PAKISTAN'S EDUCATION-employment link   :

The quality of education has become a major stumbling block, writes Associate Professor Faisal Bari of economics at LUMS, Lahore.

IN INTERVIEWS and in written tests, candidates show the poor quality of not only their language skills, but also of their education when they cannot even put together a coherent argument.

They do not know how to read an article and make sense of what the author has said.

They are unable to comprehend the implications of what they read, cannot generalise from their reading, cannot find examples to apply their reading to, cannot adapt their reading to apply to their situation and context to create counter or confirmatory arguments.

The ability to critically engage with either the written word or with one's environment is a necessary, if minimal, condition for being able to respond to the demands of any job.

A lot of candidates are not able to do that.

But the story does not end there. It is not just that their education has not equipped them to be able to engage with their environment effectively-

For many, their education has also crippled them so that it is hard for them to acquire these skills while they work.

There are very few jobs where  on-the-job training cannot happen. But if, even after a couple years of experience, a person is not able to deal with his or her job/her job well, there is an issue: there must be a problem in how they learn.

It is, of course, not the case that there are no good candidates at all or that all institutions provide education of a poor quality:

There are some high quality educational institutions in the country. But there number is very small.

Good graduates from such institutions do get recognised and command better returns as well.

But the problem is for the millions who are spending 16 to 18 years in schools and universities and ending up being poorly educated and trained, and much more damagingly -

Being educated in ways and habits that make it difficult for them to change and become better learners.

We can take up the question of how to start addressing the problem later.

!WOW! thanks author Associate Professor of economics at LUMS, Faisal Bari. And assures him of the widest possible spread of his present and future writings.


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