serious efforts to evade taxes and other duties towards the state. In fact, not paying taxes or other utility bills has become a matter of pride as it demonstrates one’s power and influence in the society.
The overall result of the issues of Pakistani society that are the result of lack of education and an education devoid of civic sense and responsibility is that governing people is difficult but driving them around is easy. In other words, to convince people logically is difficult, but to enslave them with violence and fear is trouble-free thing.
At this stage, it would be relevant to look at the causes which have hindered the way of education in building a civic sense in the people of Pakistan.
The first and the foremost factor is that there is low literacy level in the country and poor standard of education. The literacy rate of the country is among the lowest in the region. The standard of education is also among the worst in the world. Without proper education system that aims at character building of an individual, the desired results from education system cannot be achieved.
Another factor that has hindered the development of civic sense in Pakistan is the prevalence of different education system. There does not exist a single uniform education system for whole of the county. Rather, there are many systems that work parallel to each other. There is a religious education system which mainly caters the needs of poor population. Then we have our indigenous system which attracts middle class. For rich, foreign education system such as Cambridge and oxford school systems are also available. The presence of these divergent systems prevents the development of uniform citizenship values among all citizens.
Further, the education system of Pakistan does not inspire spirit of inquiry. Education system is examination oriented and not knowledge oriented. Students are encouraged to cram the syllabus rather than to develop an analytical approach. The resultant effect is that the citizens do not develop civic sense.
The following steps would be helped in developing broad citizenship values through education.
First of all, literacy level must be improved. This is the age of science and technology. The countries that are leading world economics have universal literacy rate. Even some of the countries in the region have achieved high literacy rate. We are, therefore, in dire need to educate our people so that they can make meaningful contribution. Further, standard of education must also be improved, if we are to tread on the path of progress and prosperity.
Students must also be taught to hold divergent opinion, different from their teachers and fellow students. A sense of rational and analytical understanding must be created in the minds of young students.
If Pakistan is serious of developing a consensual thinking of its citizens, on core national issues, it must make some arrangements for adopting a uniform education system. The numerous but inconsistent education systems are poisonous for the well being of society. Only those countries that have a uniform education system for all their citizens have a common and united approach of citizens on national issues.
Education system must be developed so as to inspire inquiry. There is a need to make a paradigm shift. Education system must be made to promote intelligence and not to merely produce graduates.
There is also a need to improve the relevance of education. Regional and gender imbalance must also be removed. The education of woman is an education of a generation: an educated population cannot be created unless there are educated mothers. Special provisions must be made to promote the education at rural areas of the country.
From the above discussion it can be concluded that education is most important asset in the wealth of a man. It gives power and strength to its seeker. An educated person is easy to lead and govern because he understands his rights and duties. Education gives freedom which makes people impossible to drive and enslave and this freedom can never be taken away.