Role of Private Institutions in the promotion of Educationby Major (R) Khalid Nasr Education plays a pivotal role in the development of our younger generation to lead a successful life in this world of global competition. There are many dimensions of education in the development of human personality. It gives us professional knowledge. It teaches us human skills. It puts our mind on creative thinking. It builds our confidence and self-esteem. Now the question is: are the private institutions playing their role for the promotion of education?We can see a mushroom of private schools and colleges in Lahore but the parents and students are still in a state of bewilderment which institution to join for quality education. First of all, the tuition fee and admission charges of leading institutions in private sector are very high. Secondly, there is no standard criteria for getting admission in these renowned institutions. Back door techniques are used to get admission where the merit is lacking for open competition. It is very difficult for a competent student from a middle class family to get admission in leading institutions on merit.Now, we see the condition in middle class educational institutions. There is no quality of education in the so-called average educational institutions. The teaching environment and the faculty is not up to the mark. The standard of graduate & postgraduate level is so poor that some institutions are even selling their transcripts & degrees. The government is taking action against these institutions in private sector. The University of the Punjab and Higher Education Commission have set a standard for the operation of these institutions and award affiliations & charters to only those private institutions who qualify the required criteria. Everyday, we see the sign boards of a school or college removed by the concerned authorities but again we see a new entrant in the education sector with a very poor standard of teaching environment and faculty. The tuition culture is also a black spot on our prevailing educational environment in private institutions. Many daytime colleges & schools are converted into tuition centers in the evening. There are some private institutions that have not been awarded charter by Higher Education Commission or affiliation with Punjab University but they are miss-leading or rather cheating the students by putting false statements on their signboards and brochures. The curriculum offered in most of the educational institutes does not fit in the requirements of the job. Due attention is not given to the professional programs to enable a student to face competitive & professional requirements of the job opportunities in the market. Education does not merely mean academic qualification. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations. In this world of global competition, success of a business is dependent upon the quality of management, which comes through the quality of education.There are two basic roles of education :1.Itmakes for our living and 2. It makes our life .The second role is more important for building a nation.The basic role of the educational institutions in the private sector is to educate, train and develop the young generation for the successful leadership roles in the practical realms of life. It is not just the degree from a college, which ensures the highest standards of excellence & growth. The basic purpose of training programs should not be to transmit knowledge from books but to impart learning & training to effect changes in behaviours & skills.The point to note here is whether our educational institutions in private sector are providing an opportunity to explore human capabilities which are not addressed in main stream education and are they willing to modify their curricle's to meet the demands of global competition in the job market. Due to high merit and limited seats in government institutions, the majority of the students join private educational institutions. So the demand of the day is that private institutions should provide quality education at affordable price to fulfill their social responsibility. Disintegrated nations can be transformed into uncanny force by bringing revolutionary changes in their stagnant thinking. We want our younger generation to be flexible, creative and assertive enough to make out dreams true about a progressive, liberal and strong Pakistan.Education without purpose & direction is a mere waste of time & resources that results in unemployment & frustration. The educational institutions in the private sector should feel their responsibility to provide quality education at affordable price. All of us do not have equal talents, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop out talents to have a competitive edge in the global market.The government has its own role to play which includes monitoring the activities of the educational institutions in the private sector, encouraging those institutions which are playing a positive role in providing quality education at affordable price and taking action against those who are a black spot in the field of education. It seems the infrastructure existing at the time of Independence was pushed back; and requirements of objectivity were totally ignored. Consequently a value-oriented approach neither acceptable internationally nor of any tangible national interest had been eating away our valuable time & financial resources. In the process, students were not exposed to the basics of scientific research with the obvious results. This was happening because of the uneducated illiterate legislators formulating education policies.
Apart from the utility of such an education provided by the public sector, people naturally were inclined towards the private sector; but the cost of this improved quality was beyond the reach of public living more or less on sustenance level & sometimes below the poverty line. It is hightime that cost is cut down & educational expenses are brought within the reach of a common man in order to boost up & sharpen the quality of human resource which would be of interminable economic benefits for the society.