Category Archives: Policy issues

Urdu and English Languages Require Different Teaching Strategies

It seems we have forgotten how to teach the Urdu language. Our Urdu language teachers don’t know what treatment the language is getting at their hands. Are they teaching Urdu as a first or the second language?

Our teachers don’t know even the conventional method of teaching the Urdu language which demands a good grasp of the grammar and is long drawn and time-consuming. What to talk about the new researches and methodologies!

Teaching at the primary school requires knowledge, skills and critical understanding as at this level, one is laying the foundation of future and higher education. But tragically, everyone who is unable to find a place anywhere else feels competent and confident to teach in a primary school. Our schools in the formal and non-formal sectors are the breeding grounds for present and future teachers of the Urdu language who have no clue of how to approach the teaching and how to help children who are naturally ready to learn more than one language. Even the teachers at expensive schools seem to have very little knowledge and expertise which results in failure to cultivate interest and appreciation of the national language among the learners.  On the contrary, the culture promoted at these schools takes pride in being ignorant and illiterate in the language. Countrywide surveys also tell us that half the children in schools are unable to read a simple text in Urdu.

Daanish Schools – A Case of Misplaced Priorities

This is Daanish School for boys and girls at Harnoli in the district of Mianwal I visited in December 2012. We were stopped at the main gate by the security guards to inquire about our identities and what was the purpose of our visit. Then our vehicle drove through the finely carved out way to the academic block that houses the admin block as well. The school spread over an expanse of 400 acres out of which 120 acres (70 acres for boys’ school and 50 acres for girls’ schools) have been already developed in the form of impressive gardens, playgrounds, botanical gardens, walkways, admin and teaching blocks with auditoriums, state of the art class rooms, library, science lab, IT lab, hostels, elaborate dining hall, principal house and living quarters for the teaching and other staff.

Is Poverty the Real Cause of Poor Performance in Education?

“According to the National Nutrition Survey 2011 conducted by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), around 58 per cent of the population is food insecure”, the Minister for National Food Security and Research, Mir Israrullah Zehri, told the upper house of parliament. And BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance that 80 million people out of a total population of 175.3 million live below the poverty line. These are staggering figures – 45.7 per cent Pakistanis are struggling to make both ends meets.These statements show the gravity of the situation.

Khoj Methodology – A Sure Way to Education for All in Pakistan 2

It is a reality of everyday life when children come to school, no matter how young they are, they come with a profound knowledge of a language.  They have already learnt not only the various elements of a language but also make a very skillful and clever use of it. Even before entering the school, they know how to express themselves in various contexts and situations. They have enviable vocabulary to express a range of complex emotions – their anger,happiness, excitement, love, affection, sadness, pain, likes and dislikes and the list goes on. They know perfectly appropriate use of words with falling and rising intonations to communicate with all kinds of relationships in the family and with a variety of friends. They know the age appropriateness of their expression and the selection of words; they know how to communicate with the younger siblings and friends and if required, how to instantly switch the words and expressions while talking with elders like father, mother, grandparents, uncles and aunts and strangers. They also express the understanding of the nuances of language when they make subtle differences in expression when they communicate with their mothers and fathers; there may be many subtle differences. Their selection of words and expressions may be very different. And the list of the variations is endless; how they communicate with the world.

Teachers Need Support

The purpose of adult and non-formal basic education is to provide an opportunity to those who
were left out or dropped out of school for some reason. There are a host of reasons why they
lagged behind in the mainstream of education and development. Generally speaking, they come
from the resource poor families who have no faith in the meaning and fruitfulness of long years of
schooling.

Khoj Methodology – A Sure Way to Education for All in Pakistan 1

The number of out of school children in Pakistan exceeds the total population of the countries like Norway, Ireland and New Zealand. According to the 2012 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report, the country is home to around 5.1 million such children, which makes it the abode of the second largest number of out of school children in the world. Unfortunately, the story of the dismal performance doesn’t end here. Pakistan is also home to more than 50 million illiterate adults which is the third highest number in the world. And almost half of the rural women have never been to school.


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