Pakistan A country divided by its political views and dominated by countless

Pakistan. A country divided by its political views, and dominated by countless military coups and Taliban regimes. Terror has filled the country, stripping the people who live there of their basic educational rights, deny women of their natural human rights, and even persecute those who do not believe in the same religion. However, the specific topic that I chose to delve deeper into is the education in Pakistan. There is startling news that comes from Pakistan and its surrounding countries rather often, and there are shocking differences between our country and culture versus theirs in Pakistan. “I am Malala,” by Malala Yousafzai is a book that took the world by storm. In this book, Malala describes her life, what she stands for, all that she has endured through pushing for an education, and her journey as she continues to speak out against the current oppressive regime. Yousafzai puts up a remarkable fight for girl’s education, even with the knowledge of the repercussions. At the age of 15, Malala was shot in the head on her school bus by the Taliban to get revenge for her campaigning for the education for girls in Pakistan. She took so many risks just to better the lives of other girls who were being deprived of these rights that girls in the United States might take for granted. It was when I read this book that I initially became interested in the types of conflicts happening in Pakistan related to their educational system. I am an education major and feel that educating myself about school systems in other nations will benefit me in the long run as I work to become a teacher.In Pakistan, the education system adopted from colonial authorities had been described as one of the most underdeveloped in the world. The rate of youth literacy within Pakistan is a little over 60% and over half of the adolescents who are not enrolled in school are female. Barely 60% of the students enrolled in primary school complete grades one through five, even though there are programs such as play groups, nursery, kindergarten, etc., that attempt to effectively prepare those students moving onto the next grade. Once you get into middle school or middle education, single-sex education is preferred; meaning they would prefer to teach boys only rather than girls. The education system in Pakistan is separated into three main groups: Public, private, and Madrasah system. The Madrasah system, “cater to the poorest segment of the society and have the greatest divergence with contemporary economies. The syllabus taught in these seminaries is grounded in religious biases and portrays a narrow-minded worldview” (Pakistan Today, 2018), while the public and private schools, “cater to children representing the middle class, and therefore, the majority. These schools follow a syllabus which is strictly regulated by the government and has a particular emphasis on rote learning” (Pakistan Today, 2018). The few students that then reach the university level are left with a lack of knowledge of research-oriented education and even creativity, as creativity is discouraged, especially among young children in school. A typical university graduate in Pakistan emerses unprepared for the real world and lacks the essential qualities of a marketable and hireable person. These unfair and unsafe living conditions have lead people to step out of the shadows and protest against the regime that has killed many of their loved ones, and made their lives impossible to truly live. Among Malala Yousafzai, there were many other famous people that have taken it upon themselves to work to better the lives of their fellow Pakistanis. However, not only are more well-known individuals up for the task, but more recently, regular civilians have decided to stand up and rise against the Taliban and their wrongful actions that have put Pakistan into the current state it is today. “Taliban militants often target public gatherings and military ceremonies and installations. Until recently (2015), most Pakistanis avoided speaking against the Taliban in public. But after the attack at the flag ceremony and the recent massacre of school children in Peshawar, everyday Pakistanis are much more likely to speak openly against the militants in public places” (As attacks continue, people in Pakistan increasingly speak out against the Taliban, 2015).Boys and girls are treated very differently in Pakistan, as “gender equality remains one of the biggest challenges in Pakistan in the 21st century. The majority of girls and women in this country remain one of the most uneducated people of the world.” (Gender Inequality in Education, 2013). The Pakistani society, even today, is not particularly welcoming to girls who wish to receive an education. More than 40,000 girls in Swat Valley, Pakistan, did not attend school due to extremist threats in 2008 and 2009. Gender inequality in Pakistan particularly is very problematic. “The Global Campaign for Education reports that more than 5.1 million primary school-aged children in Pakistan do not attend school. Sixty-three percent of them are girls. This is the third highest number of out-of-school children in the world” (Gender Inequality in Education, 2013). The Taliban has, “blasted more than 4,000 schools in Swat (Valley), they have slaughtered people, and in the month of January, 2009, they used to slaughter even two to three people every night… we have seen the barbaric situation of the 21st century, and we have seen the cruelty, and we have seen harsh days in our life and those were the darkest days of our life…” (Malala Yousafzai, The Daily Show, 2013). Here, Malala is describing her life in 2007 on in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan. Terrorist attacks on educational institutions have increased within recent years as these types of measures are made to try to deter others from wanting to continue to receive an education. She used to describe this place as a “paradise” before the Taliban arrived, which is hard to believe, considering the current state. Many believe that the heart of all of Pakistan’s big issues is education and the quality of it. Today, “It is estimated that presently more than 55 million age 10 Pakistanis are unable to read and write and there are 7 million children of age 5 to 9 years are out of schools. The more worst part is that in rural areas, more than 52% of girls are not enrolled in school. This is not enough, you know 67% of women as well are illiterate” (Education System in Pakistan (2020 Research, 2019). There are many children out of school as well, as many families do not enroll their children into schools. Instead, they make them work for them, starting at a young age. Child labor is among many of the disadvantages of the education system in Pakistan. From a young age, children are taught to work for their families, as many may not have an option to receive an education. This should go to show everyone that the things that we may take for granted, like having the opportunity to go to school and receive a proper education, are largely taken away from those who want it most in different parts of the world.

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