The recent catastrophic flood has brought enormous socioeconomic devastation to Pakistan, which includes a figure of more than 15.4 million affected people, a death toll of approximately 1497 with an injured toll of 2054, 2.6 m acres of devastated land and over 300,000 destroyed homes. These statistics are at present just approximates of the actual, which will be presenting a more deplorable picture of the overall scenario. The present actual and approximate data figures will rise exponentially in presence of a non reciprocating attitude of the Government and all the stakeholders.Wherein, much is being said about the economic reconstruction of the affected areas, it is of equally vital importance to rehabilitate the educational infrastructure of the flood affected areas. This article will examine the various possibilities and mechanisms for reconstructing the educational infrastructure in the flood affected areas.Before a model of reconstruction of educational infrastructure is presented, it is strongly emphasized that the decades old philosophy of the influential of these areas for having an illiterate population under their command needs to be discarded and discouraged. It is highlighted that the apparent political reasons for adopting this philosophy are (i) strengthening of favored vote banks and (ii) establishing command over illiterate population in such a way that the masses consider the influential as source of their livings. It is vehemently advocated that a literate population will also be instrumental in not only establishing strengthened vote banks and effectual subordination but also bringing in economic prosperity to both their areas and its influential. Many examples can be derived from countries like Bangladesh, where literacy in rural areas has brought in progressive results at both micro and macro levels. Another aspect raising importance of the schooling in the flood affected areas is the fact that masses of these areas are predominantly living under the shadows of illiterate religious clerics. These clerics in the affected areas are continuously announcing these floods as a punishment from the nature. They are most dangerously endeavoring to convince the affected population that all this has happened due to our policies of being of an allied country. In absence of proper schooling and education, these clerics will manipulate the psychology of specifically the affected youth and the these areas may develop as nurseries of terrorists and suicide bombers.The proposed educational infrastructure, specifically under the current conditionals will be based upon five pivotal pillars namely (i) Physical Infrastructure (ii) Pedagogical Infrastructure (iii) Faculty (iv) Syllabi and (v) Enabling environment. To achieve the objective of entire reconstruction of these five pillars is not a viable option in short term because (i) the educational infrastructure was in conked out condition even before floods and (ii) the present devastation requires concentration in other areas also and hence focusing on just on one area is practically not possible. It is recommended that the entire task of this reconstruction may be divided into phases with each phase as a manageable piece of work having its well defined deliverables and time framework. The first phase may be taken as most imminent and based upon gum and stick ad-hoc settings, which will gradually lead towards more permanent solutions in an incremental fashion. The following few paragraphs will briefly present the gum and stick ad-hoc settingsPhysical Infrastructure, though is most needed but will definitely carry enormous expenditures. In addition, the conditions in most of the areas are presently not allowing any sort of brick and cement work and thus it will be a quite daunting task to built schools in the present environment. Initially,it is recommended that camp school areas may be developed using soft construction material on the same grounds as it was used during the earthquake rehabilitation. Various leading private schools need to be encouraged to join in hands with the concerned authorities and NGOs to built up such a physical infrastructure. These schools can take such a venture as a Social Marketing effort. In addition to the leading private schools, multinationals involved in child care products and projects may also be involved for attaining this objective. They will definitely be getting a significant mileage in terms of visibility and other promotional aspects. For example P&G can contribute by providing fibre sheets printed with logos of Commander Safe Guard or Pampers. At this point, it is highlighted that these companies are already lavishly spending significant portion of their revenues on hoardings & panaflex advertisements. At par with this, a sizeable portion of land may be demarcated by government in each of the affected area for this purpose and the camp schools need to operate in three shifts, each of which may last for not less than three hours. As Winston Churchill once said “We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us”, the development of physical infrastructure of these schools on war footings will cast a profound effect on our future course of action.Pedagogical infrastructure carries equal importance and consists of all the facilities regarding the provision of course content. This infrastructure will consist of (i) Writing boards (iii) Classroom furniture / seating arrangement (iii) books and printed material and (iv) provision of uniforms. With reference to pedagogical infrastructure, it is recommended that rather than having state of art expensive boards, furniture, printed material and uniform, low cost items / donated items may be focused upon in the first phase. Unfortunately, it is a common tendency to develop budgets based upon high cost items, subsequent to which tenders are floated and whatever happens thereafter is known and need not to be further explained. As a nation, a volunteer movement is required, wherein donations in terms of old used furniture items may be requested and then those may be recycled to develop specific school furniture items. Similarly, used paper, old newspapers, magazines, and books may be recycled for having new books and other printed material. In this task, various multinationals may contribute by providing sponsorships for different pedagogical instruments. At present, many of the multinationals are sponsoring various sports events, conferences, exhibitions and seminars. Their deviation from spending on the mentioned events just for one fiscal year will be instrumental in building up our this quite imminent infrastructure.Provision of faculty to these schools is another important area. In this regard, again a volunteer movement is required. The responsibility of provision of faculty may be given to public and private universities. Targets may be given to them and their grants may be linked with the number of faculty members, they are contributing towardsthis cause. These universities can in turn ask their students to perform this faculty responsibility and for this the whole activity may be carefully planned and blended in accordance with the schooling needs of the affected area. Over here our defense forces may again play an instrumental role in provision of the necessary logistics and security arrangements.Developing objective oriented syllabi for primary and secondary education is another important and long awaited deliverable. Focus should now be more upon inducing skillset through the syllabi. Agriculture University Faisalabad has a major role to play in developing basic content, which can equip our students with tips and techniques for progressing agriculture in flood affected areas. This content may be included in the science subject’s curriculum. In addition to this, it is also recommended to include more elective subjects at intermediate level and instead of pronouncing intermediate as F.Sc Pre Medical, F.Sc Pre Engineering or FA, a unified nomenclature of Intermediate need to be adopted.All the above is not attainable without creating an enabling environment, which will entice students residing in these areas to opt for registering in these school camps. Besides provision of stipends, uniforms, and books, there are various other psychological techniques that can stimulate interest in the prospective students of these schools.
Educating The Flood Affected Nation
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