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Q.1 Discuss characteristics of US higher education system.

While sitting in a class room in Pakistan, almost every student has a dream to move to US or other developed countries their higher education. But the point is this why students are not satisfied with education system in Pakistan and why they want to move overseas.

As I found an opportunity to study in US for one semester and I am writing today about the differences in education of Pakistan and US that I observed here.

As far as major selection is considered, it is very flexible, you can change your major at any stage of your Undergraduate Degree. It is also common here to have two or more than two majors in a degree. You have choice to study whatever you want, no matter in which subject or major you were enrolled for the first time. There are no hard and fast rules to switch your major.

In Pakistan, this situation to have multiple majors is not common. No doubt, in many universities Pakistani students has choice to choose their majors after two years of study in their four years Bachelor’s degree. In Pakistan students can study their Master’s degree in a different subject rather than their First major. Conclusion is this that all these options to switch major are not easy to avail sometimes but it exists.

It would not be wrong if I say that class room culture in US Universities is almost totally different from that in Pakistan in both aspects, Behaviors of Students/Teachers and resources availability.

An US teacher has more resources available in class room than that are available to Pakistani teacher. Almost class rooms of every university are smart class rooms, Teachers can record their lectures that are easily available to students later. Lecture recording is not common in Pakistan but still class rooms in Pakistani universities are equipped with multimedia systems. Behavior of teachers with their students is friendlier than in Pakistan.

When I compare the financial situations of US and Pakistani university students. I found it very worse for US students and I realized that my country is blessed in this regard.

A Pakistani student who has never traveled to US, it’s hard for him/her to even imagine how expensive education in US is.

Most of the students has thousands of dollars loan when they complete their education. During their student life they also have to work hard to manage their finances.

In Pakistan, more option of financial assistance are available to students. And best part is that students have not to return this money after completing their education.

When we talk about the quality of education in Pakistan and Unites states. It is reality that overall Pakistan is far away from developed countries in this comparison. During a comparison, different points came to mind from curriculum development to teaching styles and behaviors of students.

If I compare the behavior of students in Pakistan and US.US students are more keen to learn new things, they do not stick to just their course work. While in Pakistan this trend is not common, one of the tragedy in Pakistan is that students do not read text books but only Power point presentations that is different from US.

As far as teaching style is concerned, In US class rooms, teachers engage student in different Interactive and problem solving activities, use of work sheets and to discuss real life scenario is common. Lectures are not boring and easy to understand in US colleges and Universities.

Volunteer work and community service in US universities is very common. Students have a belief that to serve back community helps them to groom their personality and it gives satisfaction.

Unfortunately, this trend is not too common in Pakistan. In US I feel that one of prevailing flaws in education is that education is really expensive and students have to work hard to pay tuition and sometimes they are not able to pay or did not find time to focus on their academics in a good way. This situation sometimes may lead to depression and stress in the life of students. While in Pakistan, fortunately we have a lot of resources, need of the hour is to just modify teaching techniques and training of teachers. There is also a need of counseling of students and to help them build a positive attitude toward effective learning.

Q.2 Elaborate the salient features of teacher education system of USA.

For any policy to work out, there is no doubt that assessment and monitoring at each level is very important. At the same time one should not forget the goal and the main objective of the policy, because assessing and evaluating policies that are not targeting teachers’ performance will result in no gain. Even before designing the policy that intends to target instructors, one should know what is the necessary teachers’ quality standard. Age, gender, qualification, school distance and school type employment are important characteristics of teachers and contribute to their performance (Henery, 1997), (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Monawar, 2003), (Kowsar,1995). All these characteristics of teachers are important in order to establish a standard that is required of inctructors for better education and better schools.

The first characteristic that is widely considered by parents is the gender of instructors that will interact with their children. In Pakistan, as reported in literature, gender bias in schools lowers female educational achievements and lowers their chances of completing education. For a low income household it is important to save income than to send their children to school. Further, in case of girls’ education, such low income households are more biased. Parents generally prefer those schools where there is female staff in case of their girls’ education. Enrollment rates are lower for girls as compared to boys in all parts of the country (World Bank, 2003) and their average drop out rate in early stages is also very high. Many studies and policies have therefore started targeting female-teachers and gender based education system schools to encourage parents to send their girls to schools.

Many authors in this context are debating in order to answer the following questions. To what extent do the preferences of parents reflect this issue? Do low enrollments reflect a lack of availability of single-sex schools or teachers? Is there any obvious difference in parents’ choices for girls than boys when it comes to schooling? Findings suggest that gender bias definitely exists in rural areas of Pakistan and there is high demand for female teachers in these rural areas consequently (Monaza Aslam, 2003). Other studies (Borld Bank, 2003), (Fayyaz, 2006) on Pakistan reflected on this issue and discuss that parents choice for girls education is highly dependant on teachers’ gender. Teacher shortages are very common in rural areas and incentives are required to encourage female teachers to work in remote regions (Kowsar, 1995). Females constitute roughly half of the Pakistan’s population, but are still given less priority, because of socio-political, economic and cultural problems. In past literature it is proved that investing in girl’s education is more beneficial than boys, as they become teachers that will ultimately effects the gender-bias issue within the country (Anne, 1995).

Another important feature of teacher’s performance is their qualification, which is mentioned in many studies. Basic skills and training for teaching is necessary to maintain quality education and is sadly absent in many parts of Pakistan (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Iffat,1996). A simple matric or 10th grade qualified teacher may be beneficial at the primary level schooling but for higher education more experienced and qualified teachers are required. Without proper training and diploma in teaching, one can not prove to be a good teacher (Anne, 1995). Some government schools hire teachers on the basis of their experience in the field, while overlooking the required qualifications for that post. Moreover, there is a higher salary cost attached with highly qualified teachers. To attract more qualified teachers, schools have to pay higher salaries resulting in les qualified individuals being hired , hence the lack of qualified instructors.

School type is another important characteristic in teachers’ performance. Some schools are private and some are government owned schools. Generally, most Urdu medium schools are owned by the government while private schools are mostly English medium. Parents may prefer to send their children to an English medium school and teachers also prefer to teach in English medium schools owned by the private sector because they will be paid more as compare to public schools. Teachers in English medium schools are more efficient and have more learning on day-to-day basis as compare to Urdu medium schools. A study by the World Bank (1996), showed that students performance is also related with school type,. Mostly what has been seen in Pakistan is that private schools are more motivated towards students achievement and scores. They provide better education and highly qualified teachers. Government schools go for a low, medium qualified teacher because of the higher cost attached with a better qualified teacher. Another study showed that incentives in private schools are more as compared to government schools that will motivate teachers to work hard, no matter what qualification they have at the time of their appointment. That is the case found in Lahore, in a comparison study conducted by the World Bank in 1996 on government and private schools in relation with teachers’ qualification (Fayyaz, 2006).

School infrastructure is another feature of schools that may attract better teachers to come to schools. In Pakistan, as the previous studies showed that government schools have a poor infrastructure due to which the absenteeism rate of students and teachers is high. Distance from schools is another important characteristic which is related with school infrastructure. Better infrastructure of a school includes a good attractive building, better facilities and services, new methods of teaching and equipment and reasonable access to school (Monaza Aslam, 2003). Teachers’ preference to teach in a school is highly affected by the distance to school. Even well qualified teachers avoid going far away from home for teaching. They prefer to teach at schools nearby unless and until one is offered an attractive salary and benefits package. School distance affects teachers’ decision for a school as well as for students. One study showed that increased distance to school decreases enrollments compared to the other schools (Munawar, 2003). Many parents and teachers consider the time as an opportunity cost that they have to forgo in case of a further situated school. In that case then they go for the nearby schools no matter what quality and standard of the school is (Harold, 2009).

Q.3 Discuss two most common models of disability that have been explored over the past couple of years; social model and the medical model.

Social model of disability

The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.

Disabled people developed the social model of disability because the traditional medical model did not explain their personal experience of disability or help to develop more inclusive ways of living.

(An impairment is defined as the limitation of a person’s physical, mental or sensory function on a long-term basis.)

Changing attitudes to disabled people

Barriers are not just physical. Attitudes found in society, based on prejudice or stereotype (also called disablism), also disable people from having equal opportunities to be part of society.

Medical model of disability

The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised. The medical model of disability says people are disabled by their impairments or differences.

Under the medical model, these impairments or differences should be ‘fixed’ or changed by medical and other treatments, even when the impairment or difference does not cause pain or illness.

The medical model looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and not what the person needs. It creates low expectations and leads to people losing independence, choice and control in their own lives.

Social model of disability: some examples

  • A wheelchair user wants to get into a building with a step at the entrance. Under a social model solution, a ramp would be added to the entrance so that the wheelchair user is free to go into the building immediately. Using the medical model, there are very few solutions to help wheelchair users to climb stairs, which excludes them from many essential and leisure activities.
  • A teenager with a learning difficulty wants to work towards living independently in their own home but is unsure how to pay the rent. Under the social model, the person would be supported so that they are enabled to pay rent and live in their own home. Under a medical model, the young person might be expected to live in a communal home.
  • A child with a visual impairment wants to read the latest best-selling book to chat about with their sighted friends. Under the medical model, there are very few solutions but a social model solution ensures full text audio-recordings are available when the book is first published. This means children with visual impairments can join in with cultural activities on an equal basis with everyone else.

Q.4 what are the aims of education in USA.

  1. To Develop a Sense of World Citizenship:

Mutual contacts are developing fast in this scientific age. The citizens of a country are coming into contact with others in one respect or other.

In such a situation national citizenship alone will not help, therefore, as in other countries, one of the main aims of American education is to arouse an interest and curiosity in the wide and varied knowledge of the world with an open mind, shunning a narrow outlook.

The American citizen can establish relations with the citizens of other countries only if he possesses a many-sided knowledge about them. By doing so, on the one hand he will gain maturity of mind through the knowledge of the world, and on the other he will develop international understanding to become an able world citizen.

  1. To Develop a Sense of Co-operation:

In the public sphere, there are people of different talents. They require human virtues for closer co-operation amongst each other. These human qualities are love, sympathy and co operation.

The citizens of today must have faith in humanity, equality and co-operation in order to lead a happy life. So the other aim of American education is to develop qualities of humanity and co-operation so that a person may strive for collective, social progress by co-ordinating old and modern knowledge wisely.

  1. To Introduce Vocational Point of View in Education:

The purpose of American education is to prepare a citizen for life. In the modern age, the vocational point of view is considered very important, so provision has been made for vocational and technical education along with general education.

A number of multi-purpose technical schools have been established in U.S.A. Guidance centres have been established for providing vocational guidance to students.

Through these schools and centres the students are given vocational guidance according to their interest, aptitude, need and ability, and they are trained accordingly. Thus the trained student not only improves his economic status, but also contributes significantly to the economic development of the country.

  1. To Develop the Qualities of Citizenship:

America is a democratic country. The success of democracy depends on ideal citizens. Efforts are made in U.S.A. to develop qualities of ideal citizenship from the beginning.

Qualities like tolerance, knowledge of one’s rights and duties, respect for the views, and rights and duties of others and the spirit of selfless social service are developed in the people there. The citizens are educated to behave according to the accepted social ideals.

  1. Provision for All Types of Education:

For success of democracy the citizens should be fairly well educated. Just as freedom is the birth right, so is education. There are three main characteristics of American educational system – (1) Universal (2) Compulsory (3) Free. Most of the schools in America fulfill the needs of the common people and they are managed by specific communities.

Education is compulsory for the boys and girls from 7 years to 16 years of age. At some place, this limit has been raised to 17 and 18 years while at some other places, the lower age limit has been reduced to 4 or 5 years. Thus in America, education is compulsory from 4-5 years of age to 17-18 years for both boys and girls.

The purpose of compulsory education was the spread of literacy along with expansion of education and to bring maximum number of boys and girls under compulsory attendance.

This law is called as the ‘Law of Compulsory Attendance’. Earlier people strongly opposed this law and claimed that the law was against ‘Parental Rights’. But that opposition died when better sense prevailed and the people accepted the Law of Compulsory Attendance. And so education became universal.

According to census reports, around the middle of the present century, the student community was 1/5 of the total population. Education is not only compulsory in America but it has been made free also by extending educational facilities. All the elementary schools in the country offer free education. Free education had begun in America in the nineteenth century.

Apart from free education, free transport service from home to school, free mid-day meals and free medical care are available to students. The old one-roomed schools have been converted into multi-roomed, modern, well-ventilated schools. For organising games and sports, central halls have been constructed along with gymnastic departments.

In America, there is a provision for education from the nursery to the university stage. Generally all the boys and girls receive education upto 16 years of age. Seventy-five per cent of the students continue their education upto the Higher Secondary stage and 16 percent go upto the college level. Vocational and technical schools impart training to 50 percent of the student community.

Besides public schools, private and denomination schools also exist. Twenty percent of the total student population receives education in privately managed primary schools. Private secondary schools are less attractive than primary schools but private colleges and universities have made much progress.

The number of students studying in these institutions is equal to that in public schools. We also find private vocational schools, experimental schools and training colleges contributing to the education system of America.

Denomination schools are quite sufficient in number but they are not very attractive. Therefore the number of students in those schools is less than the number in private schools.

Another reason for universal education in America is the availability of transport facilities along with all other educational facilities. Free transport brings about ten million boys and girls from home to school every day.

According to the statistics in 1953 about 40 million students and in 1992, 90 million students were receiving free educational facilities.

At present 90 per cent boys and girls are receiving education whereas in the beginning of this century the percentage was 55. Full-time and night schools are in sufficient number in America.

Universal education in United State of America is mainly due to the public schools. Education is universal in the sense that it is imparted without any consideration of poor or rich, black or white, private or government.

The child of every strata of life receives education conveniently according to his interest, aptitude and need. These public schools bear the responsibility of educating the boys and girls of the country efficiently and devotedly.

Q.5 critically analyze Pakistan’s distance education system.

Education in Pakistan is overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and in the financing of research and development. Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years. “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law”. The education system in Pakistan is generally divided into six levels: preschool (for the age from 3 to 5 years), primary (grades one through five), middle (grades six through eight), high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate or SSC), intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSSC), and university programs leadingto undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The literacy rate ranges from 85% in Islamabad to 23% in the Torghar District. Literacy rates vary regionally, particularly by sex. In tribal areas female literacy is 9.5%., while Azad Jammu & Kashmir has a literacy rate of 74%. Moreover, English is fast spreading in Pakistan, with more than 92 million Pakistanis (49% of the population) having a command over the English language. On top of that, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 80,000 computer science graduates per year. Despite these statistics, Pakistan still has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and the second largest out of school population (22.8 million children) after Nigeria.

Distance education institutions usually employ various different methodologies for educating the students. These institutions use different types of distance education courses to help the students. Distance education courses are actually exist in various types such as,

  1. Distance Education via Video Conferencing

Distance education institutions often employ video conferencing for educating the students. For this motive, video conferencing software with high quality like ezTalks Cloud Meeting are being used, and this ensures your with flawless communication and enhances the experience of both students and the faculty. Thus, in distance education video conferencing plays a vital role. But, you may not aware about the benefits of learning via ezTalks Cloud Meeting.

Getting in touch with educators- Usually, Traditional classroom lacks various resources but these resources can be expanded greatly with the help of amazing video conferencing tools like ezTalks. This helps to connect with experts or educators outside the classroom to explore their experience from any part of the world.

  1. Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education

Literally, Synchronous indicates”at the same time” and similarly Asynchronous indicates not at the same time. Synchronous Distance education demands live communication by online or teleconferencing or else by sitting in a classroom. Asynchronous distance education possess cluster of weekly deadlines.

Synchronous distance education is usually less flexible and unsettles student’s life to a larger extent. It also facilitates larger sum of interaction between professors and students. Asynchronous distance education provides students with the freedom to work as per your own will. Students can have more interaction with other students.

In Asynchronous distance education, assignments and projects are focused more because that fetches more time for the students to concentrate on their work. Degree Programs like legal assistant, healthcare administration, educational media design, marketing and advertising functions well in this format.

  1. Open Schedule Online Courses

Students are allocated with greatest sum of freedom with open schedule online courses. This comes under the category of Asynchronous learning where students are given with internet based textbooks, email and bulletin boards to finish their course work. Initially, the students are provided with a set of deadlines to complete their work and permitted to work in their own pace. Open scheduled online courses are extremely valuable for the students who love to work independently.

  1. Hybrid Distance Education

Hybrid distance education is actually the combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning in which the students are subjected to follow the specific deadline to complete their work. Students are permitted to complete assignments on their own time and submit those assignments via online forum.

  1. Computer Based Distance Education

In computer based distance education, students are required to meet in classroom or computer lab at a specified time every week. Students are not provided with an open schedule in this type of distance education.

  1. Fixed Time Online Course

In today’s scenario, Fixed Time course is the most common types of distance education. As the title indicates that these courses are online but the students need to log-in to their learning site at a designated time. The format of this course remains synchronous because it requires mandatory live chats in some cases.

Distance education is formulated just to help the students to complete their education with cent percent involvement and interaction. In present scenario, distance education is of various types to help the students. This course depicts about what is distance education? Why distance education is being formulated and what are the types of distance education? Thus, distance education educates the student who feels difficulty in completing their preferred course.





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