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Role of Pakistan Studies in Promoting Political Awareness at Secondary Level in Pakistan.

Byline: Muhammad Muzaffar, Muhammad Arshad Javaid and Fariha Sohail

Abstract

This study was designed to determine the role of Pakistan studies in promoting political awareness among the secondary level students in Pakistan. The study was delimited to three divisions of the Punjab province. A sample of 480 students was taken from the High and Higher Secondary Schools of Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi Divisions. The tools of research adopted in this study were content analysis of the curriculum of Pakistan Studies and a test regarding the basic political knowledge. The collected data were analyzed by using the descriptive as well as inferential statistics. The content analyses showed a little inclusion of the text on the basic political knowledge and the test results confirmed the lower level of political awareness among the students. The integration of the basic political information in the books of Pakistan studies at secondary level was recommended in this study.

Keywords: Politics, political awareness, students, secondary school certificate, education, pakistan

Introduction

Pakistan is a country with a great multitude of population. "Even though the literacy rate is low, however the educational administration is constantly improving because of the concerted efforts on the part of successive governments. But the lack of political virtues in its citizens puts a big question mark on the quality and nature of education being imparted to the citizens. Lawlessness, impatience to differing opinions, fundamental tendencies among the most educated class and the denial of the equal opportunities to the women are some indicators to be considered seriously. The education system of Pakistan is also not supporting the progress and development of democracy (Bakhsh, 1997).

The educational system promotes rote learning and in this way students are not taught critically. Curriculum is devoid of any practical knowledge of politics and political issues. As a result, Pakistani students are not well aware of the basic political knowledge and information. This situation leads to detachment of the students towards the issues related to their society. Any change of the policy and curriculum, though may be the first step, could improve the students' political knowledge and make them active and informed members of the society (GOP, 2002).

According to UNESCO (2007) a lot of studies in Pakistan have shown that the political knowledge of the students has been very poor and the educational institutes have also been paralyzed in performing and promoting the critical and political skills among the students. There may be many factors behind this situation but the role of education is the prominent one and at any cost could not be minimized in this regard. The teachers' role and the available degree of the contents regarding this situation cannot be ignored. The subject of Pakistan studies is often treated and taken for granted with a perception that each and every graduate may communicate it further to the students without having specialization in it.

In most of the Pakistani secondary and higher secondary schools, improper and irrelevant teachers are teaching this discipline in a most traditional and conventional way. Secondly, the frequency of basic political knowledge has been meagerly reported too much insufficient in books 1 and 2 at secondary level. These two factors altogether have worsened the situation of political awareness at secondary level in Pakistan. Keeping in view the same notion in mind, the researcher was interested in finding out the real situation of political awareness among the secondary level students in the Punjab province of Pakistan (World Bank, 2008).

Education is believed to be a powerful instrument for the socialization of students by promoting the desired social and political values, create political awareness which prepare the students to perform their duty effectively for the progress and betterment of their nation. To develop a political ideology in the young ones is not an easy task and cannot be achieved over night. Educational institutions and schools are considered as potential agents of socialization and awareness. Schools can play a pivotal role in formation of values and attitudes among the students (David, 1963).

In secondary schools, the development of political awareness in students may differ and changes often with teachers, friends, fellows, and environment. Furthermore, many students of secondary schools believe that having a political knowledge and being active in politics is the duty of adults and the students having these beliefs are considered ignorant of their duties. Many students of secondary schools follow the views of their parents and relatives without developing their own opinions through meaningful thought to the political issues (William, 2007). Accepting the views of others blindly and without pondering over these issues on their own puts a question mark on the performance of a social studies teacher. The main duty of a social studies teacher is to create civic sense and political awareness in students and to keep them aware about the beliefs and values of nation.

One of the main objectives of the curriculum of Pakistan Studies at secondary level is to prepare the students to become good citizens and to understand the human values and political system of Pakistan. Civic education in Pakistan has been neglected over the years and there was found no clearly defined boundary between it and Pakistan studies. So, there is a need of such curriculum that is relevant to and functional in Pakistan. A transparent political system is the outcome of the balanced and efficient educational system as no system can flourish without proper education. Politics and education have been considered by many other researchers also. The concept of sustainable development is also about the investment in the educational sector for the development of stable economies and stable democracies. So, for a stable and working democracy it is imperative to introduce an equitable and representative political system (Kenneth and Kent, 2014).

No doubt that for the best citizenship and political awareness in a state, the campaign regarding understanding the basic political concepts at secondary level is imperative and essential. Students' understanding and involvement in the political process has been reinforced in many research projects. There are many international organizations involved to popularize the involvement of the young people in the political process. With the passage of time, turns out ratio in elections of different countries have raised the concern in relevant departments, specially the detachment of the youth from the politics and political process is not a very good indicator (Jan et al, 2011).

Education and political participation run parallel for the development of political engagement but adversely happened in our educational system. It was because that high involvement in political process was due to the high level of awareness. As is commonly presumed, more education means more awareness and resultantly more participation in political process. But one deplores the fact that the higher is ones level of education and literacy, the lower is the involvement in the political process and politics in general (Adam, 2010).

If socio-political development is rightly figured, engaged, then it paves a way for progress in the society comprised of dispensation of true justice to all. It is an established fact that socio political development is the best way towards the establishment of a true, equitable and just democratic and political system. Politics influences society and is influenced by the society. Consequently, there goes on a give and take process. This process is a healthy one for the betterment of the society and over all well being of the citizens. Political awareness comes through the channel of education which in the long run teaches the society and the individual social adjustment (Roderick, 2003).

To strengthen the political mechanism, education plays a key role but Pakistan having a lot of shortcomings and pitfalls lacking behind in the education sector. The way to progress lies in the development of a progressive and dynamic educational set up. It is generally accepted truth that more education means more democracy. Therefore education needs to be established on a sound footing. The faulty and weak educational system results in the production of undemocratic citizenry which is unable to develop a strong democratic political system. This is the experience of developing democracies on the international political scenario (Kenneth and Kent, 2014).

Civic skills, knowledge and political attitudes, political culture lag behind in our schools as well as in educational curriculum. The results of the numerous research studies are evident that in our school system, curriculum is not developed in line with modern democratic theories. In most of the schools, there is lack of the democratic culture and positive working atmosphere. The gap could have been abridged by the democratic curriculum, but the inefficiency in this regard has resulted in the non-existence of democratic attitudes prevailing in educational institutes. Political culture, if nurtured in the educational setting, would have rescued the situation and forwarded new democratic leadership (Alexander, 2013).

Political awareness is the requisite and can play a pivotal role in the development of economy and poverty eradication. The norms and symptoms of political awareness seem missing in the developing countries as well as in the developed ones. Preparation of the informed citizens has been the prime job of the educational institutions. This would have been the strongest measure for the sustainable development. This tool would have rescued many nations of the world from the chain of poverty and would have proved the strongest tool against poverty. But alas! This has not happened and the effort to eradicate poverty and combat backwardness has been seriously damaged. Political knowledge and education may prove the panacea for the under developed nations and the strongest tool for the developed nation. But as ill luck would have it, not only the underdeveloped nations but the developed nations have badly failed in this front (Acemoglu and Robinson, 2012).

Rural education system very clearly lacks the prosperity and progress in the field of political development. At the lowest level, the programs need complete revision as most of the literacy programs lack the spirit of progress and are just trying to maintain status quo. We need revolutionary ideas to get the rural areas at par with the developed areas and progressive localities. Educational reforms may change the scenario in education as well as in social sector as well (Russell et al, 2007). Public schools cannot infuse the new paths and vistas for the progress, growth and balanced political re-vitalizing system (Connie, 2005).

Objectives of the Study

This study was designed to achieve the following objectives:

1. To carry out the content analysis of the text books being taught at secondary level to explore the basic political knowledge.

2. To determine the level of political awareness among the students at secondary level.

3. To compare the level of political awareness in male and female students.

4. To compare level of political awareness of rural and urban samples of the study.

5. To give suggestions for the improvement of political awareness.

Delimitations

This study was delimited to:

a. Three divisions (Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad) of Punjab Province.

b. Public Sector High and Higher Secondary Schools.

c. Textbooks I and II at secondary level.

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated in this study:

Ho 1. No significant difference exists between the level of political awareness between male and female students.

Ho 2. No significant difference exists between the level of political awareness of male urban and male rural students.

Ho 3. No significant difference exists between the level of political awareness of female urban and female rural students.

Methodology

Sample of Study

The Following multistage procedure was adopted to select the sample for the study.

The content analysis of sampled books of Pakistan studies were manually done as the script of these books was written in Urdu language in most of the high and higher secondary schools and software in this connection was not available in Urdu language. To find out the level of political awareness, a test was devised containing the basic political knowledge.

The collected data were analyzed by using percentage, mean score and test of significance. The score set to observe the level of political awareness in this study is given as under:

Sixty (60) = Minimum level of political awareness. Seventy (70) = Moderate level of political awareness. Eighty (80) = High level of political awareness. Above eighty = Higher level of political awareness.

The following formulae were used to find out the mean and standard deviation of the desired sample in the test.

(Equation)

Where M.P = Mid-Point

N= Total number of the respondents.

(Equation)

The parametric test of significance (z) was also used to test the hypotheses of the study.

(Equation)

Instruments for the Study

To evaluate the exposure and depth of the curriculum of Pakistan Studies, the Content Analysis method was used.

A test comprising one hundred marks related to the basic knowledge and key concepts of political education was developed. The content and face validity of the test was determined by the experts opinion and the reliability of the test was measured by using the split half reliability method during pilot testing with a value .85. This test was administered to the desired sample that was 480 students selected through simple random sampling (SRS) technique. It was administered to the desired sample to find out their level of political awareness on the basis of their respective achievement scores.

Analyses of Data

School textbooks play a pivotal role in the process of making validated beliefs and ideologies, information and ethics considered important in a society. School textbooks are the leading source of the curriculum in schools and are a symbol of economic, political and cultural values. The results of the content analysis regarding the books Pakistan Studies are given in the following tables.

Results

Table 1 Topic Wise

###Topics

Sr. No###Books

###Total###Related###%

###1###Pakistan Studies-I###43###4###9.30 %

###2###Pakistan Studies-II###28###3###10.71 %

###Total###71###07###9.85%

Table 1 showed that both the books had 71 topics out of which only 07 topics were related to political Knowledge/education with the percentage 9.85.

Table 2 Paragraph Wise

###Paragraphs

Sr. No###Books

###Total###Related###%

###1###Pakistan Studies-I###236###13###5.50 %

###2###Pakistan Studies-II###413###10###2.42 %

###Total###1320###23###1.74 %

Table 2 showed that there were 1320 paragraphs in these two books and 23 paragraphs were found relevant with a percentage 1.74 in relation to political education.

Table 3 Lines Wise

###Lines

Sr. No###Books

###Total###Subject Related###%

###1###Pakistan Studies-I###3009###93###3.09 %

###2###Pakistan Studies-II###3247###79###2.43 %

###Total###10471###172###1.64 %

There were 10471 lines in these two books and 172 lines were found with 1.64 % in relation to political education.

Table 4 Words Wise

###Words

Sr. No###Books

###Total###Subject Related###%

###1###Pakistan Studies-I###31222###961###3.07 %

###2###Pakistan Studies-II###32653###1157###3.54 %

###Total###135754###2118###1.56 %

In this table, there were 10471 lines in these two books and 172 lines were found with 1.64 % in relation to political education.

Table 5 Demographic information of the Sample

###Male###Female

Divisions###Districts###Total

###Urban###Rural###Urban###Rural

###Attock###10###10###10###10###40

###Chakwal###10###10###10###10###40

Rawalpindi

###Jehlam###10###10###10###10###40

###Rawalpindi###10###10###10###10###40

Total###40###40###40###40###160

###Chiniot###10###10###10###10###40

###Faisalabad###10###10###10###10###40

Faisalabad

###Jhang###10###10###10###10###40

###T. T. Singh###10###10###10###10###40

Total###40###40###40###40###160

###Khanewal###10###10###10###10###40

###Lodhran###10###10###10###10###40

Multan

###Multan###10###10###10###10###40

###Vehari###10###10###10###10###40

Total###40###40###40###40###160

G. Total###120###120###120###120###480

Table 5 depicts the sample of population collected from the twelve Districts of Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan Divisions.

Table No 6 Division Wise Achievement of Students

###Male###Female###Overall Mean

Divisions

###Urban###Rural###Urban###Rural###Score

Faisalabad###44.5###41.5###41.25###38.25###41.37

Multan###42.25###39.75###39.25###37.25###39.62

Rawalpindi###45.50###39.75###41.50###36.75###40.87

Average###44.08###40.33###40.67###37.47###40.62

This table depicted the overall mean scores of the students which were 41.37, 40.87 and 39.62 of Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan divisions respectively.

Table No 7 District Wise Achievement of Students of Rawalpindi Division

###Male###Female

Divisions###Overall Mean

###Urban###Rural###Urban###Rural

Attock###41###39###40###41###40.25

Chakwal###44###40###39###33###39.00

Jehlam###48###38###42###36###41.00

Rawalpindi###49###42###45###37###43.25

Average###45.5###39.75###41.50###36.75###40.87

The overall mean score of the students from Rawalpindi division was 40.87.

Table 8 Achievement of Students of Faisalabad Division

###Male###Female

Divisions###Average

###Urban###Rural###Urban###Rural

Chiniot###47###42###43###39###42.75

Faisalabad###51###46###47###42###46.50

Jhang###41###38###38###39###39.00

T. T. Singh###39###40###37###33###37.25

Average###44.5###41.5###41.25###38.25###41.37

The overall mean score of the students from Faisalabad division was 41.37.

Table 9 Achievement of Students of Multan Division

###Male###Female

Divisions###Overall Mean

###Urban###Rural###Urban###Rural

Khanewal###45###37###41###38###40.25

Lodhran###37###40###38###38###38.25

Multan###44###42###41###39###41.50

Vehari###43###40###37###34###38.50

Average###42.25###39.75###39.25###37.25###39.62

Table 9 showed that the Average means score of the students from Multan division was 39.62.

Table 10 District Wise Comparison of Overall, Male and Female

Order No###Districts###Overall###Districts###Male###District###Female

###1###Faisalabad###46.50###Faisalabad###48.50###Faisalabad###44.50

###2###Rawalpindi###43.25###Rawalpindi###45.50###Rawalpindi###41.00

###3###Chiniot###42.75###Chiniot###44.50###Chiniot###41.00

###4###Multan###41.50###Jehlam###43.00###Attock###40.50

###5###Jehlam###41.00###Multan###43.00###Multan###40.00

###6###Khanewal###40.25###Chakwal###42.00###Khanewal###39.50

###7###Attock###40.25###Vehari###41.50###Jehlam###39.00

###8###Jhang###39.00###Khanewal###41.00###Jhang###38.50

###9###Chakwal###39.00###Attock###40.00###Lodhran###38.00

###10###Vehari###38.50###Jhang###39.50###Chakwal###36.50

###11###Lodhran###38.25###T. T. Singh###39.50###Vehari###35.50

###12###T. T. Singh###37.25###Lodhran###38.50###T. T. Singh###35.00

Table 10 depicts the district wise analysis of overall, male and female respondents' level of political awareness

Table 11 District Wise Comparison of Male (Urban and Rural)

Order No###Districts###Male (Urban)###Districts###Male (Rural)

###1###Faisalabad###51###Faisalabad###46

###2###Rawalpindi###49###Rawalpindi###42

###3###Jehlam###48###Chiniot###42

###4###Chiniot###47###Multan###42

###5###Khanewal###45###Chakwal###40

###6###Chakwal###44###T. T. Singh###40

###7###Multan###44###Lodhran###40

###8###Vehari###43###Vehari###40

###9###Attock###41###Attock###39

###10###Jhang###41###Jehlam###38

###11###T. T. Singh###39###Jhang###38

###12###Lodhran###37###Khanewal###37

Table 11 depicts the district wise analysis of male (Urban and Rural) respondents' level of political awareness.

Table 12 District Wise Comparison of Female (Urban and Rural)

###Order No###Districts###Female (Urban)###Districts###Female (Rural)

###1###Faisalabad###47###Faisalabad###42

###2###Rawalpindi###45###Attock###41

###3###Chiniot###43###Chiniot###39

###4###Jehlam###42###Jhang###39

###5###Khanewal###41###Multan###39

###6###Multan###41###Khanewal###38

###7###Attock###40###Lodhran###38

###8###Chakwal###39###Rawalpindi###37

###9###Jhang###38###Jehlam###36

###10###Lodhran###38###Vehari###34

###11###T. T. Singh###37###Chakwal###33

###12###Vehari###37###T. T. Singh###33

Table 12 depicts the district wise analysis of female (Urban and Rural) respondents' level of political awareness.

Test of Significance Z

Table 13

###Statistics

Samples

###N###X###SD###Z

Male###240###42.19###8

###6.62

Female###240###39.07###7

z - Test

M1 = 42.19###SD1 = 8###N1 = 240

M2 = 39.07###SD2 = 7###N2 = 240

Z = 6.62

Calculated value (CV) = 6.62

Table value (TV) at 0.05 level of significance = 1.96

CV > TV

Null hypothesis Ho1 is rejected. There is a significant difference in political awareness between the male and female respondents of the study. Level of political awareness of both the sample remained below the norm score 42.19 < 60 and 39.07 < 60, but the mean score of male students was rather better than the female students.

Table 14

###Statistics

Samples

###N###X###SD###Z

Male (Urban)###120###44.08###8

###3.98

Male (Rural)###120###40.33###7

z - Test

M1 = 44.08###SD1 = 8###N1 = 120

M2 = 40.33###SD2 = 7###N2 = 120

Z = 3.98

Null hypothesis Ho2 is rejected. There is a significant difference in political awareness between the male (urban) and male (rural) in this study. Level of political awareness of both the sample remained below the norm score 44.08 < 60 and 40.33 < 60. The mean score shows that the level of political awareness of the male urban students was slightly better than the male rural.

Table 15

###Statistics

Samples

###N###X###SD###Z

Female (Urban)###120###40.67###9

###3.46

Female (Rural)###120###37.47###7

z - Test

M1 = 44.08###SD1 = 9###N1 = 120

M2 = 40.33###SD2 = 7###N2 = 120

Z = 3.46

Null hypothesis Ho3 is rejected. There is a significant difference in the political awareness between the female (urban) and female (rural) respondents of the study. Level of political awareness of both the sample was found below the norm score 40.67 < 60 and 37.47 < 60. The level of political awareness of the female urban was slightly better than the female rural in this study.

Findings

After the analysis of collected data, the following findings were drawn:

1. In book I and II, there were 71 topics covering information of social, political and economic areas of Pakistan out of which 07 topics with 9.85 % were related to the knowledge of politics. (Table No 1)

2. In these books only 23 paragraphs with 1.74 % age were related to the basic political knowledge and information. (Table No 2)

3. There were 10471 lines in these books and only 172 lines with 1.64 % age were related to political knowledge. (Table No 3)

4. In the books of Pakistan Studies 135754 words out of which only 2118 words with 1.56 % age were related to basic political information. (Table No 4)

5. The overall mean score of male and female students was 42.19 and 39.07 respectively i.e. below the norm score. (Table No 13)

6. The overall mean scores of Male (Urban) and Male (Rural) were 44.08 and 40.33 respectively. (Table No 14)

7. In this study the mean score of female respondents from urban areas was 40.67 and the mean score of the female respondents from rural areas was 37.47. (Table No 15)

8. The average mean score of the students from Multan Division was 39.62, while the average mean score of the students from District Lodhran of this division remained at the lowest level 38.25 than the other three districts of this division. (Table No 6 and 9)

9. The overall mean score of the students from Faisalabad Division remained 41.37 and the District T.T. Singh from this division remained at the lowest level than other three districts of this division with 37.25 mean score. (Table No 6 and 8)

10. The overall mean score of the students from Rawalpindi Division was 40.62 and the District Chakwal from this division remained at the lowest level than other three districts of this division with a 39.00 mean score. (Table No 6 and 10)

11. In the district wise analysis of the students, district Lodhran remained lowest in Male (Urban) with 37.00 mean score, District Khaneawl remained lowest in Male (Rural) with 37.00 mean score, District Vehari remained lowest in Female (Urban) with a 37.00 mean score, and District T.T. Singh remained lowest in Female (Rural) with a 33.00 mean score. (Table No 11 and 12)

Conclusion

In the light of the findings, the following conclusion were drawn.

1. There was too little subject matter related to political knowledge available in the course contents of both the books of Pakistan studies at secondary level.

2. The overall level of political awareness among the study sample was very low. (Table 6)

3. Level of political awareness of female respondents comparatively remained below than that of the male students out of the study sample 39.07< 42.19 (Table 13).

4. Level of political awareness of the male rural was below the Level of political awareness of male respondents from the urban areas 40.33< 44.08 (Table No 14).

5. Level of political awareness of the female respondents of the rural areas was comparatively lower than Level of political awareness of the female respondents of urban areas as 37.47< 40.67 (Table No 15).

6. The overall level of political awareness of the whole study sample remained below the minimum score set for political awareness.

Recommendations

Keeping in mind the above conclusion, the researchers offers the following suggestions:

1. A sufficient portion of basic political knowledge should be incorporated in the curriculum of Pakistan Studies.

2. In the curriculum of Pakistan Studies, the related topics should be incorporated. The topics related to "History" before the inception of Pakistan should be removed.

3. In the curriculum of Pakistan studies, some functional activities should be incorporated like field trips to the political institutions of Pakistan.

4. Workshops, Seminars and Quizzes concerning basic political knowledge should be organized in the high and higher secondary schools.

5. The local political figures/representatives should be invited by the schools authorities to share basic political information among the students.

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Author:Muzaffar, Muhammad; Javaid, Muhammad Arshad; Sohail, Fariha
Publication:Bulletin of Education and Research
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2017
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