Education in Pakistan is the most neglected sector as the just meagre budget is allocated for it. The dilapidated buildings, shortage of staff and lack basic facilities present a grim picture which should be the eye-opener for the present PTI govt headed by the most charismatic leader Imran Khan -The prime minister of Pakistan. As a general analysis on basis of recent reports that the govt schools where polling stations were established, lacked the basic facilities of water, electricity, washrooms and furniture
Even, the buildings were old and in very dilapidated conditions posed a grave threat to the polling staff who stayed there. If we categorize the educational standards of Pakistani provinces, we’ll surprisingly reach at the point that education standards in Punjab are considered higher, followed by KPK ranked as 2nd, the Baluchistan ranked as 3rd and unfortunately, Sindh has been ranked as fourth in Pakistan as per the statistics of Aser Pakistan and other development sector institutions conducting various social surveys on education, health, poverty time to time .
This grave and abysmal situation of Education warrants the present PTI govt to focus on education making effective policies to adopt the uniform educational system throughout Pakistan as envisaged in their political manifesto. Subsequent to the 18th amendment, the Education and Health departments became the provincial subjects along with few others resulting in the decline in education and health indices whereas the poverty and illiteracy increased manifold. PTI seems to be eager to amend the Constitution so that health and education may be made Federal subjects.
Furthermore, the inefficient PPPPs successive governments have failed miserably on policy-making grounds to reform and revamp existing educational system Sindh. it failed to curb the use of unfair means in examination system and bartering of various BISEs regarding marks depriving the talented and deserving students of their right.
Such a high-level corruption has wreaked havoc with existing educational systems that prompt the Federal government to intervene and boost the provincial education standard, especially in Sindh through legislation against this social evil that has plagued the very fabric of education –the copy culture. It is termite that has weakened the roots of Education and the main reason for Substandard Education and incompetence amongst the Youth. In the connection, the Federal Education Ministry may frame a committee with equal representation from Four provinces to discuss, evaluate and frame uniform education policy so that same may be implemented in letter and spirit.
Pakistan’s educational system has remained a neglected sector in subsequent governments. None of the Governments gave priority to education sector instead gave priority to PSDP projects to gobble and loot the wealth of Taxpayers of Pakistan in the name of development. Whereas, the developed nations, such as Japan, UK, Russia, Canada and Italy have achieved their success through education and raised their Literacy rates to almost 100 %. Our literacy rate presents a grim and abysmal picture despite the passage of 71 years. We have hardly managed to cross 50% which rings the alarm bells.
The primary education has almost become obsolete and the same is the condition of secondary and higher secondary standard. Most of schools are in dilapidated condition and being run in just records as there is no such physical existence of such schools. There is great dearth of Science, Arts and commerce colleges throughout Pakistan for both boys and girls. Especially, there is a great dearth of the girl’s colleges since the female literacy rate is very low throughout Pakistan especially in Sindh, KP and Baluchistan due to societal challenges that hamper girls’ education in villages, towns and cities owing to tribal customs and Traditions.
The education of girls in rural areas is the distant dream and the poor girls get married in early ages which creates several domestic problems for them owing to these childhood marriages. Sindh government despite imposing Education Emergency in Sindh , did nothing for the education. It is just being managed by some high rank Bureaucratic Regime. The Corruption is Rampant in Education at Top Bureaucracy, Directorates and District Headquarters.
There is a dire need of Adult Education and Non-Formal basic Education to help boost the Literacy rate of Pakistan. The adult education initiative will provide an opportunity to those who could not get education owing to their weak financial strength and Poverty. Poverty is the main issue to be addressed since the dropout ratio at Middle, Secondary, College or Graduate Level is very high as compared to the Primary Level since only 50% of Enrolled Students move to Higher Classes due to enormous reasons such as unavailability of middle and high schools, Unavailability of higher education institutions and universities, Lack of support from the parents due to poverty, Lack of support from the guardians in case of death of their parents, Societal problems ,the social challenges and responsibilities .
There is a grave need of Orphan Education Policy since orphans are always left at the mercy of their guardians either maternal or Paternal. Some guardians support their guards but in many cases, some guardians stop the orphans from getting the education since they declare their inability to support their Educational Expenditure. Such guardians compel their guards to learn Technical Skills from the traditional Mechanics, Electricians, and Automobile Mechanics or forced them to work in Restaurants as waiters to earn their living to support their families.
Devising an orphan children education policy along with child protection policy may receive the welcome response from all the quarters. Similarly, such an initiative will be beneficial for the orphans to continue their education without any hurdle as mostly orphans cannot continue their education due to financial crisis . The federal government may establish residential schools through Pakistan on the lines of The Danish schools of Punjab by providing a Modern Education without any cost. The Danish Schools Model is the best one to bring out of Schoolchildren back to School and provide them with education, residence, food, washing and other domestic necessities.
Finally, If government is serious in devising an effective Policy to promote education throughout Pakistan, it must adopt Uniform Education Policy to create competitive Environments since FPSC and Provincial Public Service Commission reports suggest a major overhaul in education system to bring it at par with global education standards .
Government needs to set up world-class universities and adopt a standard competitive Recruitment policy for the appointment Education staff specially the teachers since the experienced, efficient, hardworking and dedicated teachers lead the students to the heights of success in every field of Education –be it Medical , engineering , science , space , arts ,culture ,history , economy and business studies .
The Government must form an Education Advisory Board containing members from all federating units to research, devise and recommend a uniform education policy so that educational boom could be brought in Pakistan as Great Nations win with the power of education not with guns.
United Nations in Disarray: Is Its Relevance Fading?
Table of Contents
The United Nations (UN) was founded in the aftermath of World War II with a noble vision: to promote international cooperation, maintain peace and security, and address global challenges collectively. Over the decades, it has played a crucial role in preventing conflicts, providing humanitarian aid, and fostering development worldwide. However, as the world has evolved, so too have the challenges facing the UN. In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether the UN has lost its relevance in the contemporary world.
Historical Significance of the United Nations
To understand the UN’s current relevance, we must first acknowledge its historical significance. The UN was established in 1945 with the signing of the United Nations Charter, which sought to prevent another world war by promoting diplomacy and international cooperation. It replaced the League of Nations, which had failed to prevent World War II.
One of the UN’s primary functions is to maintain international peace and security. It has played a pivotal role in mediating conflicts, deploying peacekeeping missions, and preventing the outbreak of wars between nations. Notable examples include the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the peacekeeping efforts in Cyprus, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
The UN also prioritizes human rights, development, and humanitarian assistance. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, set the foundation for international human rights standards. UN agencies like UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) have made significant contributions to alleviating global poverty and suffering.
A.Challenges to UN Relevance
1.Ineffectiveness in Conflict Resolution:
One of the primary functions of the UN is to prevent and resolve conflicts. However, its track record in this regard has been mixed. Conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan have persisted for years despite UN involvement. The Security Council’s veto power, which gives the five permanent members (the P5) – the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom – disproportionate influence, has hindered effective decision-making.
2.Rising Nationalism and Sovereignty:
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of nationalism and a push for greater sovereignty among nations. Some argue that the UN’s influence has waned as more countries prioritize their own interests over international cooperation. The rise of populist leaders in various countries has challenged the multilateral approach that the UN embodies.
3.Bureaucracy and Inefficiency:
Critics point to the UN’s bureaucratic structure as a hindrance to its effectiveness. Complex decision-making processes, budgetary constraints, and inefficiencies within the organization have led to slow responses to global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
4.Security Council Reform:
The structure of the UN Security Council, with its veto-wielding P5 members, has long been a subject of controversy. Many argue that this structure does not reflect the current geopolitical landscape and that it perpetuates power imbalances. Calls for Security Council reform to include more countries as permanent members have yet to see substantial progress.
5.Funding and Resource Constraints:
The UN relies on member states for funding, which can lead to financial instability and dependence on a few major contributors. Additionally, resource constraints often limit the UN’s ability to respond adequately to humanitarian crises and development needs.
B.Efforts to Address Challenges
Despite these challenges, the UN has not been passive in adapting to the changing global landscape.
1.Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The adoption of the SDGs in 2015 marked a significant shift in the UN’s approach to development. These 17 goals aim to address global issues such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and education by 2030. The SDGs emphasize a holistic and inclusive approach to development, encouraging member states to work together to achieve common objectives.
2.Climate Change and Environmental Issues:
The UN has been at the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change. The Paris Agreement, reached in 2015, is a testament to international cooperation on this critical issue. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides scientific assessments that inform global climate policies.
UN agencies like the WFP and UNHCR continue to provide vital assistance to refugees and those affected by conflicts and disasters worldwide. Their work demonstrates the UN’s continued relevance in addressing humanitarian crises.
4.Peacekeeping and Mediation:
Despite challenges, the UN remains engaged in peacekeeping efforts in various regions. While it may not always achieve immediate success, the presence of UN peacekeepers can help stabilize situations and lay the groundwork for lasting peace.
5.Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution:
The UN continues to serve as a platform for diplomatic negotiations and conflict resolution. Even when solutions are elusive, the dialogue facilitated by the UN remains essential in preventing further escalation.
The question of whether the United Nations has lost its relevance is complex and multifaceted. While it faces numerous challenges, including inefficiency, conflicts, and calls for reform, the UN continues to play a vital role in addressing global issues. Its work in sustainable development, climate change, and humanitarian assistance underscores its importance.
To remain relevant and effective in the 21st century, the UN must adapt to the evolving global landscape. This includes addressing issues such as Security Council reform, streamlining its bureaucracy, and increasing transparency and accountability. Furthermore, member states must reaffirm their commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation.
In an interconnected world facing unprecedented challenges, the United Nations remains a symbol of hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future. Its relevance depends on the collective will of the international community to work together in pursuit of common goals. The UN’s mission, as outlined in its Charter, remains as important today as it was at its inception: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, promote human rights, and foster social progress.
Missing You! SPSC
It is disappointing to pen these painful thoughts for such an apex recruiting Agency of Sindh that kept serving the people of Sindh for decades and kept providing respectable elite Civil services jobs to the underprivileged people regardless of their colour, creed or religion.
SPSC remained the only hope for the youth to get elevated civil service jobs such as EX-PCS and Secretariat services as well as Jobs in other cadres from BS-16 to BS-20 in various departments of Sindh.
Unfortunately, SPSC bears the brunt of Malpractices and corrupt practices of its chairman and Members who tempered with the result of Meritorious candidates and passed their blue-eyed Candidates through nepotism and favouritism and deprived the deserving candidates of getting Elite Civil Service slots.
The jobs were reportedly sold like commodities stabbing meritocracy and bringing in a swarm of inefficient and ineligible bureaucracy that played in the hands of feudal lords.
The saga starts from tempering the marks of candidates of CCE 2003 that took almost two decades in litigation but so far no respite has been provided to the candidates/petitioners who approached the Sindh High court to knock the door for justice.
Despite winning the case at all platforms and getting favourable reports i.e Departmental Enquiry, Anti Corruption Establishment Report, NAB report and Judicial Enquiry reports, it was proven that those recommended for appointment were not eligible as most of the candidates were fail in written part and Interview. Even some of the candidates who did not appear in the test were declared as pass.
The result of the final recommended candidates was tempered. The marks on the face sheet of answer copies were changed as per the reports surfaced.
It is worthy to mention here that those appointed through unfair means and tempered results, surprisingly promoted to the next Grades from time to time and now they are in Grade 19.
Later, in CCE 2013 there was a similar hue and cry about tempered results and bribery amounting to millions, the Sindh High Court passed its judgment making the result Null and void and directed SPSC to conduct both written and interviews afresh.
Thus hundreds of candidates bore the brunt of Malpractices of Commission authorities and many who got recommendations as Section Officers, ACs, AD labour etc were shocked. They wondered why they were punished for the fault of some unscrupulous people that earned a bad name for the SPSC.
Though being disappointed and dejected from the Honourable Courts decision, the candidates reappeared in the written and Interview but shockingly very few got through since the majority of candidates who had cleared the exam previously, could not qualify even written part and Interview.
The Education standards in Sindh have already deteriorated alarmingly, yet those who toil and work hard in the hopes of being the part of Elite Civil service, got disillusioned and dejected when the news broke that all the appointments were made either on payment of huge bribes or political support, plunging the poor hardworking and talented youth into the darkness of Disappointment, Dejection and Hopelessness.
These incidents were still fresh in the minds of candidates when they got the shocking news that Sindh High Court Hyderabad Bench announced yet another shocking judgment that jolted the candidates.
The judgment suspended the SPSC act and made the Recruitments of CCE 2018, Medical Officers and others null and void. Even it suspended all the Members including Chairman and Secretary. The judgments directed the Sindh Government to legislate a new SPSC act making Governor as head to appoint Chairman and Members instead of Chief Minister Sindh.
There have been several interpretations of Law experts regarding the impact of judgment that whether the judgment applies to mentioned Recruitments i.e CCE 2018, Health Department Medical Officers or all the Recruitments to date.
Even the Honourable High court ordered to make the SPSC website offline until the new SPSC act is promulgated.
The news had serious repercussions on the future of youth in Sindh, especially those who had passed the exam with hard work and are serving in the field for almost three years. The clouds of uncertainty have engulfed them and they are waiting for their fate since their training has also been discontinued. There is no clarification whether their services are discontinued in the light of Judgment or still intact. It will be clear after the outcome of the appeal in the Supreme court of Pakistan Karachi registry.
Their future is bleak. Even, several candidates had either appeared in the written tests of various departments and cleared including those who were awaiting Interview results. There were some candidates whose interviews were scheduled but all in vain.
With each passing day, the suspicion and fears are mounting with concerns that whether the SPSC will be restored with the appointment of a new chairman, Members and Secretary or it will remain in a dormant state since the Honourable court has not given any time frame to Sindh Government for legislation and transfer of powers of appointment of Chairman and Members to Governor so that concerns of candidates may be addressed.
Furthermore, the decision also impacted the recruitment process of lecturers in the college Education Department where more than 6000 lecturers were to be appointed and even written tests were conducted from over 100000 candidates and subsequently their results were uploaded on the SPSC website.
Ironically, public service commissions of other provinces such as PPSC, BPSC, KPPSC, AJKPSC and FPSC are Functioning in full swing and the recruitment process in other provinces has been transparent but unfortunately, the Sindh Government has wreaked havoc with all the institutions and did not even spare SPSC -the apex Civil service Recruitment Agency to pursue the meritocracy and transparency in appointment of Civil servants.
Due to misappropriation, mismanagement, nepotism, favouritism and corruption, today the Prestigious body SPSC was forced to close the doors for youth and it has borne the brunt of corrupt souls who have not left any stone unturned to mint money from poor people whose dream to become part of Civil service stood unfulfilled even seems a nightmare. According to some reports if Assistant Commissioners get the seats on the payment of ten million then the poor can only dream of such elevated and lucrative posts and their intelligence, efficiency and talent get rotten if meritocracy is strangulated under the weight of Bribery.
It is high time that our youth should be vocal and raise their voice against the criminal silence of the Sindh Government as the Government has failed miserably to pursue the case in the Supreme Court due to its unwillingness and negligence, leaving hundreds of youth falling prey to unemployment, disappointment and disillusionment.
The Chief Justice Supreme court of Pakistan and Chief Justice High Court of Sindh are humbly appealed to review the decision and pass orders to Sindh Government for legislation to restore SPSC and appointment of new Chairman and Members by Governor as practised in other provinces so that future of youth could be saved and they should be prevented from getting overage.
Furthermore, in the upcoming CCE 2022, 20 years of General age relaxation may be granted so that the delay caused by various judgments of the Honourable Courts due to corrupt practices of Commission may be compensated and the level playing field may be provided to candidates to contest Competitive Exam. The courts always provide relief to petitioners but the culprits behind such corrupt practices may also be punished so that future incidents could be averted.
It is further recommended that on the lines of FPSC’s, Section Officers Promotional Exam (SOPE) may be introduced through which lower grade employees having completed 5 to 7 years in departments can be appointed through SPSC as SOs and unlike Transfer to OMG Policy of FPSC, there should be an exam for those in BS-17 and BS-18 officers of other cadres to be part of PMS or PSS. This will help in filling the shortage of civil servants in the provincial secretariat.
It is also recommended that there should be Executive Service where BS-19 officers could be inducted from senior Civil Servants of various departments.
SPSC is the driving force to bring in a bunch of civil bureaucracy, Professionals, Technical hands and other security personnel of higher grade. The dormant state SPSC has already created serious staff shortages and impacted the performance of various departments especially College Education, School Education, Health and Civil Bureaucracy that are in constant need of fresh blood to serve the nation with dignity and dedication.
Revamping College Education-The Challenges and Prospects
College education has been the most neglected segment in Pakistan especially in Sindh where colleges are not provided with the development funds, modern methods of teaching, language, and computer labs and interactive classrooms. The obsolete promotions system and the old nomenclature of posts date back to the 1980s, non-provision of scholarships for higher education to government college teachers, so much so that the heads of colleges are not appointed based on administrative skills and competence.
The non-existence of any clear rules and recruitment policy for the appointment of principals in the government colleges have wreaked havoc with college education outreach and standards since the principals being unaware of even ABC of audit and accounting, DDO powers, responsibilities, drafting and correspondence, communication, office administration, linkages, financial audit, monitoring and evaluation of teachers and students’ outputs, curriculum development, course plan, planning development schemes such as repair and renovation of the college building and procurement procedure.
These trivial issues might have been resolved at the college level, had there been qualified and competent Principals having problem-solving skills and management skills
Mostly the professors in BPS-19 and BPS-20 are posted on administrative or management cadres such as regional directors, DGs and Chairman BISEs. There is no College Teachers Training Institute (CTTI) that may impart training to newly appointed lecturers and other staff that it may increase their productivity. Even representation in the college education department is denied and usurped by powerful PAS, PSS, PCS, PMS and OMG officers who are unaware of the college matters and issues.
Teachers dejected and disillusioned over delayed promotions, often take 18 years to the next grade yet some unfortunate ones get promotions after reaching the superannuation or after retirement. Earlier, the college teachers were provided move over to the next grade after completing their minimum service slab on the given scale but later it was withdrawn.Later, the time scale was granted to the teachers of school education such as PSTs, JSTs and HSTs, and the subject specialists of higher secondary schools, but the college education or higher education teachers were denied these monetary benefits since it provided respite against delayed DPC (Departmental Promotion Committee) by Board I and II to consider the cases of promotions from BS-17 to BS-20 respectively.
It is alarming that some teachers retire serving on the same grade throughout their service period and some get only one promotion to the next grade, given the obsolete promotion system and the so-called Four Tier i.e. Grade wise promotions and appointment for BS-17, BS-18, BS-19, and BS-20.
Teachers’ Unions in all four provinces i.e. SPLA (Sindh), KPLA (KPK), BPLA (Baluchistan) and PPLA (Punjab) have protested for their rights and have been successful in getting their demands approved except SPLA, owing to internal differences, insincerity, individualism and disintegration on the basis of lack of consensus and no consultation with the college fraternity.
The old players of SPLA went on a solo flight and kept the members of SPLA in limbo that resulted in their downfall who sabotaged the real voice of college teachers and dragged the college teachers in the quagmire of disappointment, deprivation, and injustice. The disparities still continue haunting the college fraternity.
The college teachers were provided move over to next grade after completing their minimum service slab in the given scale but later it was withdrawn
Some progressive young leaders rose up to win support for time scale and staged a showdown which drew the attention of the authorities to the long due issue of promotions and supplementing it with time scale until they get regular time-based promotions. But the old leaders could not digest the successful protest and the landmark court decision directing CM Sindh and Secretary College Education to resolve the issues of promotions and time scale after determining financial requirements and policy matters on a priority basis.
It is also pertinent to note that the civil servants are unaware of the technical terms and issues of colleges and only college teachers can address the needs and resolve the issues of college teachers properly and on a priority basis. The college teachers should also be allocated a 5% to 10% share in administrative posts in Secretariat as our college teachers are the most efficient and talented and can better deliver in policymaking and updating curriculum, service rules drafting and making informed decisions on administrative grounds.
It is shocking and disgusting to express that the teacher who is the factory to produce all the officers, is deplorably considered “not fit” for administrative positions though he/she is recruited through the same SPSC/FPSC. It would be great if the government introduces executive service to join the civil service or secretarial service like SOPE (Section Officers Promotions Exam) conducted by FPSC from the Federal Employees in Grades 7 to 16 have 8 years Experience.
After passing SOPE, they are awarded CSS cadre OMG (Office Management Group). They have been doing a tremendous job as these officers are well aware of day to day office matters and meet deadlines quite easily and require fewer directions. The government should also revise the SNE of the colleges by creating three additional posts i.e. Vice-Principal BS- 18 and Sub Engineer BS 11/16 and Assistant Director (Finance and Planning) BS-17 to run the administrative, development and accounting matters smoothly.
Ineffective SPLA appeared to be in limbo that resulted in its downfall who sabotaged the real voice of college teachers and dragged the College Teachers in the quagmire of disappointment, deprivation and injustice
The Federal colleges and Punjab colleges have Vice Principals who look after or officiate in the absence of principals. There should be either direct appointments through a search committee or Public Service Commission for the position of vice-principals and principals so that most experienced persons may be appointed on the administrative posts. Furthermore, local and international scholarships and study leaves are not granted to college teachers to pursue M.Phil and Ph.D. or Postdoctoral studies as availed by university teachers.
The projectors should be used and the laptop scheme should be initiated for teachers so that teachers can impart education on modern lines and make learning a fun process as students get bored from the lecture of 40 to 45 minutes. The presentations on multimedia projects will make learning interactive and collaborative.
Principals are the team leaders rather than just a boss to scold, report, temper with ACRs or take action against teachers on personal grudges and lenient on blue-eyed teachers. As a fact, the bosses will never take responsibility but they shift responsibility, on the other hand, the leaders always believe in teamwork and take the responsibility of either good or bad and defend their teammates.
Regrettably, so many principals are imposed upon the colleges lacking the competency to run the day to day affairs. Owing to their incompetence, inefficiency, and lack of training, the college academic, and administrative issues surface which prompts the supervisory authorities to intervene and resolve issues. These trivial issues might have been resolved at the college level, had there been qualified and competent Principals having problem-solving skills and management skills. It is also necessary that Executive Management Training should be made compulsory for the Principal before joining. This will further their deliverables.
It is the need of the hour to address the woes of College Teachers and the College. These should be resolved on the war-footing basis to transform colleges into great seats of learning since colleges fill the gaps of higher education where there are no universities. The colleges serve as higher Education intuitions offering degrees at Undergraduate, Graduate and Post Graduate level.
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