The past ten years brought in Pakistan a revolutionized, I.T oriented approach which stretched to the educational system as well. Introducing the subject merely was not considered the only pathway to achieving this milestone, but the whole stream of teaching saw an evolution in which the traditional learn-it-off-the-book strategy was downsized by integrating the concept of extensive and comprehensive research. From primary to high school, such approach was what the Ministry of Education aimed to achieved. Recently I thought I’d spend some time to see how far they’ve gotten.
However, unfortunate as it may seem but this milestone is yet to be achieved. Computer labs have been introduced, yet the hardware is inadequate; the software is outdated- and mostly the systems fail to work. Lack of proper maintenance and upgrading of the systems portends an outdated approach of the students towards computer education. Aawareness about this discipline can not be spread just by setting up computer labs. Proper updating of the labs should take place; leading I.T companies should come to schools’ help including counseling sessions. The children of today have to be educated about networking and programming, about cellular technology and artificial intelligence. This should be done right from the elementary classes and not when they enter university.
Putting aside the supposedly superficial short coming of the computer labs in schools, let me focus your attention to the curriculum that is being followed. The general outlay of the curriculum fails to provide a gradual acquaintance of the students with the subject. Computer education is not confined to learning the definition of hardware; it is not synonymous to word processors and spreadsheets and presentation software. computer education is a vast subject and such a vast subject requires the proper breakup of its components, in a gradual grade by grade process. Mostly in their SSC, students are exposed to programming, when previously their approach was confined to writing in the word processor or creating presentations. Thus, many fail to excel. This is the reason why programming appears to many, as a hailstorm of foreign alphabets. The fact that computing is such a cosmic stream, there is a component out there for every student; if only they are exposed to it at the right time in the right manner.
The third flaw in the system is of the quality of teaching. Since every MBA can not teach business nor can every MCS teach Computing. Teaching is a serious issue and only the qualified teachers, who can adequately teach the students the dimensions of this subject should be appointed. A diploma of â€œ25 courses in one monthâ€ is not the eligible criteria for a teacher, even if it means teaching primary school children. Primary school and junior high is the perfect age for the students to be acquainted with the magnitude of I.T; from networking to programming to cellular technology, so that they make the right choice in the future.
This is not the age to make â€œJack of all trades and master of noneâ€ but we need to ‘raise’ experts and we have to start from the grass root level. In order to get Pakistan rolling on the Tech highway, first and foremost the course outline needs to be revolutionized. Subject-specific people should be responsible for making the course, selecting the books and every other thing associated with it. Proper guidance by experts needs to be an integral part of the teaching system. Most importantly, dedicated and hardworking teachers need to be appointed. Education is the key to excellence, and this key need to be fashioned in the most articulate manner so that the benefits are not restricted.