November 6, 2010 Leave a comment
In one of my previous posts, I talked about mere rhetorical promises by our honourable leaders both inside and outside the government. I commend our people who continue to listen to these ornamental speeches, promising them heavens and treasures beyond one’s imagination and still think that these would materialize.
In today’s newspaper I read one such rhetorical promise once again: “Education is a matter of life and death for us,” announces the PM, as if we did not know it before. And as usual, the vow came when the PM was addressing a national conference that titled, “School of Tomorrow, Freedom to Learn.” We listen to such slogans everyday when a minister or a dignitary is inaugurating or opening a new school, factory, institution or even planting a tree.
Now this latest rhetoric came just days after the decision of the Sind Government to close down over one thousand schools for want of funds and teaching staff. If we do not invest in our primary education, how can we ensure our learning and freedom? Perhaps our education and freedom lies in the European style schools that are mushrooming in Pakistan. Schools that teach our children a language they do not understand and even when they are made to learn it, they fail to translate their learning into the horrific illiterate environment around them.
We have already gone past the time when we should have taken stock of our vision for the schools of tomorrow as none at present is able to produce children who could rid this country of illiteracy, which is stagnant for past so many decades. Rather like tree plantation drive each year, which instead of yielding is reducing our area under forest, our education is suffering at the hands of government officials who have comfortable office at the cost of funds for running schools.
It was not long before when the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had stopped paying the scholarships to students that were sent abroad for higher education and Ph Ds by the previous government. It was not long ago when the HEC stopped funds to the universities in the country and the vice chancellors had threatened to resign in protest.
Under such environment, the hollow rhetorical promises are not only painful to listen to, but also paint a grim future for our children. Perhaps this is what people call politics – promise everything but give nothing. We wait on for a messiah to save us from such false promises, and fake politicians, and give us some hope for future.
Related Reading: Hollow Rhetoric