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5.2. COMMISSION ON NATIONAL EDUCATION, 1959

The Commission on National appointed by a resolution adopted by the government on 30th December 1958. The main reason was that the existing system of education was not adequate to meet the requirements of the nation. It was inaugurated by the President Mohammad Ayub Khan on January 5, 1959. Addressing on the occasion, the President stressed the need for a reorganization and re-orientation of the existing educational system, which would better reflect our spiritual, moral and cultural values and to meet the challenges of the growing needs of the nation in the field of science and technology. The Commission analysed all the previous reports and the prevailing situations of the country and the reforms movements in other societies and submitted a comprehensive report to the government after one year in 1960.

The salient features of the report are briefly described as:

1. PRIMARY EDUCATION

  • In view of the Commission, compulsory education at elementary level was indispensable for skilled manpower and intelligent citizenry. For this purpose at least eight years schooling was required. The Commission recommended to achieve 5-years compulsory schooling within the period of 10 years and 8 years compulsory schooling within a total period of 15 years.
  • The main objectives of primary education should be to make a child functionally literate, to develop all aspects of his personality to equip him with basic knowledge and skills and to develop in him habits of industry, integrity and curiosity.
  • The curriculum should be adapted to the mental abilities of the children. It must be designed to develop basic skills. Teaching methods should be activity-oriented. Religious education should be made compulsory and due emphasis should be given to the teaching of Rational language.
  • School buildings and furniture should be simple, inexpensive, clean and adapted to local style and material.
  • Training facilities should be provided to teachers to meet the requirements of compulsory primary education. Refresher courses should also be arranged for untrained teachers.
  • The Commission recommended that land, building, furniture, teaching materials and residential accommodation for teachers should be provided by the community and government may however, give financial assistance to the backward areas.
  • The administrative recommendations by the Commission should be entrusted to local bodies. It should be organised on district level in West Pakistan and on sub-division level in East Pakistan.

2. SECONDARY EDUCATION

i. The Objectives of Secondary Education

The Commission maintained that secondary education should be recognized as a complete stage in itself and organized as a separate academic and administrative unit. It should bring about the full development of the child as an individual, as a citizen, as a worker, and as a patriot, to enable him to enjoy and understand the benefits of social and economic progress and scientific development.

ii. Duration of Secondary Level

Secondary education should improperly consisted of classes IX-XII but until compulsory education was extended to the first eight years classes VI-VIII should be considered a part of secondary education. For the present, it should be divided into three stages/classes VI-VIII (Middle) classes IX-X (Secondary) and classes XI-XII (Higher Secondary).

iii. Curriculum of Secondary Education

The Commission recommended that the curriculum of secondary education should be based on two principles first must provide a compulsory core of subjects to give every pupil the knowledge needed to live a useful and happy life. Secondly, should include additional subjects and training to prepare him or a definite vocation and career. The teaching of national language, science and mathematics should receive greater emphasis. English should be taught as a functional subject. Religious education should be made compulsory in class V-VIII and optional there after.

iv. Teacher Training

The commission was of the view that teachers must be rained properly before entering teaching profession. Teachers should be paid adequate salary. Teachers from class VI-X should work for 225 days during the year (excluding vacation). The services of Education Extension Centres already established to improve the quality of education, should be fully utilized by the Central and Provincial Governments.

v. Facilities and Equipment

The Commission maintained that efforts should be made by educational authorities and community to provide facilities like classrooms, science labs, workshops, libraries, garden plots, playgrounds and equipment to achieve the objectives of diversified multipurpose secondary schools in future.

Evaluation and Examinations

The Commission recommended that the system of examination should be recognized and the award of certificate be based on the performance of the student in (i) public examinations conducted by University (Board of Secondary Education (75 percent marks) and (ii) his school record including the results of periodical tests and appraisal of habits and general behaviour (25 percent marks). For private candidates, separate examinations, called External Examination, should be held.

Organization

The Commission maintained that regulation, control and development of education at secondary and higher secondary levels (classes IX.-XII) should be entrusted to the Boards of Secondary Education. The territorial jurisdiction of the Boards should follow the jurisdiction of various universities in the country. New Boards should be set up at Peshawar, Hyderabad and Rajshahi and the jurisdiction of the Boards at Karachi and Dacca, should be extended to include higher secondary (intermediate) stage.

3. HIGHER EDUCATION

i. Higher Education as a Distinct Stage:

As envisaged in the Report of the Commission, higher education should be recognized as a distinct stage and the present intermediate classes should be transferred from the jurisdiction of the university to board of secondary education. The essence of higher education, as viewed by the Commission, was a community of scholarship. The essentials were not only to set examinations, nor the degree it conferred, but its’ capacity to encourage teachers and scholars to engage themselves in research and to pass on to the next generations the results of their studies.

ii. Admission:

Admission to the degree colleges and universities should be after the completion of the present intermediate stage covering twelve years of schooling. The universities and colleges should determine their own requirements of admission on the basis of:

  • The Students performance in higher secondary education.
  • His achievement and accumulative class record during the previous stage of education.
  • His aptitude for higher education to be determined scientifically by standardized tests.

iii. Duration of the Courses:

In order to improve the standard at university level, bachelor degree courses should be extended from two to three years. There should be two types of courses at degree level; the pass course and the honour course. The course leading to degree of MA, M.Sc. should require at least two years in one subject. The period recommended for Ph.D. is minimum two years and maximum five years.

iv. Subject of Study:

The Commission recommended that courses and curricula should be revised and improved periodically, so as to make them updated and to provide for growing needs of the country, particularly in the specific areas of science and technology. New subjects like sociology, home economics, public, and business administration, journalism etc should be introduced in universities.

v. Examinations:

The commission was of the view that the system of examinations had been criticized for dominating higher education. The Commission recommended that the system should be reorganized and the award of degree should be based on the performance of students in final examination conducted by university, (75 percent marks) and record in the periodical tests as well as class work (25 percent mark). Students should obtain pass marks in both assessments. Pass marks should be fixed/40.0 percent in each paper and 50.0 in aggregate. For Second Division marks should be 60% and for First Division 70% of the total marks.

vi. Research in the Universities:

Research was thought one of the essential features of the university education. Not only it was of national importance in the developing economy but it also had a further value as a means of keeping a teacher active, creative and updated and of enabling him to stimulate and inspire his students. The Commission, therefore, recommended build up strong departments in which both, teaching and research would have prominence. The Commission further recommended that each university should set-up a “Committee of Advanced Studies” to supervise and coordinate the research work in the universities. Fundamental research should be given priority.

vii. Other Recommendations:

Other recommendations in the field of higher education, forwarded by the Commission, related to the functions of teachers in a university the selection and promotion of teachers, co-ordination of higher education, students welfare and discipline. A programme of guidance and counseling was also recommended by the Commission to be organized in the universities.

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