Federal and provincial governments are making claims of digitizing Pakistan and what not. All of this is good and some initiatives certainly do seem to signal at some interesting times ahead.
But there’s massive room for improvement. We are living in the 21st century after all, which is why there are certain things that are inexcusable in this day and age.
Our children need to be kept updated about new technologies from a younger age. That much no one has any qualms about, be it parents, policymakers and other stakeholders in the system. But when you take a look at the grass root level, where the mindset for the upcoming digital generation has to be developed, you see an educational system that is atrociously outdated.
How atrociously outdated are we talking about here? Well, for starters, adults would find it shocking that in this day and age, most Pakistani government and private schools either don’t consider computing a necessary subject worth teaching or teach kids courses that were relevant at least two decades ago.
Modern Schools Teaching Outdated Courses
Whether its private schools looting the public with outrageous fees or public schools claiming titles like ‘Smart’ and ‘modern’, Pakistani schools are teaching courses which became outdated during the pre-2000 era.
Computing as a subject for young students in most government schools is almost a no go. However, private schools which do offer the subject are digitally ancient. How ancient exactly you say? Even in this day and age, where Windows 10 is nearly two years old, those which do offer computing as a subject are basing their courses on Windows XP or even Windows 98!
It is common knowledge that most public schools don’t offer computer studies as a subject up until a student reaches Class VI. When they do start, students are taught age-old stuff based on Windows XP.
While some elite class private schools have decent computers with relatively updated operating systems which launched within the past decade, most private schools have outdated PCs running Windows XP.
Many commenters will say that there’s nothing wrong with running PCs with a decade or so old Operating Systems (owing to high license costs, exponential IT fees, etc.), but the truth of the matter is that these old OSes tend to incur a huge human as well as financial costs in hindsight. After all, the OSes of today boast better security and compatibility than Windows XP, which if you remember, was mired with viruses and was slated as “officially dead” by Microsoft.
Keeping Up With The Pace
When compared to other fields, computer technology and IT have been growing so rapidly that a decade’s worth of progress is made in just a year. You just can’t afford to sit back and let others pass you by.
As Pakistani schools continue to offer courses based on Windows XP or 98 – a 16 to 19 years old operating system mind you – and carry on using/teaching about extinct tech like floppy disks, CRT Monitors, magnetic tape disks and what not, the next generation becomes more distant to the current world of computing.
Not only is it problematic for the students during that stage of their life, but they have to overcome a huge knowledge barrier when they take computer studies related courses in universities which require them to be up to date with the latest trends in the field.
Google and Microsoft have been trying to introduce coding and latest technologies amongst the youth of Pakistan. What does this neanderthal approach to computing by Pakistani educational institutions contribute to?
With the increasing usage of laptops and PCs among children, it places a huge burden on the current education system’s shoulders to educate the youth on the subject. We often see experts debate on educating the public on the proper use of internet, computers and other smart gadgets. If kids are not taught about the proper use of technology and developments in the field, Pakistani youth will never be able to reach their true potential.
Now the government needs to fix the educational system, update computer related courses and make it a compulsory subject during initial studies so that every Pakistani child has a basic understanding of the field when they grow up. This will also help in improving the students’ abilities when they start higher studies as they would be better prepared to deal with the latest requirements of the digital and connected era.