- Super User
- Wednesday, 28 August 2013 09:42
SEECS - NUST - Islamabad
Title: Education for anyone, anywhere and at any time ?
Abstract: Khuda Buksh lives in a two room house in Nishat colony - adjacent to Defence IV and quite near to LUMS in Lahore, Pakistan. Khuda Buksh was a naib qasid in a government office - his pension is not plenty enough to give him a decent living in old age. He has five adult children - two sons and three daughters. The eldest son Ali works in an auto workshop - the other son Hassan works in a tailor master shop. The eldest daughter Ayesha is doing a short course in a beauty parlor - the other daughter, Parween, works in a nearby girls school canteen - the youngest of all is Fatima who helps her mother in house hold chores. As you can imagine all children are dropouts before class 5 from the local primary school. All of them share the household burden - their small home can not be run without their collective efforts or earnings. The current income is able to satisfy bare minimum requirements but the quality of life is poor and the future is uncertain. The boys as well the girls can not progress as there are no available opportunities within their current income. All the five younger members of the household require further training and education to move forward in life but the question is how? They can not afford to go to a regular school even if they wanted to and even if a free school is available nearby. Almost all of them have ample free time but that free time slot is available at different time zones in a 24 hours cycle - no free slot fits in a regular school timing.
We have about 5 million adults in Punjab who go to high school but we have more than 8 million who dropout before going to high school. This in-equality is becoming more pronounced decade by decade. Inequality in education, in opportunities and finally in economic terms is linked to disturbing indicators in a society. This is like a time bomb which is ticking not only for the poor but also for the neighboring rich. The planners have never thought that Khuda Buksh will never be able send his children to high school the school should have gone to their place at (different) times when ever they need it? Not only the school should come it should come along with free text books, the required stationary and more importantly with a personalized pedagogy a pedagogy suited to a specific learner. A fast learner should move swiftly while a slow learner is provided additional tools to support. We shall discuss here in detail how this is possible in the very near future in Pakistan using innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and new educational paradigms?