KARACHI: Architecture is not merely about designing and constructing buildings. In fact, every architectural work conveys countless meanings to different people and plays a key role in preserving cultural identity.
Sadly, however, that is not the case in Pakistan because the schools teaching architecture across the country have drifted away from the local culture and traditions and are highly influenced by foreign architecture. This was the finding of the latest study conducted at the NED University of Engineering and Technology.
Per the study, the syllabus which is currently being taught in Pakistani varsities for architectural education has not been updated or revised since 2013. Moreover, courses taught to students are purely theoretical and those graduating from the programmes are not required to look for internships so that they could go out in the field and learn about the practicalities of the profession.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Dr Pasha said that during her research, she thoroughly studied the architecture syllabus taught at graduation level in public and private universities of various cities in Pakistan. The results of her study have been nothing short of disappointing.
“Apart from carrying out an in-depth study of the present curriculum in architecture schools, I also extensively talked to teachers and students,” Dr Pasha said, adding that she included all the relevant Pakistani varsities in her research, including the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, DUET, the NED University of Engineering and Technology, Beaconhouse National University, National College of Art, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, COMSATS Islamabad and UET Abbottabad.
“The topics included in the syllabuses of different public and private varsities prove that they are either devoid of the cultural history of Pakistan or the subject is very superficially included. The culture, customs and rituals of Pakistan are often confined to the Muslim History of Architecture,” she said.