Quality Education “A Challenge to Third World Countries”
Before going to detail, I would first like to define that what is meant by Good Education. ’Quality Education’ includes many factors. Standard or quality syllabus is the most important of all. Capable teaching staff, good learning environment and fair evaluation are supporting factors which make a quality education system.
It is also necessary to understand meaning of term “Third world Countries’. What I read a common definition of Third World Countries is:
“Low per capita income, low literacy rate, the lack of social infrastructure and institutions, and problems of the essential definition of the nation.”
Why Good Education Necessary?
Education in third world countries is a big question nowadays. Good education is the key factor which helps in progress of a country. Education plays vital role in economic, cultural and industrial development of a country. Good mind can produce good results. We can feel an increasing difference between developed and third world countries in terms of progress. Good education is the basic necessity to overcome this difference. It is a tragedy that third world countries have low literacy and have low education quality.
Education brings light in our life. It is duty of government to provide good but cheap education for all. Educated minds helps in development of a country. Not only formal education but it is also needed to give moral education to students. Nowadays students spend most of their day time in school, college and academies. They learn much from their school environment. So, I think that quality education also includes to educate students about ethical values.
In every era, it has been tried to implement good plans for education. But, till now there are many problems which are hurdle in achieving goal of good education. Here, I will try to cover all the factors which has made good education “A Challenge to Third World”.
2) Less Government Budget for Education
3) Unfair Use of Budget
4) Female and Male Discrimination
5) Non Quality Syllabus
7) High Fees not Affordable
8) Substandard Examination System
9) Lack of Quality Assurance Measures
10) Inherited Professions
11) Child Labour
12) Percentage of Children
13) Foreign Interference
14) Religious Matters
15) Non Registered Institutions
16) Low Salaries to Teachers
17) Unavailability of Qualified Staff
18) Unavailability of Funds
19) Feudal, Tribal or other Systems
20) Higher Education
21) Political Conflicts or Hurdles
22) Agricultural States
23) Cramming and not Research Work
25) Lack of Technical Education
26) Non stable Policies
Poverty is a major factor due to which parents can not afford good education for their children. A big percentage of population in poor countries lives hand to mouth. It is difficult for them to pay high fees. Due to high inflation and poverty, citizens can hardly manage their house budget. In these conditions, they can only wish to send their children to school but can not do really. So, there are number of people who spend their whole life being illiterate.
On other hand, lower middle class educate children but they can pay low fees .So, there is always a percentage of students who are educated but not of quality.
2. Less Government Budget for Education
It has been seen that less budget is allocated for education sector. As economic condition of third world countries is not good, so it is difficult to spend much on education. In some cases, heavy budget is fixed for defence purpose. Due to this, it has become a challenge to provide good education system.
Many of third world countries have realized importance of education. Take example of Pakistan and India where governments are now concentrating on education. Their effort is to increase literacy. In India, since few years, education has given priority in planning. Similarly, in Pakistan, last government in Punjab started a ‘Parha Likha Punjab’ scheme. According to it, they decided to provide free books at school level and free education. Similarly present Punjab Government is encouraging talented students. It announced good money for position holders this time so students take more interest in studies.
3.Unfair Use of Budget
Corruption has always been a problem in implementation of good system. Budget assigned for education is not properly used due to corruption. College administration takes heavy budgets for labs, libraries, furniture and building but what happens? This money is not used for this purpose and people do corruption and take money for themselves. They play with future of students.
So, only budget allocation is not enough, government has to take care of money allocated.
4.Female and Male Discrimination
Due to lack of awareness, education is sometimes considered necessary only for sons and not for daughters. It is thought that male will earn good money after getting education. On other hand, parents think that female has to manage home and they think that education is not necessary for females. They think that it is wastage of money and time.
In subcontinent, there is tradition of heavy dowry which is given to bride. Poor parents save money for years to marry their daughters. In this case, they can’t think about good education of females. Dowry is necessary for a good married life but what about education.
4.Non Quality Syllabus
Another reason behind substandard education is lack of formation of good syllabus. Sometimes, contents are not revised for decades. As a result, students can not get up to date knowledge. They study old facts and figures which are of no use.
There is need to revise books yearly and to update them. Moreover, new courses should be added according to need of hour. If new technology is introduced, it should be adopted. Similarly, only related subjects should be added for a degree program.
6.Medium of Instruction
One main hurdle in education has medium of instruction also. Many third world countries are still failed to decide which language should be for education. Many of these have English language at higher level instructional media. Usually, what I see is that at primary education level mostly national language is used. At a bit higher level, English is included as a subject but books are of very basic level. When these students reach college level, they have to study all science subjects in English. Here course is already tough and language becomes another problem. Many students fail to have good merit. As a result, they can not go for Medical or engineering institutes.
Some of the private institute uses now English as instructional media. They focus on spoken English at very primary level. But problem is that two classes are created in this way. One those are fluent in English and other who hardly pass exams of English because everyone cannot afford private school fees.
Why third world counties don’t use their own language as higher level. Reason is that they use foreign books as they don’t have their own research work.
7. Good Education Not Affordable
There are few good institutions which provide good education but a very low percentage of people can afford because education is expensive there.
Government and private institutions offer scholarship programs. But, there is need to provide cheap but quality education. Privatization of educational institutions is also a reason behind high fees. But if there is no privatization at higher levels, it is not possible for government to control quality education in all institutes. Teachers and students are in favor of non autonomous institutes. Because private institutes have high fees and they don’t have job security.
8.Unfair or Substandard Education System
Lack of standard or sound system is a hurdle in good education. Methods for conducting examination and checking of papers are not reliable. That’s why degrees of such institutions or countries are not recognized worldwide. In some countries, experiments are still in process that weather annual exams should be conducted or semester.
It is required that there must be transparent examination system.
9. Lack of Quality Assurance or Lack of Quality Control Measures
In third world countries, there are problems of bribery. Some students get fake degrees from educational institutes by paying heavy amounts. Such illegible people
In third world countries, there is a considerable percentage of people who are illiterate from generations. Children of such families adopt same professions which their forefathers have been doing.
These are professions like running any kind of shop, barber, cobbler , tailors and many others for which education is not considered necessary. They just get training from their parents as they grow older. If they get education from school, it is only at primary level. They think that there is no use of education as in end they have to run our father’s professions.
This situation is changing but at low pace. Now, people belonging to nay profession think that their children should get education.
Due to poverty level, kids of poor families are forced to work at early age. For example, you may see children at hotels, at workshops, food stalls and begging. So, government should take measures to control child labor and to offer free education to deserving students.
12.Percentage of Children
Increasing population is also a reason behind managing good education for all. In most of third world countries, number of children per family is high. About 40 to 50 % of population comprises of children. So, work force is less and number of children to be educated is high. Poor parents can not afford good education for all of their children. They sometimes hardly have good standard of life.
In some countries, there is also problem of some kind of foreign interference. This may be in form of some military action. When a nation is indulged in such activities, then education is neglected. Secondly, in such environment, it is not safe to open school or colleges.
14. Religious Matters
There are religious or social issues as well. There is no religion that does not encourage education. In Islam, there is much emphasis on education of both girls and boys, so they may become good human beings and can explore things.
But there are people who have wrong concept of religion. They think that girls can not go out of home. Not only, they are against co-education, but some are even against girls school or colleges .They are also against medical study. As universities have mostly co environment, so some parents do not send females for higher education.
15.Non Registered Institutions
With passage of time, private institutions are becoming more in number than government schools, colleges or universities. As government institutes are not enough to educate vast population.
There are many private institutes which provide better education than government. But, number of such colleges is also high which are not affiliated with government. As a result, they follow their own syllabus. They have not standard rules and regulations. Students who study from these schools or colleges get education which is not according to requirement and standard.
So, it is duty of government to take notice of such institutes. Because, such students, sometimes, can’t meet market needs and their degrees are rated low when they come to professional life.
16.Low Salaries to Teachers
One possible reason of lack of good education is less dedicated teachers of today. Teachers are paid lesser as compared to other professionals. In present era, due to inflation, it is difficult to manage life with low salary.
As a result, sometimes teachers are not highly motivated .To meet their budget, they have to do part time teaching. As a result, they are not 100 % committed to their first job. As teachers have much responsibilities, they don’t get time to access latest knowledge. Secondly, due to low salaries they don’t have motivation to put extra efforts. As a result, students can’t know latest facts and figures. Latest knowledge is much important in case of technology.
17.Unavailability of Qualified Staff
One main problem in 3rd world countries is that we have not much qualified staff. To teach technical and science subjects, qualified teachers are less. If there are qualified person s, teaching is not preferred most profession. They adopt some other profession. Some of them wish to go abroad. It is needed for government to know that for which subjects they need more teachers for future. If we talk about females, most of women after marriage do not do job.
If we talk about rural or distant areas, this problem seems greater. In these areas qualified teachers are very less for science subjects. On other hand, male or female does not want to come from cities to teach in villages.
18. Unavailability of Funds
As third world counties has low income, so there are less funds to meet needs of good education. Much funds are needed if we talk about science studies and research work.
19. Feudal or Tribal System
Feudalism or tribal systems or any other kind of non government system are also reasons behind illiteracy.
Lets take example of countries which are agricultural lands. Landlords take services of tenants. They pay very low to these tenants. Tenants’ remain dependent on them for whole life. Landlords do not want that tenants educate their children. They think that if children of poor will study, then they will be no more their slaves.
Same is case in tribal system. Lets take example of Pakistan. In Baluchistan, there is tribal system in some areas. Tribal leader is called ‘Sardar’ in local language. Sardar don’t want that government interfere in these areas. They don’t want development .They have their own rules and don’t want their people to get education.
Situation is changing. Media of today is free. Now, problems of each areas are highlighted so government may take notice.
In 3rd world countries, there is low percentage of students who get higher education. Male students have pressures to start earn money. Parents of some can not afford higher education. Education at university level is costly. But, if we want development, universities have to produce workforce. Research work is needed in all fields to understand needs of nation.
21. Political Conflicts or Hurdles
Corruption and leg pulling are common problems of 3rd world countries.
If one government party wants to start an educational institute in some village or small city, opposition party does not let to do so. This problem can be seen in towns and small cities.
There are countries whose main source of income is agriculture. Pakistan is one example of it. 70 % of population consists of rural areas and agriculture is main profession in these areas. Family members of such families from generations have been working in fields. Agriculture is their source of income. They have no technical education for it. Due to poverty, children just get primary level education and in some cases even not that. They start working with their parents in agricultural work.
In rural areas, availability of capable teachers for all subjects is also difficult. There is usually one school for girls and one for boys in each village. There is no choice.
For higher education, students sometimes have to out of village. If we talk about university level education, students have to come to cities. That’s why it sometimes becomes difficult for females to get higher education.
But with passage of time, situation is changing. Now, parents have started understanding importance of education for females as well.
23) Cramming and Lack of Research Work
In developed countries, research work is included in education. Thats a reason due to which we see that these countries are ahead in science and technology. Research work results in discovery of hidden potential of students. Whereas, in cramming, students do not think themselves. Enough money and proper planning is required to implement research oriented work. As it involves creativity, students will take more interest.
Most of third world countries uses foreign research and don’t have their own.
Increasing rate of unemployment is also a demotivation for youngsters. Parents already hardly run their home .When they see students them who don’t have job after very good education, they get depressed. They start thinking that there is no use of getting such education which can not help in getting some good job.
It is government duty to open new industries so there may be more chances of jobs. On other hand, hiring for jobs should be on merit basis.
25.Lack of Technical Education
Lack of Technical education is also a hurdle in provisions of good education. There are lesser technical institutes. Same is case with availability of technical staff.
26. Unstable Government
Unstable government system in 3rd world countries has been a problem always. One government starts a project or make policies to some thing good. Government is changed within 3-4 years. New government doesn’t work on previous policies and start its new projects. Many long term policies can not be fully implemented due to this problem. There is need to assure stable government.
In the end, I would like to sum up all discussion. No one can deny need of good education. It not only helps in development of country, but also makes us good human beings. Third world countries understand need of quality education but they don’t have stable and long run policies. Resources, proper use of resources and sound education policies are necessary. Through education, a country can have economic stability and can move towards progress. But all this can be done with patience and not in hurry.
I , above, discussed all issues which I think makes good education a challenge to third world countries.
Suggestions for Quality Education
In end, I would like to mention some suggestions. I am summarizing here key points for improvement in education sector:
- Poverty is an important reason behind lack of quality education .Government should provide cheap education for all and free education for poor students
- Third world countries will have to allocate more budgets for education purpose. It is a great investment because money spend for education will be fruitful for country in future
- Budget should be used honestly for the purpose it was allocated.
- Education is necessary for both male and females. Awareness is necessary. Media should play its role to educate people about necessity of education for females
- Qualified persons should revise syllabus. Quality syllabus is good education
- Third world countries should be very clear about medium of instruction. All government and private schools should have same medium of instruction at all levels
- Education should not be much expensive in private schools. I see schools which pay low salaries to teachers but demand high fees from students. Private education has become a profitable business for people.
- Papers in examination should be checked fairly. Examination system should be transparent. Moreover, decided weather semester system or annual system is suitable in your country
- There should be check that no institute may issue fake degrees. If we will pass future of our countries to non capable candidates, we will not progress.
- Peace should be ensured in country by government. If there will be fear in minds of people, they will not send their children to schools
- Religion asks man to explore nature. There is no harm in study medical for females. It is a noble profession for girls
- Technical education opportunities should be for every field. If some one wants to adopt inherited profession, he should get proper education for relevant field. Suppose one wants to adopt agriculture profession, he should get education degree for this. It will help him to work with new techniques and scientific inventions.
- Teaching is not an easy job. It is a teacher who makes doctors, engineers and prepares students for every field. Teachers should be paid well so they may be more dedicated to their job.
- Good facilities should be given to teachers who go to remote areas for teaching.
- Government should take action against child labour.
- Government should take measures to take action against non registered institutes.
- Developed countries should provide funds for education purpose in third world countries
- Feudal or tribal or such system should be removed from a country. Such systems don’t let progressive work in their regions
- Strict actions should be taken to avoid violence in third world countries so economy may become stable
- A country should try to avoid war so less budget may be spent for defence
- Democracy should be in country to have a stable government
- Employment opportunities should be increased so youngsters may be motivated towards education
- More schools and colleges should be constructed in remote areas and in villages
All of us know that it is an age of science and technology today. Only those countries can progress who will do scientific research and will get command in information technology. Science and technology is a major source of revenue. If people will not learn new technologies, how will3rd world countries make their economy stable. Constant attention is needed to improve educational system. For constant effort, government should be stable.
I believe that education is not ended when you completed your Masters or PHD degree. This process continues whole life. One should keep on getting latest knowledge relevant to his field. The best thing that parents can give to their children is good education.
If education system will be not strong, students will keep on moving to other countries for higher education. They start working in foreign country and their own country can not get benefit of their expertise and skills.
Although it is very difficult to provide 100 % quality education to all in 3rd world countries but there is hope. I observe that people’ minds have much changed from past many years. Parents weather they are poor realize importance of education. Parents want to educate their children so they may become good professional and good citizens .First priority of parents is to send their children to school. It is their right to have cheap but good education.
Is it useful ? Do you want to add some thing more ?
This article is written by Madeeha Rashid who is a continuous co-author and contributor of this blog. She is Computer Sciences Graduate in year 2007. Her interests are Education, Software Quality Assurance and related fields.