Sunday, 18 March 2012

Defects and Improvements in Examination System

                                        Defects and Improvements in Examination System

Examinations are inevitable despite the fact that no one has ever expressed an unqualified liking for them. Examinations being a test of ability provide tangible proof of fitness of a student for higher classes. Sir Winston Churchill calls examination “the inhospitable regions” through which every learner is destined to journey during the course of his academic career. Examinations based on clarity, brevity and transparency guard the students against wasting time and being verbose. But the present examination system is a stumbling to genuine learning of the youth. Examinations require “cram and dump” engagement which according to Meyer obviously involves short-term memory and inhibits creativity. If education guarantees enlightenment then ill-conducted examination, sub-standard evaluation and cheating sap the vitality and potential of examinees.

Educationists believe that nothing can be learned which is not attained by a slow and systematic assimilation. Students waste their precious time in non-academic activities and when exams are imminent there begins an unnatural excitement and feverish haste for their preparation. Students burn midnight oil to memorize only important questions. The rest is left for devil to learn. They spoil their health and appetite by under-eating and over-working. And finally when exams are over they conveniently forget everything they have feverishly memorized in order to pass the exam.

The questions asked in examination are mostly stereotype which do not check the intelligence or reasoning of student but the capability to memorize and reproduce.

In so doing our examiners encourage mugging of books. They are misled by the false expression displayed by dunce crammer. An honest effort to master the subject thoroughly is usually looked down upon. Moreover, the method of evaluating scripts is faulty. Even the atmosphere affects the moods of examiners and the evaluation is arbitrary, subjective and inaccurate.

The centralized marking at Matriculation and Intermediate levels is also replete with faults. The education boards in their pursuit of preparing result in a short span with cheap labour do not put a limit on maximum number of papers to be checked per day. And examiners mark maximum number of papers in order to make money. This practice has opened flood gates of reckless marking which certainly affects the quality of evaluation.

Equally unsatisfactory is exam-calendar. The universities and education boards hold exams in the scorching heat of May, June or July. Candidates drenched in perspiration are put to prolonged torture for three hours. Frequent power failures add insult to injury.

The improvement in the examination system is the crying need of hour. Some of the suggestions in this regard are as follows:

Some sort of internal evaluation system should be evolved instead of annual exams. Class room lectures should be supplemented by student-centred activities such as presentations, group discussions, simulations and role playing. A complete record of student’s activities and aptitude should be kept to judge his sustained intellectual development. The system of prescribing text books should be revised in such a manner that students are obliged to read more than mere text books.

To sum up examination can be the index of ability if they are conducted in the words of Burke on the principles of ‘restraint and discipline’. As far as so long the present system of education continues, the present system of examination is inevitable. Any change in one involves the change in other. This is the real point. So the change should come from the top. The exams will always horrify the students but if conducted in a right manner they can produce a talented generation of such people who could lift their heads with pride that they are no cheats and know what their degrees symbolize.

Global Warming is a Threat to Life on Earth

                                                         Global Warming is a Threat to Life on Earth

                                                     ‘’That amid our highest civilisation
                                men faint and die not merely with want and poverty,
                                          but with niggard ness of men towards
The concept of global warming is relatively modern to mankind. It is a general and scientific assumption that the temperature of our earth is constantly increasing and will subsequently cause great climate changes in all areas of the world. Ecological scientists believe that it is all because of man’s unfriendly environmental activities. Global warming is the major problem caused due to reckless industrialization, deforestation, over population and insensitivity towards environment. Global warming, also known as green house effect, is the increase in average temperature of earth’s near surface due to gathering of gases above earth’s crust. By trapping heat near the surface of earth green house effect is warming the planet at such a rapid pace that over the next century, the global temperature will rise by several degrees causing instability to environment and threatening the life on earth.
Global surface temperature has increased 0.74±0.18ºC between the start and the end of 20th century. It will probably rise further from 1.1ºC to 6.4ºC during the 21st century. IPCC concludes that the temperature increase was caused by increased concentration of green house gases produced from fossil fuels burning; e.g. the concentration of CO2 and CH4 has increased upto 36% and 148% respectively since the mid 18th century. The effects of rising temperature seem astonishingly disastrous.
Owing to global warming, glaciers and icebergs are melting and the level of water in oceans is rising due to liquid expansion. The sea level is rising at the rate of 2.8-3.1mm per year. Sea levels are expected to rise 7-23 inches by the end of century. The rise in sea level would be disastrous for some places. Islands will disappear; meaning their millions of inhabitants will have to relocate. Floods and hurricanes are likely to occur along the coast lines all over the world, displacing more people and ruining cropland. Some countries might simply cease to exist e.g., there is a danger of drowning of Maldives island.
As a result of global warming ice is melting all over the world especially at poles. Arctic is very severely being affected due to global warming. Less fresh water will be available in future. Ecosystem will change some species will move farther north for their survival; while others won’t be able to move and become extinct. If sea ice disappears, then many species of plants and animals including polar bears, sea lions, penguins, foxes and alpine plants would also disappear from the globe. Another worth mentioning point is that when ice melts land or open water takes its place. Both land and open water are on average less reflective than ice and thus absorbs more solar radiations which in turn cause more melting and the cycle continues.
Increased temperature and higher concentration of green house gases may negatively affect photosynthetic activity of plants. This will reduce the reproductive capability and agricultural yield. This may give rise to famine and drought. Species that depend upon each other may become out of sync. Global warming is damaging various places pf earth leaving lesser room for living bodies to survive and live comfortably. As a result earth is changing into a place of severe competition where only fittest will survive.
This brings us to conclude that both environment and living organisms are threatened by damaging effects of global warming. Global warming, rising sea level and melting glaciers are turning the planet into a place where the survival of human and biological life is becoming more and more difficult, if not impossible. Environmentalists have suggested a variety of ways dealing with it. We can overcome global warming by reducing the emission of pollutants, harmful heat absorbing gases and chemicals. Moreover, international organizations like WWF, Green Peas, and IPCC should corporate with one another and launch environmental friendly campaigns. Media should be sensitized to disseminate awareness among people. In this way we would be able to make this earth a heaven.
                " Modern technology; owes ecology an apology".

Reforms in Education Sector

                                                Reforms in Education Sector

        “Those who have no knowledge are not equal to those who have.”
            “He dieth not who taketh to learning.”     
                                                         Holy Prophet {PBUH)
              People say power grows out of the barrel of a gun but I believe power grows out of the groves of educational institutions. Education is the prime key to moral, cultural, political and socio-economic development. Its neglect can cost generations. No illiterate society has ever become an industrial tiger. Today we, the sons of this land of pure, feel sorry that Pakistan is a crises-oriented state. The ramifications of these crises are visible in every sector of life, more so in education. Bad education emanating from ill-planning is worse than no education.       A review of the history of education reforms in Pakistan shows that setting targets, bemoaning the failures to achieve the same, and setting new targets at public expense with unqualified optimism has been a tradition of policy makers. Over the period of sixty-two years, eight national education policies, nine five-year plans, dozens of ad-hock schemes, numerous conferences, seminars and workshops couldn’t reform the education system due a sheer lack of political commitment.
            The crusade against illiteracy and the ills of existing education system requires not only revolutionary ideas but we must build on what we already have. We can develop our human resources by ensuring universal primary enrolment, increasing budgetary allocations for education , establishing maximum non-formal schools, restructuring the vocational institutes, eliminating gender gaps,
decentralizing the administrative structure of monitoring, and providing liberal state scholarships to the deserving students. There is variety of syllabus for all levels of education. It is indispensable to have a uniform education system for the entire country. There is also a dire necessity of evolving training programmes in education academies immediately after teachers’ selection. Teachers should be well paid according to a uniform scale. A strong system of counselling students and advising them on their career options can help rectify faults in our education system. Our examination structure is dependent upon paper manifestations and rote learning which inhibits creativity.(suggestion here)The centralized marking is actually a system of hasty marking. A strict compliance to the upper or lower limit of papers to be checked per day with lucrative remuneration offers can rescue the victims of hasty marking.

            Summing up, one can say that reforms in Pakistan can only succeed if they are directed towards the development of our underprivileged masses. A committed and visionary leadership is undoubtedly the most important factor in this framework of reforms in education sector. Our safety is not in blindness, but in facing our dangers. There is no time left. We must rise to the occasion and act. In actions is our life, in slogans is our death. Let us choose life, let us educate ourselves.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Coeducation is no more an issue in Pakistan

Coeducation is defined as the integrated education of males and females in the same institutions. The proposition, coeducation is no more an issue in Pakistan, carries an embedded assumption that in the past coeducation has been an issue in Pakistan. But it’s a settled issue now. What did bring about the sea change in the society?

To understand it we need to look at the past. It appears that traditional structures of the society such as tribalism and feudalism regarded the very education particularly of female unnecessary if not harmful altogether. They also assigned a secondary social position to the women. The Mullah also joined the club and interpreted the coeducation as an un-Islamic practice. So, the conservative mindset was in fact an amalgamation of antipathy towards modern education and an inferior status of women.

However, the process of modernization characterized by industrialization, urbanization, education and incremental media exposure gradually changed the general thinking regarding the social status of women and their role in the various walks of life. People also realized:

“Acquisition of knowledge is first and foremost duty of every men and women.”

Industrialization and business induced a change in the patterns of economy and opened up new opportunities for the women to take part in economic activity. This provided an impetus for change in attitude towards the role and position of the women. Similarly, urbanization and media also played an important role in loosening the traditional bonds of culture and religion.

The awareness created by the modern education and media associated with the modernization processes played a great role in dissolving the issue of coeducation. It enabled people to overcome the influences of tradition and religion. And there was a greater realization that women were responsible, trustworthy, and capable to learn and contribute like men.

Besides this change in the mindset, there was an economic logic of coeducation as well. The state had not enough resources to establish single-sex education institutions at all level due to the resources constraints. Owing to the aforementioned factors there was a greater urge for education of men and women in the society. Therefore the idea of coeducation became more acceptable.

To conclude, it is clear by now that the issue of coeducation was dissolved in Pakistan largely due to the gradual change in the mindset of the society. The modernization processes such as greater industrialization, expansion of urban centres, media, education and economic pressures played their role as a catalyst for change.
Moreover, coeducation in Pakistan is by and large provided at the university level only. This perhaps has also helped to assuage the concerns regarding the mixed-sex education.

Why do I love Pakistan?

                                                            Why do I love Pakistan?
‘’Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish in my country is my unalterable determination.’’
Patriotism is natural passion of a man by force of which he feels natural attachment to his motherland. This is an instinctive virtue which is found in every person. Patriotism is love of a person for his own country. So I love Pakistan because it is my country and gives me sense of identity and it is a beautiful land with wonderful people. I love Pakistan because I was born here, grew up here and have been socialized in Pakistani society. It is my father land. My ancestors were born here; they lived and died here. They tilled its soil and tasted its fruit. Now this land sustains me in comfort.
I love Pakistan for its cultural diversity and for its being a seat of unique civilizations. Pakistan is not a recent figment but it is a cradle of five thousand years old civilizations of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Taxila. These civilizations were culturally rich and technically advanced according to the standards of their times.
I love my country because of its beautiful landscape which ranges from lofty mountains in the north, the Karakoram and the Himalayas through dissected plateau to the rich alluvial plains of Punjab. In Pakistan one can see picturesque mountains, magnificent peaks of K-2 and Nangaparbat, scenic valleys in the north, the Arabian sea in the south and rough rocky mountains of Balochistan which bends into golden beaches of Makran coast.
Pakistan is a home of great warriors, poets, statesmen and artists. This country gave them poetic vision, political foresight and artistic sensibility. The country has produced many distinguished persons like Edhi, Imran Khan, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Dr. AbdulSalam. Common men of Pakistan are superior to any other people in the world. They are hospitable, warm and friendly. Whenever faced with challenges: natural calamity or external threat, they rise to occasion.
I love Pakistan for its natural resources, variety of vegetation and its wildlife. It has rich soil irrigated by biggest network of canals. The west gives fine cotton and oilseeds. The east gives me golden fibre of jute. Thanks to its environmental diversity Pakistan produces appetizing fruits, vegetables and grains.
To sum up, I love Pakistan not merely for patriotic reasons but also for geographic, cultural and environmental diversity. Above all I love Pakistan for its bright future that lies ahead of us. Despite a few political and economic jolts of the past the people of Pakistan are becoming more and more aware and pro-active to undo these wrongs. Recently they have waged a sustained and successful struggle for restoration of judiciary, rule of law and democratic governance.

Individual Determines the Fate of Nation

                                                 Individual Determines the Fate of Nation

            The history of the world is but the biography of great individuals who determined the fate of their respective nations.  Great individuals influence on historical change and elevate themselves to god-like status. The Greek, Roman, Muslim and Hindu Empires linked their greatest periods with great individuals. Individual greatness was integral to the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. It is the noble lives of religious teachers like Hazart Muhammad (SAW), Abraham, Jesus Christ, Mosses, Buddha and Confucius that have, by their own perfect examples and pure teaching, enriched humanity greatly and helped in making their respective nations better, wiser and happier.   History without Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Jinnah and Lincoln would have been dull. Let’s analyse, within the limits of time and words, the myth of a few individuals from Islamic and unislamic worlds who shaped the course of their nations pervasively.