A Study of the Factors Affecting the Academic Achievements of Government Secondary Schools, Karachi
Karachi is called a “mini Pakistan” due to its unique socio-political chemistry, diversity of cultures and huge population. Happenings in Karachi greatly influence the whole of the country. Quality of education, particularly in government secondary schools of Karachi dropped during the last few decades that ultimately impacted on local & countrywide levels in several ways. The present research was all about to know the pedagogical factors that challenge the academic achievements of government secondary schools. The present investigation has been carried out in two phases. At one hand, data were collected by serving separate questionnaires to teachers, parents and students and result of the Examination Board of the same 144 selected schools was analysed on the other. Data were then correlated with the 25 raters‟ findings on 18 pedagogical characteristics of the same schools. After the discussion and statistical analysis, it has been concluded that Government school education in the country, particularly in Karachi is in real trouble, due to various major and minor, directly and indirectly linked interconnected factors. The identified 18 situational factors found to be correlating and affecting the performance of government schools. Concrete planning and its committed implementation, e.g. Uplifting socioeconomic status of backward class, reviewing the weak areas of education policy and management system; are the prime remedies of the problem. Moreover, improving the public education system in Karachi is not possible through any miracle or with merely emotional commitments and unsteady planning. It needs extraordinary political commitment, effective leadership, capacity building, proactive involvement (society, media and public and private sectors) uplifting the socio economic standard of parents, exercising the policies of merit and professional competencies to exert effort to make a change in overall national behaviour towards the significance of education; particularly at the leadership level. The study stressed need not only to attend the weak areas of highlighted correlating factors with the leading recommendations i.e.: 1. Establishing Provincial Think Tank for Education replacing the bureaucratic approach, 2. Decentralization of Powers, 3. Education Group of Services in Provincial and National Civil Services of Pakistan, 4. Pilot Programs for Subsidizing and Privatization of Unsuccessful Schools, 5. Programs for Creating Educational Leadership, 6. Declaring Emergency in Education, 7. Effective Monitoring and Inspection System, 8. Whole Campus Development Program for Selected Schools in each District. 9. Skill Development Trainings for Students and Parents, 10. Parents Awareness and Empowerment of School Management Committees Program. The study also suggested to initiate change in the mindset towards education and educationists, through mass mobilization.