A Response to Naubahar’s Article Titled as “Elite vs deprived students of Gilgit Baltistan”

At first, the figures about educational problems given in the article are generalized. We should look at them by considering gender and urban/rural dichotomies. We will see a huge difference if we look at these facts and figures by considering these issues. We will come to know that how much boys of a specific area are acquiring education to particular level and how much of them are deprived from it and vice versa. We need to see how much females of Gilgit district (developed) are completing their matriculation or graduation as compare to the females of other underprivileged districts for example Ghanche? Likewise, we need to analyze intra gender educational differences across different districts. This would be very helpful for the government as well as for the NGO`s to invest fruitfully according to need of regions.

Secondly, In his article he has presented that lack of interest of students and parents and financial constraints as only factors causing low enrollments and high drop outs. I think the most important factor culture/tradition is missing. In some cultures people do not appreciate formal education (especially for girls). One of the reasons behind it may be that the people take formal education as westernization and send their sons to Madrassas and keep their daughters at home. So, it may cause high drop outs and low enrollments in some regions.

Finally, I do not agree with his statement that the dropout rate can bring frustration and hardships in life. If it is so then why the people who have a lot of knowledge get frustrated? They usually fail to get satisfaction so they face hard ships in life. And having a degree of specific level is not actually education. Majority of noble people are not “educated” (have any formal education) and some educated people (who have formal education) are not noble at all. So we should define the word “education” itself.

Apart from his article, I will recommend that instead of relying only on government, civil society must work with schools to produce effective results. The capacity of existing schools in terms of quality must be improved by enhancing teaching techniques and school environment. A class must be enriched with practical aspects of the text being taught. A school must be made a place where student enjoy curricular, co curricular and extracurricular opportunities.

Additionally, the uneducated”/dropped out people (having no formal educational degree) must be given a chance by the government (in any way) or NGOs to attain formal education at any age level. The well known Taleem Baligaan Program must be reintroduced and enforced, with more effective planning and designing.

Overall, we need to deal educational problems within context of each region and district. We need to look for social and cultural impediments faced by underprivileged students. The solution to educational polarization between elite and privileged students is to connect them. The privileged ones must take responsibility upon completion of education or during education, towards these underprivileged students. In conclusion, we need to search for multiple causes of educational problems, and find dynamic solutions.

Bushra Ali Shah
Member M&A Council
Organization For Educational Change(OEC)
Student QAU, Islamabad

Note: It is not official opinion of writer or organization, we appreciate diverse opinions for public discussion and debate.

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