Education & behaviour.

EDUCATION aims to nurture responsible social behaviour. Thus, socially responsible behaviour is an explicit reflection of an effective education system. The majority will agree that our social behaviour does not reflect this true spirit of education. We behave irresponsibly at home, in public, and during physical and virtual interactions. This points to a flaw in our educational system, with consequences for education's quality and its ability to contribute to social transformation.

The main issue appears to be the antiquated, top-down educational administration and bureaucratic structure. It forces a blind following without leaving room for critique. Consequently, education is governed by poor monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, little clarity of roles, procedures and responsibilities, and few parameters of accountability. Periodic tweaks and revamps are lacking, leaving hardly any opportunity to add value to the system that would have helped it respond to the needs of the time.

Educational changes - under the guise of modifications - are politically motivated. For example, the Single National Curriculum (SNC) and its subsequent rebranding as the National Curriculum of Pakistan are efforts to change merely the label for political popularity. It is intriguing that all new interventions are driven by political and bureaucratic whims rather than a thorough evaluation of previous reforms and estimates of future needs.

Such reforms, and others, disregard the ramifications across various components of the education system, including professional development for teachers, assessment, educational administration, and above all, the needs of the learners. To create compatibility and harmony among the various components of education, modifications to one component, such as the curriculum, necessitates adjustments in other areas such as teacher professionalism and assessment.

Education does not respond to learners' needs.

As an example, would it be possible for someone to develop a complex computer programme and run it on an obsolete operating system? Obviously not, as the software is incompatible with the operating system. To successfully run the programme, one must consider the compatibility of the operating system with the new programme. Similarly, without understanding the context and systems, educational interventions, such as SNC and others, will not work.

The mismatch between intervention and ground realities is reflected in knowledge and...

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