Finland topped the world in secondary education according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Although no one is Pakistan have noticed it or considered it worth reading as it was not about Imran Khan’s politics or war on terror. Mean while many educators from around the world have visited to see how Finland is leading in education and how they can implement it in their country. These days, Imran Khan buzz too much about education so why not compare Finland’s education system, Imran Khan’s idea and the current Pakistani education system.
Current Educational system in Pakistan at secondary schools system is not unique, it varies from national testing system ( Matric and FSC), imported testing system ( O level and A level). After that comes the Madrassah System which is running perpendicularly to the regular system, so no need to talk about that here. Now when Imran Khan presents his thesis about the educational system, he talks mostly on language barrier, that syllabus will be in same language all over the country and assumingly he considered for the national testing system. It seems good but when we look at Finland, there is no national testing system at all. Idea they present is that they teach students to learn and not prepare them for the test. As a result of no testing system, they have put no barrier at the entrance of the University. Tradionalist will never like this idea to be implemented in Pakistan and yes we cannot bear such a sudden big change in our educational system, yes we can impart the idea of free entry at the University that can remove lot of burden of cramming from the secondary educational system.
Our educational system and Imran Khan have the same idea that syllabus should be same all over Pakistan and should be prepared by central authority. Teachers should only teach what should be given to them and according to the rules provided to them. Idea behind this could be based on the thinking that teachers are not trustworthy. Finland did opposite, they didn’t make any national curriculum and they only provide objectives of the class and let the teacher decide how and what he will teach to achieve those objectives. In order to check, only few percent of random pupils are used to be questioned randomly. Can we implement this idea in true spirit? Answer to this is difficult. What we can do at most in the current situation, is to remove the fear of not getting to the University along with reducing the number of topics in so called science subjects where we do not learn to ask question but to cram. As a result teacher will have more time to teach and experiment. By giving the respect to the teachers, Finland has made the teacher the most respectable profession in their country and we should also follow that.
Vocational education is not considered as part of our regular education and I havn’t heard Imran Khan talking about that. The thing I liked most is that Finland have made the vocational education as part of secondary and higher secondary education. So if the student do not wishes to continue the education, he is still equipped with the required skilled to work. Pakistani student face the most problematic situation, if they don’t get admission at University, their education till FSC become useless as they are unable to do any vocational work. This must be implemented if we really want to see change.
Education is free in Finland. Even the private schools get money from government not from the students. There, a school is not compared with the other school as there is no testing system. Here the school whose student perform better in testing system, charge more money. The standard of a school is based on the concept that the school who charge more money as school fee, will be good. Education in Pakistan should also be free and education should not be treated as business. Most of the Imran Khan speeches also revolve around free education so here he matches with the Finland’s educational system.
The list can go on and on but to summarize we can say most of the thing that Imran Khan talk about change in educational system are not the key to success and bigger change except free education. Pakistan should look at Finland’s education system, bring a debate on it and only in that way we can think of a positive change.