Headline Oct. 22/ ''' EDUCATION FAILS : * ETERNITY* FAILS '''



EVENTUALLY, SOMEDAY,  IN NOT too distant a future, the World Students Society will be holding Education, the world over, under a microscope 

*Zilli, will honor by leading the global research* helped by Hussain and Ali, as I turn to recent report in The New York Times that astutely highlights core aspects of Pakistan's Education crisis-

That have been sidelined as a result of the hype created by private and public entities, domestic and foreign, over the lack of funding in the sector.

IN ALL FAILED EDUCATION SYSTEMS of the world, -take the case of Proud Pakistan,  just about everything is nothing but a hopeless and sorry state of affairs that-

23 MILLION CHILDREN/STUDENTS and their parents have given up on this country's education system. A significant portion of the population will have limited literacy and numeracy skills heading into the future.

These are the people in whose hands we will entrust the future of this country and the outlook appears bleak, to say the least. 
Merium? Rabo? Haleema? Seher/Kings College, Saima? Eman/LUMS? Armeen/LUMS? Iqra? Zara? 

The attention that has been paid to the education sector in the way of increasing budgets and checks on teacher attendance and ghost schools is hardly praiseworthy. 

The additional funding was usurped by unethical teachers who allegedly make do personal chores instead of learning.

There is no end to this trend in sight and the solution cannot depend on the private education sector, for that has its own problem of ethics and charging exorbitant fees, for teachers who carelessly teach a few lessons, then require students to attend private after school tutoring sessions for additional fees.

Emphasis needs to return on relaunching the public education system. Considering the sheer desperation of the situation, it would be worthwhile to stop and think, and maybe hire outside experts.

As images of young Malala Yousafzai at Oxford University spring up on the World Students Society and social media and we reflect on how her life transformed from being a naive girl in a backward province subject to primitive Taliban rule to attending a top institution ready to broaden her horizons-

We must not forget the millions of children who are where she once was, trying to make something of themselves in an education system that does not facilitate them:

Mrs. Sajida Basharat? Mrs. Sajida Sultan Abbasi,  Mrs. Shahbano Imran?  Mrs.Uzma Haider Naqvi?  Mrs. Sabiha Shahid Shakoor? Mrs. Imran Bokhari? Mrs. Shazia Gul?  Mrs. Humera Saqib? Mrs. Masud Reza? 

Mrs. Engineer Umair Nasir,  Mrs Saima Faisal Rasul? Mrs. Saleem Khan Kasuriya?   Mrs. Munawer? Mrs. Alamgir Khan? Mrs. Lawyer Zainab Khan? Mrs. Amina Fahim Khan? 

MORE BROADLY, The world has failed children in poor countries. There have been global campaigns to get more children in school, but that isn't enough.

The crucial metric isn't children attending school, but children learning in school. 

Here in Liberia in the village of  Biegeezay in Rivercess County, I dropped in on a regular public school that officially had 16 teachers assigned to it.

Initially I saw 4 ; a couple more trickled in hours later.

I asked one girl in the school's third grade if she could read the word 'hands''. [which was on her T-shirt] ; she couldn't 

I asked her what eight plus five equals. After a while she guessed 12. Finally, I asked her to write the letter ''E'' in my notebook. She couldn't. 

AMERICANS wonder why 60 million elementary school-age children world-wide don't go to school.  

It's no wonder if you have to pay under-the-table school fees and know that years of  ''education'' will get your children nothing.

In contrast, the Bridge schools i visited were functional. The teachers can themselves read. School begins on time 7.30 a.m., and continues until 3.30 instead of letting out around noon, as at many  government-run schools.

And students have books.

''Since Bridge arrived here, the difference is so great,'' said Prince Yien, the PTA chairman in one school I visited.

Ruth Yarlpawolo, 9, a third grader, told me that the biggest difference since Bridge took over is that the teacher is present.

Ruth is the first girl in he family to attend school., since she loves science class, and she has ambition that an education could facilitate. ''I want to be nurse,'' she said.

We can all agree that the best option would be for governments to offer her better schools, with books and teachers in the room. Indeed, Liberia is trying to improve all schools, and it is winnowing out payments to ghost teachers, who don't exist accept on paper.

*But my travels have left me deeply skeptical that government schools in many countries can be easily cured of corruption, patronage and wretched governance, and in the meantime we fail a generation of children*.

In the United States, criticisms of for profit schools are well-grounded, for successive studies have found that vouchers for American for profit schools hurt children at least initially.

[Although the evidence also shows that in the U.S.. well-run charters can help pupils].

The situation in countries like Liberia is different, and when poor countries recognize that their education systems are broken and try to do the right thing for children, it doesn't help to export America's toxic education wars.

So, a plea to my fellow progressives : Let's worry less about ideology and more about how to help kids learn.    

With respectful dedication to all the Leaders of Pakistan, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world.

See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011  

''' Crisis -What Crisis? '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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