Reforms needed: 'Only three colleges in Karachi offer history as a subject in Urdu' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Reforms needed: ‘Only three colleges in Karachi offer history as a subject in Urdu’

Pakistan Press Foundation
By Yusra Salim

KARACHI: There are only four teachers of history in the Urdu language in the colleges all over the city, while only three colleges in the city offer history in Urdu as a subject, said Karachi University Pakistan Study Center director Dr Syed Jafar Ahmed, while emphasising the need to introduce subjects of social sciences and liberal arts in more universities and colleges.

He was speaking about the social sciences and modern technology during a session, titled ‘Zaban-o-Adab ka Faroogh aur Nisab-e-Taleem [Promotion of language and literature and education syllabus]’, on the second day of the ninth Aalmi Urdu Conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi.

Mentioning the worse situation in the academia, he pointed out that in the last few decades, the country has produced good doctors and engineers but not good humans. “In any society, schools and colleges are for education and universities are for research but in our system, the universities are functioning at the college level and are teaching textbooks. They should be teaching the students professionalism, instead,” he said, pointing out that one cannot ignore their own language and the country should have a holistic approach towards education. “The problem in our society is that we have been forced to live in a shell that we ourselves do not come out of.”

Talking about the country’s education system, Ziauddin University vice-chancellor and poet Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui said that the whole system has been made difficult for students as they are restricted with their options while choosing subjects, where if a student has opted for commerce in their intermediate, they are prohibited from selecting any science subjects in the future.

“We have divided the students and are producing robots, not professionals,” said Siddiqui, suggesting that a campaign be started that aims to improve the education system.

“Why can’t we make reforms in education?” questioned Siddiqui, adding that a campaign can be started where instead of eating thrice a day, one eats twice and utilises the financial resources for the third meal towards educating a child instead.

Religion is pulled in whenever there are any attempts to bring curriculum changes, which we badly need, said Noman Naqvi, a professor at the Habib University, while speaking on the challenges faced when reforms in education are tried. We have a racist and narrow-minded curriculum, he added.

“Nowadays, we don’t just have classes in society, but sub-sections within those classes, too, such as upper-middle class, upper-lower, etcetera,” said Prof Anis Zaidi, adding that public resources are also being misused to make profit.

The people in our education system fear responsibility and do not feel that producing good teachers is their responsibility, said Zaidi, adding that teachers are not producing intellectuals but mere graduates with a mechanical mindset who are only able to work within a specific parameter.

Seconding Zaidi’s views, Dr Najeeba Arif of the International Islamic University recalled how previously, students at primary level were made to learn new words, spellings and pronunciations in the Urdu language, which helped in increasing their vocabulary.

“Education has been reformed in terms of technology, but students have been taken away from learning itself,” she said, adding that teachers nowadays are also not interested in teaching the Urdu language properly.

The Express Tribune

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