COMMON PROBLEMS OF STUDENTS IN PAKISTAN
By: Prof. Ayesha Kashif
Society comprises over humans; and their combined productivity represents its well being. Humans perform better; when equipped with relevant tools and techniques. Hence providing education will result in higher productivity and increased well being. It can also be comprehended; that key to development of economy, availability of strong leaders and infrastructure is based over high quality human resource. This enlightens importance of students.
While explaining problem of students, foremost problem that comes upfront is; different and conflicting educational systems. Not only several systems conflict with one another; here stays huge difference between educational standards of government and private institutions. Then within private institutions; here exists massive diversity; due to which parents and students are bound to rely over few so called renowned institutions. This makes selection of institution big challenge; and for student all his/her life, career, personal grooming and reputation are dependant over selection of institution. In Pakistan only big cities are equipped with high quality educational institutions; especially is the case at University level. This major difficulty becomes source of several other irritations; first one is ambiguity in choosing the right career. It advocates need for expert opinion, parents are usually not aware of trends, and teachers being disconnected from corporate sector cannot provide sufficient guidance and support.
After allot of effort, consultation and prayers when student get enrolled in institutions; then already over burdened and crowded institution’s management find it difficult to co-operate with students. Overall behavior of administration/management of university; stays quite challenging and hardly supportive; this not only increases agony and annoyance of already stressed students; but it also fuels already prevailing ambiguity. Problem of career counseling gets further intensified; specifically when this problem is not with everyone. Few privileged students successfully attain guidance due to their family support or personal relations. This provides them edge over others, not because of their capability but due to their before hand home work.
All across the globe, including Pakistan; financial hindrance is most challenging for students in pursuit of education. In Pakistan; huge percentage is still below poverty line. This is why, many fail to continue their education, and considerable percentage drop out due to their inability to afford expensive education. Not only burden of fee has to be bear by students; sometimes they are also required to support their families. Here again fortunate are ones; who get supported by their financially strong families.
Students who are fortunate enough to get enrolled in institutions does not enjoy high way of peace; un-trained teachers often develop barrier with students to cover their weaknesses. Assigned text books are either inappropriate; or teachers are not aware of author’s intentions. Due to which; students show reluctance in consulting, what they have not understood and eventually fail to learn. Even when teachers are willing and able, institutions seriously lack facilities like required laboratories.
Over and above students are burdened by high level expectations from their parents, friends, family and society. Intense fear for failure at times triggers distress; hampering their performance. Being ambiguous, afraid to share with teachers and parents, they find no way out to vent frustration. Administration, keep walls of their castle high enough not to be bothered.
Accompanied with psychological stress of all rounded expectations, comes physical fatigue from which students have to go through. It includes lower profile transportation; they get to walk long distances. At times they are subject to psychological punishment or some kind of humiliation at time of reaching late to class. On their way back; they often carry heavy homework; which their social circle fails to understand and accept. At home they are presumed to be free; and are often requested to perform home related duties; due to which they fail to fulfill, teacher’s as well as family’s expectation; which may result in lower reputation; that eventually results in poor performance/evaluation.
Observing fortunate students attaining better scores, being compared with them, not only generates jealousy, hatred and frustration, but pain of getting disconnected from success, does not even allow them to participate in any kind of extracurricular activities. These activities are already lacking by big percentage; and considered socially undesired. Majority families fail to understand importance of these activities. Students are often forbidden to participate in co-curricular activities and here again; extra performers, having better reputation takes the lead.
Overcrowded class rooms, individual based praise system, and failure to vent their anxiety through co-curricular activities eventually lead to social isolation. Students either began to feel difficulty in socializing, or become over extrovert and enjoy wasting their time and irritating others. In some cases students are subject to smoking, drug addiction and other negative habits at early age.
Students are important asset of any society; and they need to be cared. Understanding their problems may not heal their wounds; but will definitely sooth them. We as part of society shall try helping students; if not financially it can be done by understanding, and listening to their problems.