Education policy and social justice: Exploring possibilities within education policy context of Pakistan

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One of the major purposes of education policy is to ensure social justice in a society. The social justice needs to be thought of not only in conventional sense of ‘distributional’ justice, but also in the sense of ‘relational’ justice. Looking from this perspective the policies in Pakistan have historically focused only on distributional justice, albeit with dismal progress on this front. However, they have completely ignored the attainment of ‘relational’ justice as a policy objective. As a result power differentials not only exist but worsened through educational policies such as undermining of public schooling while encouraging privatization of education and creating and sustaining ‘educational apartheid’. Over concerns with ideology and language issues through education policy has undermined the focus on social justice even in current policy. Global educational targets have further aggravated this issue by engaging governments in attaining universal targets that hide the social justice concerns in a holistic way. In order to make any difference in the current situation, the focus of attention should not only be limited to critiquing the policy per se, rather an attempt needs to be made in challenging the relations of power at educational sites: schools, college and universities. Why can not we think of creating educational institutions (school, colleges, universities and teacher training facilities) which challenge the status quo and develop human resource of tomorrow that challenges the existing power structures of our society and help attain both distributional as well as relational social justice? In terms of policy we have to think of three simultaneous actions: act, educate and advocate.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalInstitute for Educational Development, Karachi
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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