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Editorial: Outdated education system

Students of the higher education institutes are still caught in the cobweb of decades-old and outdated education system. High school students are dealing with the same situation. Security situation and inattention of the relevant authorities add to problems. The National Unity Government (NUG) had repeatedly outlined its efforts to overhaul the obsolete education system at the top and grassroots levels. The reforms process was supposed to begin from universities. However, lecturers who yet to complete their masters are still teaching students. How strange it is that teachers who are graduates are teaching masters programs. To sum up, the output of the leaders claims and effort is still zero.

Whether the higher education ministry is unwilling to overhaul the teaching methodologies and structure or it is helpless before corrupt politicians and teachers, but the reality is that our education system is not producing qualified people, including doctors, engineers, botanists and scientists. Minister of Higher Education, Farida Momand, in her visit to the Nangarhar University assured to bring changes in the curriculum. She is right. There is need for change in the curriculum. However, the reforms shall not be limited to the extent of statements only. Actions speak louder than words.

In the past year such promises were made but not fulfilled. If the minister translates her words into actions, these efforts will be fruitful. But in the meanwhile, there is need for more to do with prime focus on improving quality of education to achieve the goals. Lack of qualified teachers, universities, anomalies in entrance university entrance exams and monopoly of private varsities are the other challenges that are overshadowed the future prospects. Afghan students are starting their important educational journey in the mist of mismanagement and poor monitoring policies. Public and private universities are deprived of quality assurance offices. The ministry shall take steps to establish quality assurance department in each and every university. The relevant authorities should not sit on the fence but come forward with hard decisions to improve quality of the education. Without complete overhaul the notion “pen is mightier than sword” bears no meaning.

Only hoping for the best will not produce the desired results. Change needs reforms. Thus, the higher education ministry shall not miss the boat and take advantage of popular public support. Some teachers may try to create hurdles for their personal interests but the ministry should not allow them to sacrifice brighter future of the students. Such elements shall be dealt with iron hands to successfully execute the overhauling process. It is imperative to compete with the neighboring countries.

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