Is “vocational education” better for the future of Pakistan?
Whenever we hear the word “education”, things that comes in mind of everyone are books, pencil, bags etc. What if that’s not the only way to define education after all, as there are many other categories of education that focuses on more than just books, pencils and so on. However, each category of education can play a vital role in shaping and predicting the future of a nation.
Vocational education, also known as technical education, focuses on education thought by practical learning rather than theoretical learning. Such education certifications focus on making student specialize in some field to ensure graduation in short period of time and have cheap fee structure. Such certifications are available for students to achieve in vast variety of fields, ranging from becoming a technician, artisan and tradesman.
Practical learning vs theoretical learning
Practical learning is based on concept of “how it works”, in which the students are thought how to operate a certain field of economy with hands-on experience. These are offered by “trade schools”. On the other hand, theoretical learning is based on concept of “what is it made of, how to build it and operate it”, in which the students are thought everything about a certain field of economy with intense studying experience.
Consider a common example of a firearm i.e. a pistol. From the prospective of practical learning, the student should know how to use the pistol. Which includes pulling the trigger, reloading, handling the recoil, enabling and disabling safety etc. While from prospective of theoretical learning, the student should know about its history, material from which it is manufactured, it’s working process etc.
However, just like anything that exists, it also has its cons in association with pros. Main cons of this education is that knowledge-sharing is limited, as knowledge is for certain specific field. Similarly, job opportunities are limited as certification doesn’t make student flexible to adopt to various industries. For example, a mechanical engineering graduate can adjust in any industry that revolves around machinery, while a mechanic that is certified with machinery of automobiles (from a trade school) cannot easily adjust in any other industry.
Scope in Pakistan
While accepting its cons and appreciating its pros, this education system can flourish in Pakistan. The reason is that Pakistan has large number of hard-working and impressive labor force. If such labor force is given vocational education to enhance their specific fields of work. This could have beneficial effects for whole economy of Pakistan. Having well-education and hard-working labor force will increase efficiency and output of many industrial sectors of Pakistan.
For example, a farmer certified with vocational education will yield more hygienic and better crops. Same is the case for mechanics, who would repair automobiles in short time. And with better tactics, and construction builders will make safe and better infrastructures.
To ensure such future, vocational education should be treating at same level as school, college and university education.
Written by: Anas Farhan Awan