“Education is a matter of life and death.” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah Education plays a vital role in the progress of any nation. But unfortunately, with the passage of time, along with many other things, we have lost intellect and intellectuals, the basic artifact of education. There was a time when this beloved country’s educational system proliferated and served as a role model for many other countries. Malaysians, Japanese, Koreans and inhabitants of many other countries used to visit Pakistan for educational purpose.There was a time when people living in this part of world had a thirst for knowledge, a thirst which made Iqbal, Patris, Faiz, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Ishfaq Ahmad and many other men of high intellect but, gone are the days. Among the several reasons for our decline in field of education, the most important one is the behavior of teachers and students, of those who are learned and who tend to learn, at their individual levels. There might be other social, cultural, political and economic aspects contributing more or less. Our behavior towards education has changed and this change has brought no good. Education serves for the purposes of Enlightenment. Unfortunately, in our country the standard and purpose of education have changed. There was a time when people were more concerned with the knowledge, enlightenment and learning as compared to degrees,the mere pieces of paper. For them, quality of education was more important rather than the quality of benches, environment of classrooms and so-called standards of their institutions. There standards for judging any institution were based merely on the quality of education and they were merely influenced by the intellect of their teachers. But, gone are the days. Our educational institutions have just assumed the shape of shopkeepers in order to dispose of degrees with varying costs and standards. You can get any degree, any stamped paper of intellect, provided the cost is paid, the cost not in terms of endeavors for intellect, but in terms of money. Education is a process of learning from learned men. But the standards of learning have changed. Now, teachers on a whole don’t influence their students, they are no more role models for their students, they are no more concerned with the character building of students. Students, now, learn to pass the examination process and teachers teach to earn their livelihood. So, at the end of the day, students are happy with their mere show pieces of degrees and teachers with their papers of currency and in this business our country is going down the drain. In order to retain the glory once lost, a well-defined system must replace this imported system of education. Systems develop, they cannot be enforced and they are best developed by people concerning that system. We have to replace the systems made by Napier and Macaulay in their colonial era. We have to get out of the influence of educational imperialism. We need to develop our own system in the best interests of our own people. Education must be made our first priority. Our government has to work day and night to get out of this miserable situation of education in our country. We as a Nation need to strengthen our roots, in order to cope with other countries and this can only be done by establishing firm educational basis of our students who are the future of this country. Seventy per cent population of this country consists of youth, it is a blessing but can be disastrous as well. This men power has to be channelized, otherwise terrorism and extremism will grow out of them. We don’t need Metros, Orange Lines and infrastructural developments any more, at least, at this point in time. Nations develop these infrastructures, once they develop themselves. Start with the students, we have to make our students confident about their future. They out of fear, lose talent and out of insecurity, lose intellect. Instead of testing our students, we have to develop systems for examining the intelligence of our students. Our students work far more than any other class of students, living in other parts of world, but, we need to channelize their efforts.Our students are obsessed with fear of future. We have to eradicate this feeling of insecurity from our students. Most of the children in this country are out of their basic level education, who are there on the streets, becoming the prey of child labor. Teachers build nations, but our teachers are also in a state of fear. So, the status of teachers must be raised. They must be highly paid so that they can work without any insecurity and fear. Our system must be able to check to the abilities of our teachers. They must be selected for this noble profession after rigorous testing. Government has to make this profession charming in order to attract most able personalities towards this profession. We are in a state of war and insurgency. We have to combat terrorism and this can be done only by the weapon of education. We need to develop counter narrative against terrorism and this can only be done through the persona of teachers, and this can only be done, if and only, all students without any discrimination get their basic level education, throughout the country. Their ideologies about life must be developed at their very basic level of education. We must feel proud of our own cultural values and we must be proud of our past glory. The glory of those days would be get back, if and if, every individual of this country plays its part. We, the people of Pakistan, have potential and courage. We must not lose hope. Long Live Pakistan! The blogger is a student of English Literature at Government College University, Lahore.