GENERALLY, IT is learnt that after qualifying the academic qualifications required for becoming a teacher at school, tertiary or at any level, further advancement in receiving any higher education is no more seen in our teachers. The country does not have enough teachers with doctorates simply because there is a practice in our education system that only a teacher of a university can think of pursuing a PhD.
It is very worrying to acknowledge that a number of PhDs in the country is insufficient. In fact, the HEC in the last decade has been very instrumental in facilitating desiring and deserving PhD candidates in kind and in cash to complete their doctorate. Earlier, higher degree in academics was pursued only by teachers in the universities.
In the previous times, the concept of higher education, that is, to improve their qualifications beyond a master’s degree seldom came into a teacher’s mind. In certain subjects, like English, the number of PhDs was negligible.
Education is the main artery of progress, but it is equally important to prioritise educational levels for the masses. Unfortunately, owing to the ups and downs in the country we have lagged behind in education as compared to other countries inSouth Asia. Consequently, in national education policies (NEP) till the last one of 2009, the wish-list attitude has been conspicuously present. The NEP 2009 sets itself a few notable milestones and goals such as provision of free primary education by 2015; provision of free education till matriculation by 2025, increase in adult literacy rate to 86 per cent by 2015, increase in higher education enrolment from 4.7 to 10 per cent in 2015 and 15 per cent in 2020.
Since the HEC has become a provincial entity after the 18th Amendment, it can be hoped that educationists at the provincial level with collaboration from private institutions will now be more capable and confident to determine the requirements of their respective provinces and to earmark the erudite and apt scholars to pursue PhD courses.
Provincial higher education must remove the snags and bottlenecks that PhD candidates face so that the number of doctorates in the country could increase steadily.
M. Saleem Ansari – Karachi @Dawn