ZeePedia Add to Favourites   |   Contact us


Introduction to Sociology

<<< Previous ISSUES IN EDUCATION:Low Enrollment, High Dropout, Gender Disparity Next >>>
 
img
Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
VU
Lesson 34
ISSUES IN EDUCATION
Background
Pakistan has yet to cover a long way on the road to one hundred percent literacy of its population. From
around 40 percent literacy in 1998 it has moved to an estimated 54 percent in 2004. There are gaps between
the literacy levels of males and females as well as between rural and urban populations. The Government of
Pakistan is pursuing the policy of Education for All (EFA) and expects that by 2015 all children will
complete primary education. Another claim is to eliminate gender disparity in education by 2005. These may
be tall claims but not something, which is unachievable.
Despite the Government efforts to increase the number of Primary schools, the number of teachers, and
the school enrollment, the absolute number of non-literates is swelling. It has increased from 22 million in
1961 to 69 million in 2004. The private -sector, public-private partnerships, and the non-governmental
organizations are making their efforts to combat illiteracy but the achievements are clouded by a variety of
factors like the increasing population, the availability of resources, and the politics of education. In the
pursuit of the policy of Education for All there are a number of issues that have to be considered.
Issues
Low Enrollment
It is estimated that out of the total school-going age children around 50 percent are not in school. There
could be number of reasons for children not being in school. Poverty may be one of the most important
reasons. Primary schooling may be free, still there are many other indirect costs related to sending the child
to school ­ uniform, stationery, food, contributions to some other school funds, etc. But of all these costs,
the most important cost appears to be the "opportunity cost" that the parents have to forego for sending
their child to school. The child might be working or could work at some place and could bring some
income to the family. By sending the child to school the parents shall have to forego that income, which
may be necessary for their survival. This is a big issue and the parents have strong rationale for it.
High Dropout
Of the children entering the school at grade one, 50 percent of them dropout prior to their completion of
primary stage of schooling. There could be number of reasons ­ no fun at school, no class stimulation,
corporal punishment, teacher discrimination, poor health, lack of schooling's vocational usefulness, parental
demand for child's employment. Many of these factors appear to be relevant to the school environment,
which seem to be devoid of any attraction for the child from the lower class. Consequently, there is high
dropout rate of children.
Gender Disparity
Gender disparity in the estimated literacy rates shows that of males 66 percent were literate whereas of
females 42 percent were literate in 2004. This disparity is expected to be wider in the rural areas. One of the
reasons could be the lack of facilities for the female education and other, perhaps the most important,
discouraging societal attitude towards the schooling of girls.
Inequalities in Education
Inequalities can be looked at from different angles ­ gender inequalities, rural-urban inequalities, public-
private school inequalities, and inequality due to the medium of instruction. This is where the followers of
conflict school of thought are very critical of the inequalities built into the structure of the society, which are
recreated, reinforced, and perpetuated by the schooling system.
Low budgetary Allocations
Educational institutions are often under resourced which may be reflective of the priority being given to
education thereby low financial allocations. Even the use of whatever is allocated has administrative
difficulties. Delayed release of funds, and misuse of funds (ghost schools) have negative impact on the
quantity as well as quality of schooling.
81
img
Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
VU
Within the education sector, higher education levels at college and university get bigger chunk of budget
than at the lower level. Poor section of the population is expected to be minimal at the higher level, which
implies that the system is supportive of the `better of', thereby perpetuating the inequalities.
Standard of Pedagogy
Quality of teaching depends upon the quality of teachers. In Pakistani schools, at the foundation level the
teachers have been having very low qualifications, and, in turn are also low paid. The focus has been more
on rote learning rather than on the development of the whole child. The authoritarian approach has been
often accompanied by corporal punishment, which terrorizes the students, particularly from the poor
families, and drives them away. Recently there has been some policy change with the up gradation of the
qualifications of Primacy School Teacher, which may have some positive impacts on the classroom
environment.
Poor School Environment
A substantial number of schools have been found to be poorly organized and devoid of facilities. Facilities
may refer to the availability of the teachers as well as the infrastructure facilities reflecting the level of school
enrichment. At places schools are without an appropriate building [A government survey's revelation that
14000 schools in Sindh did not have any building. Eighty percent had no electricity, 60 percent had no
boundary wall or drinking water facility, and 57 percent had no toilets. (Reported in the Dawn, editorial, May 21,
2005)], and the necessary classroom equipment. The students have to beat the severities of weather with the
only choice of dropping out of the school, and that is not a good choice. Although the local community
may partly contribute in improving the physical facilities, but the ultimate responsibility, particularly with
respect to the provision of staff, rests with the government.
Quality of Textbooks
Provision of education is one thing and what are the contents of education being provided is another. At
the school level all books being taught are prescribed by the government and produced by the Provincial
Textbook Boards. What is being imparted through these books and what is their quality are the issues to be
discussed. A recent evaluation of the textbooks by Sustainable Development and Policy Institute generated
a lot of debate about the kind of indoctrination we want to live with. On the whole the books appear to be
least child friendly.
Quality of Curricula
In order to meet the changing demands of time the curricula has to be continuously updated. Since the
experts are often critical of the out-dated curricula being followed in our system of education, therefore it
needs attention.
Examination System
The examination system is fast loosing it credibility.
82
Table of Contents:
  1. THE ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY:Auguste Comte, The Fields of Sociology
  2. THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:Society affects what we do
  3. THEORETICAL PARADIGMS:Salient Paradigms, Critical Evaluation
  4. SOCIOLOGY AS SCIENCE:Empirical, Verifiable, Cumulative, Self-Correcting
  5. STEPS IN SOCIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION:Exploration/Consultation
  6. SOCIAL INTERACTION:Social Status, ROLE, The Social Construction of Reality
  7. SOCIAL GROUPS:Primary and Secondary Groups, Reference Group, Networks
  8. ORGANIZATIONS:Utilitarian Organizations, Coercive Organizations
  9. CULTURE:Universality, Components of Culture, Symbols, Language
  10. CULTURE (continued):Beliefs, Norms, Cultural Diversity
  11. CULTURE (continued):Culture by social class, Multiculturalism, Cultural Lag
  12. SOCIALIZATION: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, NATURE, Social Isolation
  13. UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESS
  14. AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION:The Family, The School, Peer Groups, The Mass Media
  15. SOCIALIZATION AND THE LIFE COURSE:CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE
  16. SOCIAL CONTROL AND DEVIANCE:Crime, Deviants, Stigma, Labeling
  17. THE SOCIAL FOUNDATIONS OF DEVIANCE:Cultural relativity of deviance
  18. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME:Sociological explanations
  19. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME -- CONTINUED:White-Collar Crime, Conflict Theory
  20. SOCIAL DISTRIBUTION OF CRIME: EXPLANATIONS, Gender and Crime
  21. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION: INTRODUCTION AND SIGNIFICANCE
  22. THEORIES OF CLASS AND STRATIFICATION I:Critical evaluation
  23. THEORIES OF SOCIAL CLASS AND STRATIFICATION II
  24. THEORIES OF CLASS AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION III
  25. SOCIAL CLASS AS SUBCULTURE
  26. SOCIAL MOBILITY:Structural factors, Individual factors, Costs
  27. THE FAMILY: GLOBAL VARIETY, Marriage Patterns, Patterns of Descent
  28. FUNCTIONS OF FAMILY:Reproduction, Social placement
  29. FAMILY AND MARRIAGE IN TRANSITION:Family is losing functions
  30. GENDER: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, Gender socialization
  31. GENDER SOCIALIZATION:Role of family, Gender Stratification
  32. EXPLANATIONS OF GENDER INEQUALITY:Conflict Explanations, Feminism
  33. FUNCTIONS OF SCHOOLING:Cultural Innovation, School Tracking
  34. ISSUES IN EDUCATION:Low Enrollment, High Dropout, Gender Disparity
  35. POPULATION STUDY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE:Crude Birth Rate
  36. THEORY OF POPULATION GROWTH:Theory of Demographic Transition
  37. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN:World Population Growth
  38. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN (Continued):Age Distribution, Sex Composition
  39. IMPLICAIONS OF POPULATION GOWTH:Additional GDP needed per year
  40. POPULATION POLICY:Goals of Population Policy, Objectives, Strategies
  41. ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY:Global Dimension, Historical Dimension
  42. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:Preserving Clean Water, Clearing the Air
  43. SOCIAL CHANGE:Social change is controversial.
  44. CAUSES OF SOCIAL CHANGE:Culture and Change, Conflict and Change, Modernization
  45. MODERNITY AND POST MODERNITY:Cultural Patterns, Post-modernity