Challenges and drawbacks within Pakistan’s educational system have led a growing number of students to opt for international education programs, such as O levels and A levels, over traditional matric and intermediate education. This trend is particularly common in the elite class of Pakistan and and gradually becoming popular in upper-middle and middle-class segments as well.
Keeping this reality in consideration, have we ever pondered how the disparities in our education system is making room for the international educational campuses to not just exploit our bright students but also plunder our wealth by infiltrating our homes. The international educational institutions are taking advantage of the weaknesses of our system. They are pulling our intelligent children abroad and also making a heavy amount of money, damaging the already struggling economy of Pakistan.
According to recent figures from the British Council, one hundred thousand candidates will participate in this year’s O Level exams. What is the catch here? The examination fee for eight subjects in O Level is 211,000 rupees.
While this might seem steep on its own, the real shocker lies in the revelation that the Cambridge Board, through these O Level exams alone, will extract 21 billion rupees from Pakistan. Whereas, the entire year’s higher education budget of the Federal Government is just 6 billion rupees.
In stark contrast, our elite class spends 21 billion on only one exam which is equal to the budget for seven years of Quaid-e-Azam University and it does not include A Level, IGCSE, and GCSE students.
The grand total becomes even more shocking when considering the frequency of these exams, which take place twice a year. Cambridge University, in the guise of education, manages to extract approximately 50 billion rupees annually from Pakistan. This financial drain not only weakens our economic foundation but also raises concerns about the sustainability of our educational ecosystem.
While American schools, Pak-Turk schools, and foreign universities earn separately on their campuses, the average Pakistani household is left grappling with the financial implications of this educational exodus. The infiltration of international educational institutions into our homes, taking advantage of the systemic weaknesses, becomes a silent yet impactful form of wealth looting.
Perhaps most disconcerting is the brain drain facilitated by these institutions, as our brightest minds are enticed abroad. It’s a narrative that goes beyond politics, transcending into the very heart of our education system. The consequences are not only economic but also societal, as the intellectual cream of the nation seeks opportunities elsewhere, leaving behind a void that further exacerbates our educational challenges.
The time has come for a paradigm shift, a reevaluation of the financial dynamics within our educational system. The question remains: should the pursuit of knowledge come at such a staggering cost, one that not only drains our financial resources but also jeopardizes our intellectual capital? It’s crucial that we reassess and strengthen our educational framework, ensuring that the benefits of knowledge stay within our borders, nurturing our economy and securing the future of Pakistan.