Education is considered a social instrument through which man can pursue his destiny and determine his future. An unenlightened mind is nothing but a sorry lamp to light the steps of any man or woman. In his famous book "Islamic”, Muhammad Marmaduke Pick Thai writes: "Neither the Holy Qur'an nor the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) ever contemplated the existence of an ignorant Muslim”.
Indeed, ignorant Muslim is a contradiction to the true teachings of Islam. In fact, at certain period of their history, the Muslims began to turn their backs upon a part of what had been
enjoined to them. They discarded half the Shariah – the part which ordered them to seek Knowledge and education and the Christians of the West, about the same time, began to act according to that portion of the Shariah which the Muslims were discarding and so advanced in educational sphere. Thus the Muslim countries kept on suffering in the educational sector and today they find themselves quite behind the West in this regard.
Afghanistan is also among the countries that is suffering from serious problems in its education system. In fact, our education system has failed to achieve the objectives and it has not been able to change the society according to its cherished goal. Our educational needs have increased manifold and our educational system needs to be modified according to the basic and local needs of the people, while keeping the aim of installing in them inquisitiveness and curiosity.
Today’s education has many facets – academic, aesthetic, moral, spiritual, physical, social, practical, vocational and education for home life, citizenship and leisure. All education is farce if it is not established according to its national as well as local needs. It is pity that our education has failed to promote a national consensus and education has not played its proper role in national development though its aims were very high. The reason for this failure has been the lack of talented, conscientious and devoted teachers. No effort was made to produce a class of teachers who could work sincerely for the implementation of these recommendations. Our failure in the past few decades has no parallel. Although it is not possible to attribute this failure to any single factor, one can say with confidence that the entire planning in the field of education has been lopsided. The structure of any progressive education system capable of meeting the demands of any modern nation or state has to be like a pyramid, widest at the base tapering systematically to the top of high specialization.
Another reason for failure of education system is that the affairs of education were conducted by the persons who had the least experience in-this field, or sorry to say, they lacked competence and proper education. Consequently, in our educational system, the base was never really broadened.
On the one hand, the people were deprived of their basic right of education and on the other they were not given the necessary-directions to be productive to the state. Unless education both for citizenship and leaderships is provided, no good results can be expected. Let the past history serve as a great lesson for us. Managers may or may not be necessary but leaders are essential. Our educational system has long suffered from the managerial type of administration. It is a type of administration that is static, dull, non-progressive, and favoring the status quo. Maintaining such an administration is not relevant for the educational system of a country like Afghanistan.
Our education needs re-orientation. It needs leaders who are properly motivated, adequately dynamic. They should not be problem-blind but have a broad vision, deep insight and genuine understanding of the issue involved. They must be imbued with the spirit of Islam and investigation and scientific outlook at the same time. They should also have the willingness to work enthusiastically so that our educational system may play a fundamental part in the preservation of the ideals which can lead us towards unity and integration and at the same time survival in the times to come. The moral and spiritual values of Islam combined with the
principles of freedom, integrity and strength should be the ideology to inspire our educational system. We should make every effort to compete in the race of higher science and technology in a world which intends to move towards development and progress. We have to ensure that there is a massive shift from extremist and obsolete educational system to a more meaningful and thought-provoking one.
It is essential that every student who comes out of an educational institution should carry with him enough skills to be absorbed in our socio-economic framework as a good worker. Our education should be a comprehensive system aimed not only to educate the mind and to make the students achieve economic independence, but also to help them build up their character and a healthy attitude to life. They should be so equipped as to defeat all the evil forces that endanger the very existence of our country such as terrorism, ethnic issues, class distinctions, religious intolerance, bribery, corruption, nepotism, robbery, black-marketing, smuggling, Ignorance and political and social injustice. That is the only way we would be able to move towards development and progress and a true change.