How often do we find ourselves complaining and detesting state run institutions for their malpractice? The on-going ‘Inquilab’ and ‘Azadi’ march is a recent example of the frequently evolving dissent the people of this nation hold against the status quo. Be affirmed the tradition of taking to the streets is nothing out of the ordinary, history validates this is not the first time- and probably not the last.
We keep protesting against the wrongs the government continuously carries out along with its bunch of corrupt leadership. What we actually fail to understand is that these leaders, yes, these corrupt leaders are the products of our society. Our very own society.
A social order if wishes to advance, the fundamental level which needs to ripped open and worked upon is its educational sector. It is only through the firm roots of education can fine branches of individuals rise who can help address the issues a nation faces.
The list of developing countries who have evolved tremendously over the years just because of improvements in education are many- South Korea, Malaysia, China to name a few. These countries incessantly worked to upgrade themselves by improving their literacy rate which eventually resulted in changes that were beneficial for the society as a whole.
In Pakistan, unfortunately, it is the rich, the powerful and their cronies who have exclusive rights to enjoy all the privileges at all levels, blatantly. When this mindset prevails, those who belong to neither of these groups, have their efforts hamstrung by those behind the steering wheels of academic centres. Such societies are stranded in wet mud with their feet sinking deeper, each time attempts are made to pull them out.
How many individuals are there in our society who have always aimed specific educational hubs to pursue the career of their dreams, but are rejected due to the limited number of seats which is fair enough. But within those defined numbers if a student is rejected just because that particular seat is ‘reserved’ (read bought) by, lets say a feudal lord- it pretty much ruins everything for that student who tried burning the midnight oil just to secure that spot, but is rejected on such disgusting grounds.
Each year, thousands of students struggle to earn themselves a place in the school of their choice. Those who are not admitted because they did not clear the entry test or interview are not as many as the rejections which are made just because the seats are forcefully taken by those who rank nowhere on the merit list.
Denying merit to those who are worthy of it is egregious! Should the government be blamed for this as well? Or is it the institutions who preach honesty and integrity to its students while denying merit just because the resourceful have the means to fill potbellies of those who are on a constant greed hunt?
Sadly in our country, one does not have to be smart to get into a decent school. Nor are skills of students given a priority, and neither can a spectacular academic record outshine an individual. Mostly what is required is the amount of money one can pay to buy a seat which in educational jargon is referred to as donation (read acceptable), a subtle way of bribery.
Money need not come into play if you have good contacts with ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ who know someone to get you in. Now, this is not the trend the entire populace follows, but yes, a huge chunk of the society follows this unethical path.
Not only are the public institutions practicing this wrong, but the ugly scenario is of the private owned educational centres as well which are fed on a quarterly or annual basis by parents of those whose children made it to the so called prestigious schools, not by respectable means.
Guilt, however, unconsciously strikes time and again reminding those who carry out unlawful and unethical means.
Power and riches if in the wrong hands, have the potential to bring shame upon societies. Let not the administration be blamed but individuals alone who support such nefarious trends.
And if ills such as these are carried out by academic practitioners, the society is in trouble, real trouble.