Education plays a vital role in making of a country. According to recent statistics, the literacy rate according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019 is 55% for KPK, 64% in Punjab, 55% in Baluchistan and 62% in Sindh. Now these numbers might seem optimistic but in reality, the basis on which people are considered literate is that if they know how to write their name. If they can, they are considered to be literate. According to a recent report published by UNICEF, around 22.8 million children of age 5-16 dropped out of school due to affordability issues. The Government schools have not a maintained standards; that is why the quality of education is not at par with Private school education. This creates hurdles for students who graduate from government schools. On the other hand, there are around 197000 plus private schools according to the figures mentioned on the website of All Pakistan Private School Federation. Furthermore, types of private of schools depending on the fee charged. Either people get to acquire good quality, up-to-date education at a quite expensive educational institution or go to a completely bad quality, outdated and poorly maintained educational institution which restricts the student’s potential life chances, recognition and cultural capital.
Private institutions not only focus on the student academic performance but also give importance to extra-curricular activities such as debates, sports, drama etc. Just as Cookson Jr and Persell mention in “Preparing for power: Cultural capital and curricula in America’s elite boarding schools”, this not only helps the student in developing higher confidence and social skills but also preparing them for admissions in Ivy League colleges and top universities. Private schools; through various strategies (i.e. assigning homework, regular parent teachers meetings etc), keep parents of the students fully engaged in the completion of children homework and educational performance. Contrary to the elite schools, public/government schools have no such strategy of teaching and do not compels parents to engage with their child’s studies.
Public schools do not offer extra-curricular activities. Most of the public schools do not have libraries from where the children can easily get access to the books or maybe go to the library and read different books in their free time which also lead them to have less information.
This unequal distribution of resources and facilities results in an unequal distribution of cultural capital. This results in further stratification of society into distinctive class systems. This also limits the social mobility of the child in the open system to try and transcend to a better social class as the resources available to him limit his cultural capital.
I hope our youth will develop a conscience and will act in unity towards achieving a better future for their children with the hope that they will not be subjected to this reproduction of class and will have equal battlefield.
By:- Saad Siddiqui
Pre- Engineering Student at Punjab Colleges Sialkot
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