By: Muhammad Raza Haidery
Karachi Literature Festival is underway and Beach Luxury Hotel and sessions on different issues of the country are being held in which renowned national and international speakers and personalities are giving their expertise.
The event is all about literacy and female literacy is one of the main issues in the country. To discuss the problem, a session named “Education of Girls: Perceptions and Realities in a Changing Pakistan” and the panelists were Sania Saeed along with Nadia Naviwala, Zaitoon Kareem, Sidra Sidra Saleem and Nadia Naviwala were the speakers.
Naviwala said that she looked at female education from a researcher’s point of view and talked to a lot of experts who told her that parents in Pakistan are not opposed to girls schooling. She said that according to a survey carried out in Pakistan, 75 percent of the parents agreed that education was equally important for boys than for girls whereas another five percent stated that education was more important for girls than for boys.
SaniaSaeed said that there are issues regarding access to schools as some of them are very far off from their home. She also said there some of the parents will send their sons to schools but not their daughters.
“It is right to say that we have come ahead from where we were in the past 15 years but this disparity is still present,” she added.
Saeed added that there is still lack of clarity in the society as to why there should be education or why an individual should be educated.
She said that education is not being sufficiently spread in the society or most of it is irrelevant. “What we are teaching is not aligned with live nor they see any scope in it,” she added.
Saeed went on to say that few teachers, who acquired education under the present situation, will be able to become good teachers because they want to bring the students down to their level. The teachers are not thinking about the students’ aspirations and want to teach what they learnt.
Sidra Saleem, while speaking in the session, said that her parents weren’t that educated but it was their wished that their children would acquire good-quality education. She said that her parents informed others about the advantages of being an educated person after their children got enrolled in a school set up by an non-government organization.
Zaitoon Kareem stated that her father was not in support of education but her mother, despite not being an educated woman, thought that her children should be educated as they would be able to do something in their lives. She credited her mother for being the woman that she is.
Saleem said that her parents and school teachers were her role models as they taught her good things which make her the person she is today.
Kareem stated that the teachers should be encourage the persoinalities of the students as it makes them envisioned and their aspirations are known.
Sania Saeed, adding to Kareem’s statements, said that educational institutes in Pakistan are like factories. She went on to say that students learn alot but there is no development in personalities.
She blamed television and other forms of entertainment for children choosing bad role models. She said that women who achieve goals are hidden behind women who do nothing.
Saeed also said that the country has not worked on developing children’s ability to question and thinking out of the box.
Sidra Saleem said that females should be provided role models so that people aspiring personalities come forward.
Naviwala, in the session stated that Pakistan’s budget for education has double since 2010 and the country spends on the sector as much as on defence.
She went on to say that IshratHussain in his session stated that the country’s military expenditure is slowing down and the spending on education and healthcare is increasing but the outcome has not been seen. – SAMAA