Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The Downgrading of Knowledge at our Universities

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The Downgrading of Knowledge at our Universities

University is a highly significant institution which has played a key role regarding human societies around the globe. University is the mainstay of progress and development since great challenges and evolutions begin with knowledge and schooling. In other words, university engenders positive changes and university students are strong intellectual power behind them.
Ill-fatedly, university has lost its true role in Afghanistan and has changed into a document-producing factory rather than knowledge – a factory that students gain documents after four years of study rather than expertise, experience, knowledge and capacity. Educational researches, commentaries and books to meet international standards have no room in Afghanistan’s universities. Instead, the students are dictated the decade-long repeated words and information and plagiarism is rife with changing the cover of books. For instance, some scrambled sentences are juxtaposed with one another and called scientific thesis, etc. 
What is a matter of great concern is the proportion of quantity.

Quantity is paid high significance in all aspects, mainly in educational institutions, rather than quality. The ministry of higher education proudly speaks of number of graduate students and those who gained entry in universities, the ministry of education speaks of multi-million students in schools, and teacher training department speaks about great deal of governmental and private teacher training centers (TTC). The heads of these educational institutions are delighted with the numbers and statistics being announced through the media. However, the quality is faded into oblivion. No one asks the quality of knowledge in these institutions or our proportion in producing knowledge in the world, or how many students have been graduated without proper knowledge.

We are deeply obsessed with quantity. In such a case, those who are keen on learning knowledge, their interest will reduce and die away. When asked about the university, the graduate students speak with a sense of disappointment for not having their thirst for knowledge quenched. They, who entered universities with keen interest, have graduated with disappointment after four years. According to them, they entered universities with dream come true and a world of hope and wishes, but graduated with chagrin. They all acknowledge their lack of knowledge. I am sorry to say that our universities are the grave of intact talents which are great and unique but lack the blessing of knowledge. Moreover, university students are passing time rather than studying for not being explained the value of books, how to research and ponder over issues. Many students graduate from university after four years or so without knowing even the history of their field. 

Knowledge has a retreating process in our country rather than progressive. To put a glance over the past, even though there were lack of universities, books, libraries and other facilities for learning, we still had prominent scientists and thinkers who are known globally and their books were taught in western countries for years. This is the land of Avicenna, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, al-Khwarizmi and Syed Jamaluddin Afghan. The spiritual mystics such as Rumi, Sanai, Nasir Khisraw, etc. were born in this land. To view our past honestly, we will come to know that we have retreated in terms of knowledge and education. I wish all universities of Afghanistan offered one like Avicenna to the society after every century. It is crystal clear that our universities are not comparable to the universities in our neighboring countries. To take, for example, Kabul University, which was established in the solar year of 1311, and Tehran University. Tehran University was established two years after (in 1313). Now these are not comparable at all since Tehran University offered great personalities to Iran. However, Kabul University has not offered one-hundredth of that to our society. If we justify this fact for experiencing decades of war and violence, Iran nation also experienced conflicts which did not hamper their universities from producing knowledge. Similarly, other countries are also at high level of knowledge and know much about the modern science and technology, but we are obsessed with luxury and quantity of fatal stroke. To sum up, the issue of knowledge and education is estranged from our universities which is easily noticeable by viewing the university students.

It is hoped that our generation that has passed its time in universities without a tangible outcome will raise its voice so that our next generation does not fall victim to the same fact and the academic institutions do not be quantity-centered bases. It is believed that our country will not be built unless professors and lecturers are all from this land.

Mohammad Baqirian is the permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Ma. He can be reached at thedailyafghanistan@yahoo.com

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