Pakistani schools (especially government schools) are producing unacceptably low levels of learning outcomes in maths and science — a stark reality which represents a significant and deep-rooted challenge to Pakistan’s economic growth.
The main reason: the concept of learning does not exist in Pakistan.
I attended a Pakistani school in Saudi Arabia. It was one of the most cruel and terrifying experiences of my life. Why? Because the motto of almost every teacher was the same: if a pupil is not getting good grades, then that means you haven't beaten him enough.
Slaps, punches, kicks, wooden rods were all halaal for thrashing young kids into shape. We couldn't "learn" the curriculum by ourselves. So, we did the only thing possible. We memorized everything. That will get you acceptable results in a language course or in Islamic history but it utterly fails in math and science.
The average maths score for Class IV students in the National Education Assessment System (NEAS) exams conducted in 2014 was 433 out of 1,000.
Science results are in an equally deplorable state: Out of four provinces and four regions, not a single one showed an average science score of over 50 percent.
Islamiat is the subject in which students do best.
I could understand and comprehend the mathematics problems. So, there was no need for memorization. Many of my friends and classmates were not so lucky.
Here's an extreme example.
x +2 = 4
x + 4 = 5
x - 7 = 1
x - 3 = 6
Imagine that the above four questions were assigned for homework in a Pakistani classroom. A week later, there's a short quiz with the following two questions:
x + 1 = 2
x - 2 = 3
Most of the students would fail that quiz. Why? Because they've never "seen" those questions before. The students likely have a solutions manual in which they found the answers for the four questions assigned the week before. They've put the procedures and answers in their memory.
It's a tragedy. Students cram thousands and thousands of pages of math and science into their memory without comprehending any of it. It happens with the Quran as well. These students, who don't speak Arabic, have the Quran beaten into them. They can recite any part of the Quran. However, they don't know the translation or the meaning of the Arabic words coming out of their mouths.
A few do get through. They're either gifted or they've got money for private tutors. Or like myself, they're sent off to foreign infidel lands for higher education.