On Higher Education in Pakistan

A few years back, we day-dreamed of reforming Education in Pakistan. This was 1998 or 99. Pervez Hoodbhoy had come to Chicago for a talk and we gathered around trying to see light at the end of the nuclear tunnel. We were a diverse bunch; history, physics, economics, anthropology phd-candidates. Most had had their initial schooling in Pakistan and recognized very well the horrendous system. The discussion dwindled after the initial euphoria, when we realized that we were powerless in the face of a military and civil bureaucracy that invited no meddlers. Some of us went to work for Micro$oft, some started teaching and some are writing lame blogs. Except Hoodbhoy.

Pervez Hoodbhoy is fiercely smart and dedicated. He currently teaches at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad – the flagship university of Pakistan. In two installments, he has just written the clearest denouncement of Pakistan’s higher education in the highest circulation English daily in Pakistan, Dawn. I cannot urge you more strongly to click here and here and read.

His message is clear. Pakistan has no framework of higher education that can match up to the rest of the world. The universities are a quagmire of despotic clerks and professors. The PhDs cannot function in the real world. There is no standard of research in the country in hard sciences or social sciences. There are more mosques on campuses than bookstores. Knowledge is passed by rote and memorization in an endless loop from teacher to student to teacher. Teachers do not engage in or tolerate critical thinking. Any old place can slap a university sign on the door and become an accredited institution to qualify for govt. subsidy. JNU? IIT? forget it, we cannot even match Tehran University in a country cut off from the world for 25 years.

Let me tell a small anecdote. Last spring, I walked into the Oriental Collection in Punjab University Library and asked to see the catalogue. After proving my authenticity as a student, I was asked by the clerk to write down the name of the manuscript that I wanted to see. I said, well, I don’t know which manuscript I want to see because I don’t know what is in your holdings. I was asked to go to the Old Campus and purchase the catalogue. Sure thing. Next day, I came back and had a specific call# or two. I was told to, then, write a petition to the Oriental Librarian requesting permission to see the manuscript. When presented with the petition, she didn’t even glance up from her desk and told me to go back to Old Campus and get the petition stamped by the Chair of the Persian Dept. for validation that my research agenda necessitated that manuscript. She also threw in a lecture on my bad English for good measure (this damn yankee accent). I went to see the Chair of the Persian Dept., explained my research, showed him my petition and asked for his assistance in this matter. He let me sit out there for a while before grilling me on why I would want to study such odd things and shouldn’t I be making good money as a computer engineer in Houston. Finally, he signed the petition. The next day, I returned to the Oriental Librarian. She did not even LOOK at the petition I was handing out to her, simply stated to the clerk to go get what I wanted. Power play. Anyways, the clerk says to come back the next day and they will pull the manuscripts from the archives. Sure thing. I returned the next day and was given the stack of manuscripts and a desk to work on.

So yeah. bureaucracy sucks. And it has sucked in the Higher Education Commission which was created to reform and moderize Pakistan’s universities. Instead, it got marginalized in union-politics and fear-mongering.

Hoodbhoy has some excellent suggestions. Requiring all graduate applicants to take the GRE; instituting tenure review and administrative review; re-starting student unions on campus; invigorating cultural and social discourse and, most intriguingly, attracting Indian teachers.

One wishes it could be otherwise. It would be a major breakthrough if Indian and Iranian teachers could be brought to Pakistan. Indians, in particular, would find it much easier to adapt to local ways and customs than others and also have smaller salary expectations. The huge pool of strong Indian candidates could be used to Pakistan’s advantage – it could pick the best teachers and researchers, and those most likely to make a positive impact on the system. In the present mood of rapprochement, it is hard to think of a more meaningful confidence building measure.

Couldn’t agree more. One of my dream short-term gigs would be at JNU. I am sure there are scholars and researchers in India who would want to try out decadent Pakistan for a few months/years.

There are some bright spots. Lahore University of Management Sciences [LUMS] has attracted foreign capital, foreign teachers and a higher caliber of students by adhering to international standards. It should act as a model just as Hoodbhoy’s op-ed should act as a declaration for reforms.

Published by

sepoy

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

55 thoughts on “On Higher Education in Pakistan”

  1. for all the shortcomings of india, jnu and the iits are among its brightest spots. so many indians have benefitted from their presence. it would be amazing to see indian professors in pakistan- maybe a more meaningful and long lasting exchange than the rare cricket match.

  2. Mr. Pervaz has bluntly & beautifully described the current educational infrastructure in pk. i remember my time in Pu, where teachers would …’choose to dictate from notes they saved from the time when they were students in the same department”… Jamiat used to suppress any sort of ‘ghair-mazbi'(they had a long list which also included group discussion with female collegues) activities… Until the new ‘General’ VC took-over and things got better. The General introduced STE ‘STudent-Teacher Evaluation’, which led to suspension of many incompetent faculty members and ‘ordered’ the directors/deans to update the syllabus, introduce semester system, increase workload/semester and emphasized more on group discussions. It all worked for a while, …ahhh

    Sepoy: its really funny to hear that you had to go up n down so many times to get that manuscript, You should have visited Pk when i was there and made ‘special-arrangements’ for you ;)

  3. Tell me about it. I once tried to get in to the Quaid-e-Azam Library in Lawrence Gardens for some research and had exactly the same experience. It was a long series of interogations by clerks who were more bothered about the chai on their desk getting cold. Even after finally getting in (it took 3 days) the hassle wasn’t over. One of the librarians was constantly standing behind making sure I’m not doing anything wrong. I guess they didn’t understand why someone under the age of 40 might want to spend time in the library.

    LUMS is a great place which will definitely go far, especially after having expanded their social sciences department, and starting a law program. The teachers there are great, but (like everywhere in Pakistan) the beauracracy and admin stifles all creative thinking. They have a boogeyman called the “Values and Ethics Committee” that makes important decision, such as making sure no one wears shorts on campus.

    That said though, it has some very inspriring teachers who are committed to advancing the education culture at LUMS and in Pakistan in general.

  4. I was thinking of doing a law degree from SM Law College in Karachi when I came back, and the rigmarole I had to go through was insane. Not only would the school not ever pick up the phone, I was given four different sets of instructions by four different individuals (both in person, and over the phone on the rare occasions when I got through). To top it all off, despite the fact that I already have a BA from an accredited US university, I was informed that without A-level transcripts (of the actual exams, not the schoolwork), I wouldn’t be allowed to register for anything. AND, to top it all off, I was also told that until Karachi University had “reviewed and approved [my] transcripts from abroad, to make sure they were acceptable”, I would remain in registration limbo. But they’d be very happy to take my money in a non-refundable transaction, as long as I was willing to keep on paying them each month (an additional fee).

    Bastards. These are the people because of whom I’d rejected my PhD program at U of Chicago; I love to teach, but I also do want to live here, and a Lit. degree seemed to be the equivalent of career hara-kiri.

  5. Sin; sorry to hear about your ordeal in Karachi. And yes the worst ‘part’ is when they want you to provide an ‘equivalence’ certificate of A-levels to normal HSC grades. It is really insane and they make you pay like in thousands and issue a ‘typed’ gray paper stating ,”the grades fulfill the HSC standards blah blah”…Similar is the situation if you get an ENgineering degree from Abroad and PEC (Pakistan Engg. Council) will make sure you regret the fact , why the hell i ever went abroad??? But ‘links’ makes the merry go round..i just ‘love’ this system :)

  6. i do agree that HEC equivalence is really a kick in the butt as i also had get one for my o levels and paid twice as i lost my first one. But these equivalence are necessary to deal with doctors and engineers that come with degrees from russian states and other substandard institutes abroad :). Scheme is right but its implementation is certainly wrong. This has always been the real program of Pakistan since decades… we make policies but dont know how to execute them.

  7. I am personally a big fan of Hoodbhoy for his new thoughts in Islam and his general views about Pakistan but I could not find much agreeable in his articles in which he criticized HEC.
    Because of my tight schedule I dont have much time to comment on each and every point he raised but right now I will comment on the following:
    “One wishes it could be otherwise. It would be a major breakthrough if Indian and Iranian teachers could be brought to Pakistan. Indians, in particular, would find it much easier to adapt to local ways and customs than others and also have smaller salary expectations. The huge pool of strong Indian candidates could be used to Pakistan√≠s advantage – it could pick the best teachers and researchers, and those most likely to make a positive impact on the system. In the present mood of rapprochement, it is hard to think of a more meaningful confidence building measure”.

    I was really surprised to read that he could not find any “quality” Pakistani teachers teaching in foreign universities and even in the presence of “Foreign Faculty Hiring Program” he made his wish about bringing Iranian/Indian and in particular Indians to strengthen Pakistan higher education standard. Probably he was trying to be more “enlightened” as has been the case in some elite sections of our society nowadays that in every aspect of life they compare Pakistan with India and portray India and Indians as the superpower, whether its film industry, music, IT, language problems or even culture.

    I am in no way against of comparing Pakistan with India in different aspects or praising what India has achieved but we have not. But my point is this that we should not present Pakistan as a complete failure and India as complete success while comparing the two. As in this case, Hoodbhoy has criticized HEC so much that one starts thinking that probably HEC is the main culprit of low standard not only in higher education but in every part of life and if HEC is kept allowed working in Pakistan then God forbid the higher education system will fall to the ground. The problem I guess lies in making the issues generalized.

    The example of Hoodbhoy’s generalization is this that “Pakistan does not have a single “Real” university”.

    I guess this is somewhat exaggerated and also heartrending that if a person like Hoodbhoy says this. Asia Week had listed GIK at 23rd, NUST at 20th and SZABIST on 32nd ranks in Asian Best Universities of 2000 in the category of Science and technology. I think Asia Week ranks only “Real” Universities of Asia not fake universities.

    Hoodbhoy also mentioned India like having the worldís best standard of education and wished to have Indian talent in Pakistan so that they can save our education system from drowning. I have no doubt that India has some very good institutes so does Pakistan but again we should not generalize while making our case against someone/thing. It is really sad and it even destroys the credibility of the writer as well.
    I personally have lived and worked in Arab Emirates and Saudi Arab (KSA) and have a big circle of Indian friends. I also work for an organization (NGO) which is working in education sector not only in Pakistan but in India also and I have more hands on knowledge of indian education system. Its not uncommon in UAE and KSA that u will hear about the fake degrees of Indian workers, especially from Hyderabad. Even Saudis who need a degree for their promotions, ask Indians or even go to Indian Heyderabad to “buy” a university degree. This is especially common in engineering. I asked some of my friends and relatives who live in India to send me info about this business of fake institutions and degrees. I also collected some of the news in this regard which I have presented at the end of my email. I hope u all will find it interesting.

    I was thinking if God forbid HEC accepts Hoodbhoy’s recommendations of bringing Indian students/teachers to Pakistan then how HEC or Hoodbhoy is going to check or scrutinize the degrees of Indians who even have been successful in getting H-1B visas in USA on their fake degrees (see the news collections below). In KSA people used to say that if you want an engineering degree then go to BAQALA (Arabic of a shop) in Hara (a place in Riyadh) and buy it from there.

    Hhodbhoy was also very quick in giving the examples of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Indian Institute of Technology, in Delhi and their “polite” and “cultured” students by saying
    “Angry words are exchanged and polemics are issued against the other, but no heads are bashed”.

    but he failed to looked at the dismal condition of vast numbers of other institutes of India where basing the heads is regarded as very common.. Some of the examples I have present below under the heading of “Students Politics in India”. This generalization again shows Hoodbhoy’s selecting some good samples to reinforce his argument and making it universal but forget the opposites.

    In the end, I would like to say that Pakistan has some good things as well as bad and unsatisfactory things (like in education) and this phenomenon is universal “including” India. But it gives a real pain if someone presents just a gloomy picture of Pakistan and contrary to that portrays India as superpower. Usually journalists used to do it just to earn some money but if our well informed Professor does the same then nobody would have the credibility of what they say or write.

    Now see the other part of the picture of “High” standard of Indian education and read the following: (keep also in mind the fake degrees issue in Pakistan published in the media recently)

    Fake Universities and Degrees in India:

    1.Employment consultants take advantage of the well-meaning visa applicants as the latter, mostly unqualified, are funneled into the US by middlemen who help them with fake academic degrees and pad their resumes in order to secure the H-1B visas. These shady recruiters in India take several thousand dollars from the “unqualified dreamer” to provide him with some “hurry-up” computer training and an H-1B visa.
    (Times of India 11 April 2001)
    2. Balendu Shekha Tiwari, who claims to be a classmate of Laloo Prasad Yadav from his Patna University days, was arrested for his involvement in fake certificate scam. The police team was in Ranchi, following the arrest of two professors from RN Jhunjhunwala College, who were provided fake PhD and DLit.
    Professors Indra Bahadur Singh and SS Naikwadi who were given the DLit and PhD certificates by Tiwari were accompanied by police to Ranchi. According to the police, Tiwari has confessed that he provided fake certificates to the professors.
    (Mid Day.com, Dec 30, 2003)
    3. Police raided the Institute of Paramedical Studies and Charitable Trust from where tthe fake doctors had obtained the degrees. Having no formal medical qualifications, these suspects had been prescribing allopathic medicines for the last so many years, playing with the lives of innocent people. There are about 40,000 such fake doctors in Delhi.
    (The Tribune September 7, 2003)
    4. Around 1,000 candidates selected as ETT teachers have been found to possess fake B.Ed degrees. The sources said that the maximum number of fake degrees detected in probe were from the universities and institutions based in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Maximum number of fake degrees were found to be allegedly issued by the Bharatiya Shiksha Parishad and Gandhi Hindi Vidhya Peeth both based in Uttar Pradesh and Maghad University of Madhya Pradesh.
    The sources said that certain officials of the Maghad University were also alleged to be involved in the issuing of fake degrees. They used to send fake verifications of the degrees issued with their connivance.
    (The Tribune January 18, 2003)
    5. The local police today busted a fake degree racket by arresting two women and a kingpin of the gang from an institute running in Mota Singh Market here. A large number of fake degrees were seized from the gang. According to the police, the institute had been supplying degrees for past about two decades
    The accused allegedly sold a fake degree for Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,000. They had contacts with officials of more than 20 universities.
    (The Tribune October 3, 2003)
    6. Recently, seven fake degree cases were found in North Maharashtra University in Jalgaon. “At that time, a court directed the state government to find out if there were more such cases,” informs Sawant. “We asked universities to check, but not much came out of that. But this matter needs immediate attention.”
    (Times of India Dec 2004)
    7. The medical association demanded immediate action against fake medical colleges selling fake degrees in New Delhi, and a mass public awareness campaign against quacks to be started by the government at the earliest.
    (Express India Oct 3, 2003)
    8. It just requires a fake certificate to get a job in top public sector undertakings like National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), State Trading Corporation (STC), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Punjab National Bank or Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). Chances are if you get caught by an agency and convicted by court, another company will readily employ you.

    GAIL chief manager S B Baruah just got unlucky when he was caught by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for submitting a fake certificate in 1992 to GAIL for the job of senior deputy manager in 1992.
    Baruah had submitted a fake Chartered Accountant (CA) degree showing that he had passed out from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 1978 and his role number was 9838.
    (Mid Day.com Sep 26, 2003)
    9. Has anyone realised the damage being done to our human resources by allowing students to be cheated by unscrupulous foreign universities which have opened offshore campuses in India, asks D.S. Cheema.
    (The Tribune, May 24, 2003)
    The higher education system as reported by Swaminandhan (1994), is suffering from several weaknesses in the form of increase in demand, proliferation of substandard institution, dilution in quality and standard, failure to maintain academic calender, out-dated curriculum, disparities in the quality of education, inadequate resources and lack of adequate support for research, and out-dated management system.
    The rapid unplanned flooding of higher education engendering complicated situations is one of the reason for indiscipline among students. Universities and colleges are viewed largely as public parks or political dens where the students emerge as pressure groups.
    (Dr. G.Q. Sheikh, Feb 2001)

    Students Poilitics in India:

    Twenty-two students of Tiptur-based Kalpatharu Institute of Technology have been admitted to various hospitals in the City for treatment of head injuries, which they had suffered during a clash between students from northern and southern states.

    Trouble fomented around 9 am on Friday when a group of students barged into the classrooms, dragged about 50 North Indian students out and assaulted them with wickets and iron rods.

    The assault was in retaliation to an attack on a South Indian student on November 28. According to Mr G R Vijayaswamy, Principal of the Institute, “It all started in the hostel mess when one of the students was assaulted for a trivial reason.
    (Deccan Herald, Dec 07, 2003)
    At least half a dozen students and the officer in charge of the University police station were injured in a clash between the police and students belonging to the AIDSO on the B R A Bihar University campus here.
    (Times News Network, Sep 04, 2002)
    Activists of the Khalsa College Students Union (KCSU) and the Chandigarh Students Union (CSU) had clashed and the police had to resort to a lathi charge at SGGS Khalsa College, Sector 26.
    (Chandigarh Tribune, Sep 10, 2003)
    Regards

    W Hamid
    NC, USA

  8. Hamid: The point is not so much in comparison as in standardization. As for the list of fake degrees, you would notice that these are all reports of police raids on such institution which is something unheard of within the Pakistani educational scene.

  9. Sepoy

    The same inferiority complex again what Hoodbhoy has been spreading. U cleverly picked the word “police raids” in indian case and u never heard of these raids in Pakistan???? Alas !!!

    U better increase ur reading. I am in US but have been reading all about it.

    Let me know if u dont find any such news of “police raids” in Pakistan.

    WHamid

  10. Sepoy:

    I forgot to mention that u r WRONG. u said that “these are all reports of police raids”

    See and read the the following news again which I posted earlier. But now with open heart and without Indian complex, Please!!!

    Employment consultants take advantage of the well-meaning visa applicants as the latter, mostly unqualified, are funneled into the US by middlemen who help them with fake academic degrees and pad their resumes in order to secure the H-1B visas. These shady recruiters in India take several thousand dollars from the “unqualified dreamer” to provide him with some “hurry-up” computer training and an H-1B visa.
    (Times of India 11 April 2001)

    . The medical association demanded immediate action against fake medical colleges selling fake degrees in New Delhi, and a mass public awareness campaign against quacks to be started by the government at the earliest.
    (Express India Oct 3, 2003)

    Has anyone realised the damage being done to our human resources by allowing students to be cheated by unscrupulous foreign universities which have opened offshore campuses in India, asks D.S. Cheema.
    (The Tribune, May 24, 2003)

    The higher education system as reported by Swaminandhan (1994), is suffering from several weaknesses in the form of increase in demand, proliferation of substandard institution, dilution in quality and standard, failure to maintain academic calender, out-dated curriculum, disparities in the quality of education, inadequate resources and lack of adequate support for research, and out-dated management system.

    The rapid unplanned flooding of higher education engendering complicated situations is one of the reason for indiscipline among students. Universities and colleges are viewed largely as public parks or political dens where the students emerge as pressure groups.
    (Dr. G.Q. Sheikh, Feb 2001)

  11. Lums bogeyman is an integral part of the lums academic culture. It is simply there to curtail plagerism and other unethical pratices. It is abhorant and preposterous to say that LUMS has a admin against the thought process!!!

  12. agreed that the system sucks in pakistan. Being an Indian i can understand it equally damn well.To get a simple book like Pan BY Knut Hamsun, the clerk and the librarian kept me runnin’ around for five days at the prestigious S.N.Sinha library.I gave up when they told me to come again on the sixth day. I became the proud owner of the book a week later. How?
    I entered the stack room, located the book, picked it in my hand, and walked out, as it belonged to me since time immemorial. No one asked, no one gave a damn, no one cared whether i had the authority to take it with me or not.Well, i shamelessly stole it, but yet i think i done a service to the book as atleast a hundred people have now borrowed it from me and read it. And a torn dogeared page is much better than a termite eaten page..

  13. I understand what Dr. Hoodbhoy is saying because I am a product of the Pakistani education system. I have some true and hilarious (sorrowful indeed) anecdotes of the teaching methods and miserable standards of teaching that were practised in 1950s at Lahore College of Engineering and Technology. I left the country at the first opportunity I had. I might be accused of being unpatriotic but I didn’t want to waste my life there. Life is given to you only once and it is sinful to waste it.
    I made a couple of half-hearted attempts to go back and teach or work in some research establishment after doing my Ph.D. (with my own resources). There was no offer that I could take. But I did realize that the bureaucracy was as stiffling as it was when I had left the country, if not worse.
    I was hoping that that the situation must have changed. After reading Hoodbhoy’s articles, I realize that it has surely changed but sadly it has changed for the worse. I wrote in a couple of articles that the Muslims were walking backwards with their eyes physically looking forward. I hoped some body would tell me I was wrong.
    I had been hearing about “Islamization of Science” for the past several years and was totally befuddled by the concept. Finally, I wrote an article “What is Islamization of Science?” Now one of the objectives of the HEC is to “Quranize Science.” Have the HEC planners have lost their minds? Are they living in the twenty-first century, or what? The great Islamists of the medieval age like Ghazali had condemned science but had not suggested to Islamize it or Quranize it because they knew it was impossible.
    For God’s sake, keep religion out of science if you want to make any progress in science. Study and practise your religion as much as you want but keep it away from science because the two do not mix together.
    What Pakistan and the Muslim world needs is secularism. Secularism is not necessarily godlessness; it is separation of religion from the statecraft (including science).

    Posted by Mohammad Gill at July 9, 2005 09:21 PM
    Name:

  14. our paper of economics was walked out on 9-06-05
    I belong to the university of Azad jammu and kashmir.some students tore the answers books of the students who want to solve the paper but they were beaten by the students who wants to walk out.please do some thing for us
    Ejaz-ul-hassan khan raja
    C/O MCB MAIN BRANCH MZD AZAD KASHMIR
    PAkISTAN 13100
    phone# 058810-4755-47502

  15. Pingback: The Acorn
  16. Reading the articles by Pervez Hoodbhoy reminded me of a recent incident with one of my friends. We are currently students of CA in lahore. A female acquaintance of my friend is doing her Phd. Due to her inadequacy in English she has asked my friend to do the research for her. Subsequently we spend hours on the internet searching for realted articles. I myself admit that they are copied directly from the computer screen yet the thesis will produce another useless Phd. in the land of the pure.

  17. I am not aware of Pakistani eductaion system, but Indian education system is passing through a very bad phase now. If you have compared Indian eductaion with any other asian country 15 years ago, I could have provided at least 20 institutes which guarantee quality eductaion. Now, shortage of faculty is creating huge problem. The salary provided by Indian/MNCs are much higher than institutes. If India can not find good teachers, how can they provide the same to Pakistan? Cream of the Indian brain is going to USA and joining US based MNCs. In my student life, we have seen most of the senior professors were from reputed US/EU universities. Now, even IITs are not finding good professors. Indian and Chinees are very selfish when country matters. We have not added IITs/IIMs/AIIMSs in desired rate. Better look towards CUBA,Srilanka. They have better education infrastructure.

  18. Hoodboy seems have a pronounced disliking for “beard, burqah’s and mosques”. No matter how accurate might be in analysing the problems of Pakistani Education sector, he is not right when he implicitly groups “beard, burqah’s and mosques” as problems.
    These things never stop or hinder in any way honest and vibrant environment in universities. Rather these very signs of Islam stimulates an honest endevours.

  19. i intend to obtain equivalance post-graduate degree as i am a Fellow Member of the institute of cost and management accountants of pakistan. please let me know the fees and application format and the authority to whome to apply

  20. A few IITs and IIMs, that offer education for just about four thousand students of a billion population is not at all indicative of India’s Higher Education. My friends, let me tell you India is no better than Pakistan. Just 3 per cent of graduates who passout from our Universities and Colleges are employable. Barring IITs/IIMs and a few Universities, research in Indian universities has taken complete backseat. The problems like plagiarism, bureaucracy, rampant corruption and divisive politics are all destroying our education system.
    If someone tries to bring change, he will be shown the door.
    Merit is a mere joke in India, if you are born in certain communities you can get admission. Education in India is so expensive that poor can’t even imagine of their children becoming doctors and engineers.

    Basically we are from South Asia or Indian Sub-continent, though we are divided by borders, our problems remain the same. There is something wrong in the system we live in. If military rule couldn’t bring any change to Pakistan, I doubt our non-functional democracy will ever bring a change.

    If at all any good has happened is last 60 years is not certainly because of govt. but the steely resolve of our people of provide better education to children, despite of all the economic hardships.

  21. Dear viswanath,

    I agree with you that we are divided by borders but our basic problems are the same. But india is still better then pakistan coz dispite all the corruptions, bureaucracy and other embazellements that you mentioned, india is lucky enought to get consistancy in their political & economic situation. There is no major U turn in policies in India. However, You cannot say the same thing in case of Pakistn. More then half of our history is based on dictatorship which is the biggest threat to democracy, economic stability and investors. It is unfortunte to say that the military regiem has destroyed the democracy and economic stability of pakistan. Moreover, corrupt politiciens, fudalism, injustice are such problems which have further pressed the most pressed people of the world.

    Regarding comments of Dr.Pervez Hoodbhoy i totally disagree with him. He used to make criticism for the sake of criticism and just to get himslef prominent. You know that System cannot be changed overnight. I agree that there must be loop holes in the policies of HEC but still HEC has brought about revolutionary changes in the are of Higher Education of Pakistan. One can see visible change in Higher Education sector.

    In my opintion consistancy in policies is mendatory for the improvement of any system. All the best universities of world like harvard, cambridge, MIT etc are more then century old and now they have got the present prestigious status. We should encourge the positives and make suggessions for improvements.

    Thanks & Regards

    Safeer Ullah

  22. there is no need to beg INDIA for their teachers to come and teach us.When we got independence we had only three trains, one factory and most importently just one university.If we compare with india then I would say that we did a lot better than them. I have seen many many pakistani are working abroad in excelent capacities. In fact we pakistani have the habit to always complain and give negative comments we never think posatively.Other than that we must have self confidence and try our best to excell in every feild of education.Lastly I would say that we have ignored our book QURAN completely although it says million times to think and ponder. We being muslims should be an example for these non-muslims in each and every feild of life. I pray for all my muslim brothers and sisters to come back to the real root because it is not late yet Ameen

  23. hello people what ever viswanath said is right we are the same people but divided by religion and boundaries.but one thing i cant accept cost of education its not so high in india.if we good relation we can have students coming from pakistan to india education.but people should get rid of hate for india.

  24. Dear All,

    I am very disapponited. How can we compare our education systems with those from Darul Harb. Pakistan’s emphasis on Islamic studies particularly from our MADDRASAHs are well sort after by people.
    We, Pakistanis should be proud that we are teaching the real eduction that of spritual and after live. The infidels can teach all materialistic education to their children but can we touch our heart and say we also want to follow the evil ways. Listen brothers, ALLAH and OUR PROPHET (PBUH) have given us all that we as human should know. THE QURAN is the only thing that we should give priority. Think hard and INSHALLAH you all will come to the same conclusion.

  25. well there is still no comparison of both countries education, there are only 5 or 6 universities we can count on finger tips in pakistan ,there are 100 of uni in india,we are far behind them look at thier level of education,fields, they easily get jobs abroad.there are fake degree business pakistan as well,i know so many fake incidence in pakistan, we are just biased people, we preferred students of GIK,IBA,LUMS CBM thats it whether they know anything or not.

  26. Pervez Hoodbhoy is an idot and a frustrated man. In fact pakistan is taking many strides in education and is far better than india. Stupid indians have the habit to brag and spreading all kinds of lies allthough their country is among the poorest and most backword countries.

  27. Sorry to say but Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy seems to act or behave like an Indian Agent! I wonder if he has ever appreciated the “good things” about the Higher Education System in Pakistan. May be he is very frustrated or jealous, whatever, but a person like his calibre and knowledge should be suggesting “something positive” instead of wasting his time in criticizing – which is the easiest thing in this world to do!

  28. I agree dat indian educational system is also crap.But let me tell u IIT,IIM,birla institute of science are not at all GOV colleges…the basic differnce is here.Although IIT,IIM started by nehru and brigade,our politisian dont hav direct control on these colleges…dats the reason they are at top..n producing bright students.Pakistan need colleges where political interfere is less or negligible…..

  29. Few guys are realy frustrated here…i mean cmmon guys,pointing toward indian crap educational system is nt going solve pakistan’s problem.It realy funny.Whatever you say about my country reality is dat today we are doing far better than what our neighbours are doing.Be it education or economy.Have some sporting attitude towards other countries.Take it positively and try to improve watching difference between two things.Indian democracy is nt better,corruption is rampant here also.Whatever our country has achieved is due to our private sector..n yes few politisians …our current PM and FIN MIN are realy good politisians…they are gems.Due to these few people we are getting better and better.India is nt superpower yet..but yes we are marching toward it.:)

  30. Higher Education is about “willingness , Opportunities and intellectual capability ”
    Both are equally important and fortunately we have both in India . if you are willing , you have lots of opportunities, unlike in Pakistan .

    Yes we are a Third world country but system here provide the best of education for willing and deserving.

  31. it is lot about the collective intellect of Society .Societies with the help of culture promote education system .
    Present situation in Pakistan clearly demonstrates the failure of society and its culture to help its future generation.

  32. the system in pakistan/ india are too obsessed with discipline
    and the rote learning system is terrible, its pretty retarded that the teachers hit u just because you’re handwriting isnt neat, they expect boys to have a neat handwriting, turning them into faggots. i went to school in pak till 3rd grade and i used to be hit for not having a neat handwriting (at least it was legible) and theres too much obsession with memorization of the topic rather than understanding it
    im just so glad i came to america, the system here is a hell of alot better
    it isnt perfect because but its still better than the system in pak/ india
    people often say american system is underfunded, at least it gets some funds from gov’t unlike the system in pak/ india

  33. I could get some knowledge about the Education in Pakistan. Having studied in India, I have no doubt that the education in India is certainly not so great that they could help Pakistan.

    Apart from this issue, I always feel that when it comes to teaching the history of independance , the curriculam in both the countries become too patriotic , to the extent that they create a hate in the minds of students about the’enemy’ right from the childhood. At the end of the tenth standard,the student forgets about the British rule and becomes a strong opponent to the neighbouring country. In India, he becomes suporter of Nehru while Jinah becomes a villan . May be opposite in Pakistan.

    Why can’t we teach history as just the incidents which happened due to the contemporary situations? May be this positive approch will bring about a much needed change in the relations between the two countries.

  34. i think that pakistan education system is gud then any country. but not every pakistani .only rich people of his country .hear poor studen read in only locl school. i only say any rich man hear. if our prd zardari sons bil bhtto study with me in my school.then any body guest who r the best me r he.but i think this is inposb bcoz he is son of our PM and now PRD SON and hear in pakistan pm son is next pm of us. bad luck of us we r not good the others. but i hope very soon the change the pak

  35. The system there is pathetic…
    There’s too much of rote learning rather than understanding the subject than that stifles the creativity kids have,
    The system there tried to tell them what to think and what their opinions on certain things ought to be, most kids in the subcontinent don’t have the vision to think outside the box. explains why most desis (in India/ Pakistan atleast) are closed minded

  36. salam to all. well I am studying in uet lahore . i don`t see any lack of research . we are provided with maximum facilities . we are allowed to get books (any book) from libraries of our specific department and a giant main library . There are so many computers in university(core 2) that i can hardly imagine it to be government institute. there is only one mosque in university and 4 book shops ,two student services centers. computer labs remain open till dawn .our teachers never dictate from books nor from any sort of notes .several workshops are arranged like pc workshop. international societies are there in the university. the pattern of exams is such that that we cant crammer.teachers daily give us assignments .we ourselves make projects. i dont say that pakistan`s universities do not have shortcomings but what the author is writing is just exaggeration . i advise hoodboy to check nust ,giki,fast,uet lahore,sir agha khan institute ,lums.

  37. we in india give more emphasis on brain stroming . As a management student i have seen that profs give more stress on “thinking out of box” though memorisation of concepts upto some extend is expected also imporsonifacation of facts through case studies are done which makes our concept crystal clear.. my university is only a mediocore one but still we are encouraged to compete with top universities and somehow we are made felt that we have the potential. semniars, paper presentation ,corporate talks are quite common in our college. we are given full liberty to interact with them . recently we had a very nice time talking with a proffessor form INSEAD. we talk with our faculties freely on different issues may be in their cabins or in lounges. faculties visit our hostel quite often ,we share costructive gossips. They are more like buddies. At the end of each term we are asked to give unbiased feedbacks on our profs where our identity is kept secret and basing on our commnents they are accesed. most of our profs are from corporate sectors with vast experience ( unlike govt university they are paid hefty). classroom are fully equipped with modern teaching techniques
    i just want to convey that IITs and IIMs are not the only ones . southern india have many institues of repute like BITS, SYMBIOSIS, ISB( hyd), IMT, NITs, IIIT, AIIMS, XLRI, XIMB, WELINKER , MDI, NARSEE MONJEE are few to name .

    Anshuman Mohanty
    Btech , MBA ( contd)
    KIIT university
    bhubaneswar

  38. Going through some of the comments, i feel sorry on part of both student and teacher.
    I use to be student in late 70s. If i look back and compare the students and teacher relationship of those days and now, only thing i conclude is the “money” . My teacher use to teach me free of cost in his spare time, and all the game is of earning money. You induct Indian or Srilanken or Iranian teacher, things will not improve? unless we as Pakistani realize our responsibilities. An FA fail President who ran from Pattaro college, many ministers having false degrees, Water &Power Ministery is run by law graduate and many like him. PUT THE RIGHT MAN AT RIGHT PLACE, you will get the results. Chose those persons who deserve. Respect the merit. You will see everything will improve Inshahallah.

  39. i think most of here have forgotten that IIT-JEE(IIT JOINT ENTERANCE EXAMINATION) is considered 2b the “most rutheless exam on this planet”…most of pakis will pee at the very sight of JEE question paper…it is more difficult 2gt in2 IIT than 2gt in2 harvard…JEE paper is as difficult as OLAPIYAD paper….i think people like “HASSAN HAQ” are real problem for pki higher education…first of all u should get rid of such fundamentalists…may allah help u flourish…

  40. first of all pakis should get rid of peple like hassan haq…i found it rather queer to know that pakis link all their education with islam???y the hell u people connect everything with islam?1)pakis should first de-link islam with their education system…i hope some people will take my comments positively…its only for the betterment of pakistan

  41. @dev Kittur- Maybe your mind is not mature enough to read History in it’s pure essence. I studied under the ICSE board and there was nothing in the books that misplaced facts. The other side of the border has got political interests in modifying history and so it does. Stop comparing Pakistan with India and mind your own business.

  42. Dear Pakistani friends,
    Really speaking I am very curious about Pakistan culture and devlopments. I am in IT indistry since last 15 years and in digital technology for 15 years. I travelled many countries and spent a lot of time there.
    I stayed in Korea also for about 2 years and fortunately I had deep study on Pakistan through TV channels .
    My guest house we had Pakistani cooks and interacted with them well.
    My conclusions with reference to education are as below.
    1. Seperate Islam from Education, Some one has mentioned this above.This thinking is curse for Pakistan\Afganistan may be bangladesh etc.
    I have seen many pak debates linking islam with Science.
    2. Delinking Islam with education should be done from Nursery class itself.
    Pl note that education has nothing to with religion.
    3. Pak as nation ,pl do not be ambassodor of Islam but ambassador of modern technology.
    4. Please educate your women as they only inclucate a child values.
    5. DO not discurage a person like homistan.Open eyes to good around your country.
    6. Your cricket team is true example of your country where every player pulls leg of other player.
    Regarding getting Indian teachers : If you pay to M.Tech guy 15 Lakhs per annum,they will come( provided visa:-))

  43. To my Indian & Pakistani friends,

    I was a student until a few months back when I graduated with a degree in Engineering from a reputed University which is ranked just below the IITs. Like many of my fellow friends have stated, other than the IITs and select few other Institutes, Indian Universities have a lot to work for before they can claim to produce ‘educated’ pool of professionals. India spends a very small amount of its annual GDP on Education, and I believe its about 3% of our total GDP. Thus, we cannot bask in Pakistan’s bleak educational reforms if we cannot mend our own backyard.

    However, I feel that if Pakistan feels the need to get Iranian/ Indian professors/ educationalists to help jump start the dying interest in Education, then both sides should be willing to acknowledge that both countries only stand to gain by it. Almost all my Indian and pakistani brothers will agree with me when I say that we’re really the same people. We have nearly the same culture, our fashion is almost same, our food is similar ( Yes, my Pakistani friends like spicy food too :-) ), and our way of life is quite similar too. So why do we need to compare?

    Positive comparison only builds trust, friendship and loyalty, all three of which is lacking in India more than in Pakistan, I kid you not when I say I have met some Pakistanis who were so good to me that it could change anyone’s idea about Pakistan as a whole. I honestly vouch for such people’s generosity.

    Both countries are developing, and maybe India has had some few crowning achievements but that doesn’t give us the reins to belittle Pakistan.

    I honestly pray both countries prosper and become a beacon of achievement for other countries to look up upon. :)

  44. Greetings, folks!

    I would like to state an interesting anecdote. I graduated from FG Post Graduate College, H-8, in Islamabad in 1994. I was at the college until 1997, but thereafter my personal journey and interest took me away from Pakistan. I happened to be in Islamabad last year and asked my brother to take me to my college as the temptation to see the changes at my den of seven years was too great to ignore.

    What I saw was shocking and beyond belief, to say the least. Nothing had changed in 12 years since I had last visited the college as a student. The college building had more or less the same decor inside and out, the walls inside the class rooms were a horror show as windows with broken glass are just the way I had left more than a decade ago. Most doors can’t be locked from inside our out. In short, there is not one thing that I would say had changed in11 years. It was shocking as it was painful.

    Higher education is what shapes the careers of future leaders and feeds a country with talent that can take the country forward. If this is the state of one of the best colleges in Islamabad, then it is very easy to assume that Pakistan is struggling big time.

    I have had the good fortune of attending schools in Pakistan and abroad, primarily in Sri Lanka and India, two countries who definitely have a much better education system than what we get to see and experience in Pakistan. Make no mistake about it!

    Government schools, colleges and universities simply suck in Pakistan. Things may have improved off lately but it wasn’t the case in the 90s when I was in college. Had it not been for my time spent in schools in Sri Lanka and India, I would have been just another individual walking around with a degree from University of the Punjab.

    I am sorry to disappoint all those who feel highest education is Pakistan is a smash hit. It definitely is not. I say this from my own experience. The time I spent in college in Islamabad should have shaped my career in some way but obviously it did not. Imagine the plight of students who are enrolled at such institutions and who have no idea that most of them would be misfits in society since when they are done with their graduation/masters. A few of them would break free with a bit of luck and influence, but most of the students are staring at a bleak future, unfortunately.

    Here’s a primer of what ails higher education system in Pakistan and what needs to be done (I don’t remember the name of the author who wrote this but its a job well done by the person who completed this thesis):

    Problems in Pakistan

    (i) access was very limited in universities.
    (ii) quality was very low in the fields of academic, administration, research and equipment.
    (iii) faculty and staff need development in knowledge and skills.
    (iv) funds were provided inadequate and misappropriation was common.
    (v) character building of the students was ignored.
    (vi) there was no linkage between university and industry.
    (vii) examination system was faulty.
    (viii) good governance was non-existent.
    (ix) private sector was expanding without merit.

    Recommendations to solve the problems mentioned above:

    (i) Enrolment in universities should be increased by providing adequate all types of educational facilities.
    (ii) Quality of faculty, staff, students, library, laboratory, research and equipment should be enhanced.
    (iii) Development of faculty and staff should be ensured through meaningful continuous in-service training.
    (iv) Funds for higher education should be increased reasonably.
    (v) Character building of students should be focused.
    (vi) Linkage between university and industry should be established.
    (vii) Good governance should be ensured.
    (ix) More open universities should be established.
    (x) New disciplines should be started to meet the need of the market.
    (xi) Night classes should be started with transport facilities.
    (xii) Summer vacations should be banned.
    (xiii) Political activities should not be allowed.
    (xiv) Rules and regulations should be enforced forcefully.

    Anyone who agrees with these? Am all ears, people!

    Good luck!

  45. hey guys ,

    hav religious topic in studies, but dont mix it, we in India also have prayers ,about god ect ,but we hav kept them in state lang. like hindi, marathi, guj…. many( as per the mother tongue text book ) ,same u people can do , keep all the religious study in 1st or 2nd lang. textbook ,like urdu if its ur mother tongue or in any other lang., and rest of topic like science, history, ss, maths , in english.
    as we both have comman history , so wht is wrong sharing the history sub.
    hwever one thing is sure in India we just dont have many institute and university but also a very high class coaching classes for the same.and the middle calss family send their kids to this classes and ready to pay high fees , as they also belive education is must for their kids for their future.

  46. Well definitely there is a lot of difference between the 2 countries education system but there are similarities as well. I would say Indian youth get much more opportunities, as basic graduation is cheap. I completed my graduation in 2007 and the total cost for 3yrs as around Rs.10000. More opportunities mean: after graduation we can always join a good BPO like IBM, Genpact,infosys, sutherland,these are just a few to name. These BPO’s run a program called EduCareer, under which employees can choose from a wide range of Masters degree. The company pays 80% of the fees, which is deducted in nominal installments from the salary. After completion they can move up the ladder in the same organization or try another one.

  47. hey howdie everyone!
    well i have read every comments and though i was not a very good student i can see privatization of the education in India is really costing us dearly. my younger brother and sister go to DPS and Amity International respectively. while my sis is in class tenth and her monthly fee is more than 7,000 rupees my brother is in class 5th in Amity and his monthly fee is more than 5,000 rupees. not to forget education has become a lucrative business in India and many of my dad’s friends are now running their own stupid pathetic colleges. our ministers are a bunch of losers. they are busy in proposing stupid plans to reform education in India. i have many friends from Pakistan over internet and one of them is a student in medical college situated n Kohat (pardon me if i am wrong i am quite confused here). well if we have a close look Pakistan education is really not that bad and Indian education is not so good. yes there is a little difference for sure but our politicians are leaving no stones unturned to ruin the education system in India for the sake of goddamn votes. most of the schools,(run by the government ) do not have even roofs and those run by the private organizations, well they charge so much that many people can not even think of sending their children to these schools and sadly it is becoming a common Indian thinking that the schools that charge thousand bucks every month are only providing good education. god save education in India! do not lament Pakistani brothers we are no good!

  48. Dear pakistani n indian frnds
    I have read the comments n i feel sorry for those hu think pakistan is just a small country with no talent n loyal people.we PAKISTANIs r unpredictable n v dont lack talent.
    Do u remember golden years wen Dr.ATTA UR RAHMAN was head of HEC..one of the indian news paper admit dat if He will remain for few more years india will left far behind than Pakistan in PhDs.yah dats the reality.there r alot of high standard universities.QAU ,NUST,FAST,UET,GIK,LUMS,AKU,PU that r rated wid world class universities.Two students of PU won Nobel prize H.GOBiND KHORANA(Nobel prize in physiology in 1968) n Dr.ABDUS SALAM(Nobel prize in physics in 1979).
    If Pakistani PhDs come back(dat gov. is trying n many of them r back) than v vl b able to improve our education n vl produce a highly qualified generation. Mr.indian i guess u can understand now y not v need indian professors.Mr.rohit sahrma u r rite there is no comparison of india n Pakistan as Pakistan is a small country as compared to india bt still v r leading in many fields.Mr.ranjeet bakhshi if u have ever learnt a thing about ISLAM then u shud know our religion is the one that emphasis to interrogate the nature.Try to b broad minded if u know nothing about some thing then dont talk about dat.About cricket u shud b well informed about ur own team than our’s,u speak wat ur media prints n dats not the whole reality.
    I agree dat we r divided by borders n have almost same problems. At the end i just want 2 say dat stop thinking like enemies b like educated people for god’s sake.stay happy n spread happiness

  49. its we who promote dishonesty if we as people do not bribe who will take it. if someone wants to get education he gets it by any mean so blaming systems is futile. sharing knowledge is that is important. system is made by us so we should first correct ourselves.

  50. hey friends i m a first yr engrng student frm India studying in IET LUCKNOW… i wanna say tht v both r similar people …but since d level of education hs cropped up nd d cost down …with support for education at every stage ..i thnk its d main factor of india’s groeth….
    .for my fellow Pakistani mates i wud b gr8 if they come to india nd study …. take back much more than a degrew i.e love nd affection ….. let me remind u … v both nations require peace to prosper nd educated youth can give tht…

  51. Islam guides us in every sphere of life,and we Muslims live and die only for Allah.those who suggest to separate education from religion have to live only in this world,on the other hand Muslims have to balance every aspect of their lives with Islam.those who disagree with this are advice to live in India or anywhere else but not in Pakistan,because this country is for Muslims and Islam

  52. Hi!

    I have come across a few comments given on top of the page. I agree with Mr. Hameed that any Mr. XYZ passes any remarks on HEC without peoper research and generalizes a few examples. Everyone of us know that corruption is common in Asia and we all are rowing in a same boat whether India, Pakistan or any other Asian country. I am also product of the same paralized system and have undergone such torments, many a times in my life, as faced by you people. I think weakness is ours that after getting higher education abroad we are not trying to mend what is wrong in this system. This is a time for all of us to think.

Leave a Reply