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This article was originally submitted by Khanesh Rathi
Since the inception of Pakistan, all the successive governments-either democratic or dictatorial- proved themselves wrong while setting priorities. Initially, when the officials needed to form a constitution, parties at that time, preferred to make themselves strong to stay within the power corridors. Secondly, a newly born country needed democracy to prevail but martial law was imposed.
Thirdly, a country with few resources having strong enemies required unity to face the challenges. Unfortunately, once again it was not in our priority list, we let go and East Pakistan became weaker. The list goes on and one can realize that still, we are not on the right track as far as setting priorities are concerned. It may be education, health, environment etc.
In the times as hard as now when the whole world is struggling to cope with Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan is not an exception. Weeks long lockdown has impacted every segment of society. Indeed, the government has done what it can with limited resources.
However, some disappointing decisions have been made for the educational system; which is already far behind in many aspects compared to the neighbouring counties.
Once again, present governments-federal and provincials- keep the education at the bottom of their lists. Many important decisions are taken on a daily basis with proper coordination but no such decision is taken regarding education except the closing of learning institutions. They have almost lifted the lockdown imposed. Congregational prayers, business activities, press conferences, abusing politics and many other activities are going at full pace.
But according to the indication by ministers in their press conferences, educational institutions may take up to six months to open. This is unimaginable. The place where all the instructions (uniform, cleanliness, regularity, punctuality etc.) are properly followed. Similarly, the SOPs about Covid-19 will not be much harder to implement; compared to the general places on the general public.
It’s high time governments should reconsider their decisions as to education. Else, it will be so hard to return to ‘normal’.