“Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave”. Peter Brougham
It is wise to treat a patient on right time, which not only result in controlling the disease in time but also give monetary benefits. Currently Pakistan is facing multi-faceted challenges including worsening law and order situation and socio-economic crisis.
Amongst all, the law and order situation and the militancy; are of the major problems that the people of Pakistan are confronting in general and people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in particular. But what is the solution of this menace…?
According to preliminary results of housing census 2011, households in FATA have increased from 291,582 in 1998 to 365,277 (25.3 per cent) in 2011. Total population of FATA reaches to 4.5 million mark. But the questions arises that have the people of FATA who are facing worst time of history from 1979 were provided the basic facilities by the people who are at the helm of affairs and answer of this question will be a big NO. This deprivation of basic facilities, opportunities to education and jobs is one of the major causes of worsening law and order in tribal areas, as this has changed the trends of people.
The ongoing law and order situation has caused FATA huge damages as thousands of civilians were killed, arrested and injured; hundreds of schools were destroyed (either partially or fully) and educational institutions which are intact are in occupation of law enforcement agencies; thousands of houses and business establishments were raised to ground during ongoing war on terror and insurgency prevailing in tribal areas; more than 40 per cent population of tribal areas was displaced and were forced to live as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps, where they are not being provided any proper facilities.
Due to military operations against militants, clashes between the militants and pro-government tribal lashkers and peace committee volunteers and infighting between different militant outfits in certain tribal regions schools, colleges and other educational institutions were closed, destroyed or occupied by the security forces for the last many years which had deprived the tribal youth and children of getting education in their native towns.
According to a report issued by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) titled as “State of Human Rights in 2011”, about 650 schools for boys and girls remained dysfunctional in tribal areas due to threats from militants.
It is a bitter reality that educational sector always remained neglected in all over Pakistan with little variation of the areas; this negligence on the part of Government is being considered as failure of the state. Similarly, intellectuals as well as common people termed lack of education and awareness caused by education, as the basic reason of the problems in the prevailing circumstances. Everybody talks about the importance of education in the country in general and in FATA particularly to overcome the problems these areas are confronting with. But one can check the seriousness of the government in promotion of education from the facts that there are 134 universities including 72 public sectors in the country, but unfortunately none in FATA. Is it the right treatment being meted to people of tribal areas?
People’s representatives from FATA, who mostly remained part of successive governments in Islamabad, have failed to play their role in providing educational facilities to young generations of tribal areas. Though they earned a lot for themselves and for their families, which is evident through the deal on Senate seats and one Senate seat was purchased for tens of millions rupees, but they have not even moved their tongues to ask the government for establishment of universities in tribal areas. Similarly, politicians as well as other people of the area are nowadays demanding a separate province for FATA, but nobody is serious to establish university in the area.
On the other hand, Article 25A of the Constitution after 18th amendment states “Right to education: The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years in such manner as may be determined by the law”. Question arises is the government willing to implement this part of the Constitution? But the present situation is speaking volumes about non-seriousness of the government as it has miserably failed to play any role in important sectors like education, health and security.
Education is a social instrument through which man can reach to his destination and shape-up his future, while an uneducated man cannot become a part of development, nor he help the country to move ahead on the path of socio economic development. One more factor we have to keep in mind is that standard of education, which is very poor in the country as existing education institutions are not producing knowledgeable people who can deliver for the good of the country.
Islam makes it compulsory for every man and woman to get education and one can easily asses that Muslims had obtained glory due to education and at one stage Muslims were leading the world in education.
In the modern age, nations desirous to attain progress are spending huge amounts on education and this investment on education is paying them dividends and they are prospering.
Education occupies a fundamental place in the development of a country and there is no concept of progress and development for nations without education, in present world it is easy to understand that all development countries have high literacy rate and spending on education are very high.
Sane people are convinced that education is source of evolution and it helps mankind to pass through many stages of evolution and reached to the present age of science and technology. It is better for people at the helm of affairs in Pakistan to understand education will help them to resolve problems country is facing. Efforts are required to recover and rehabilitate the educational institution of tribal areas and ensure security to teachers and students besides provide congenial atmosphere for young generations.