The criminal neglect – our national trait, or shall I say our national sport – is not just visible in-country. And I am not mentioning the Thar famine here! Pick any government institute, or a state-owned enterprise, or event a private firm of 20/30 years of age. Just visit the offices of Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority and see their toilets!

We are demonstrating the same criminal neglect overseas. Visit any Pakistan High Commission or Embassy abroad. Or a PIA office overseas!

Today’s post is about Dubai. And not the Embassy. But the Pakistani school run under the Pakistan Consulate. Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School, where 1,590 students are enrolled. It has been ranked as Unsatisfactory for the consecutive second year by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), UAE and Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB).

Another, the Al Farooq Pakistani Islamic School, rated as unsatisfactory throughout four years of DSIB inspections, was shut last year.

“Analysis of results of these two international assessments showed that students in Pakistani schools lack basic skills for real-life applications,” said the report. “Leaders of Pakistani schools have to work on improving their students’ achievement levels gradually in order to be able to reach the international average … and then Dubai’s targets for the 2021 National Agenda.”

According to a report, Indian and Pakistani school leaders blame their low fee structures – parents pay between Dh4,000 and Dh10,000 a year – for their inability to attract experienced teachers. But authorities said it was a school’s responsibility to provide professional teaching, and called for hands-on leadership and continuous assessment of teachers.

While I watched a news report on Geo TV today, I was struck by the school leaders’ apathy and blame shifting. Saw someone complaining about the criteria itself and the defence of what they were doing.

This echoed my two decades’ learning whenever I spoke to a vice chancellor or a school principal with poor results to do something. Their immediate reaction: how their circumstances were unique or different and all I heard were excuses why they can’t achieve what others are achieving.

This needs to stop. There needs to accountability for indifference and neglect too.

  • Saeed Motiwala

    Sad to read this, but it is also a wake up call. Each of us needs to do our bit, to strive towards improving what we are delivering.

  • Wali Zahid

    Saeed – We would only wake up if we don’t snooze the alarm. These fatalities come and go and we remain unaffected. Al Farooq Pakistani Islamic School got that wake-up call for four years! This doesn’t remain remain a solitary underperformance; it’s nationwide and decay is eating us – one piece at a time, perhaps many pieces at a time. You and I need to intervene nationally!