LAHORE: Successive governments have put the education sector on the back burner but the need of the hour is to think beyond slogan-mongering.

This was a consensus among the speakers at a seminar on ‘Education is the solution to the challenges of Pakistan’s future’ arranged by Alif Ailaan in collaboration with Kafka Welfare Organization at Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Auditorium here on Monday.

MPAs Dr Nosheen Hamid (PTI), Parween Akhtar (PML-N), Anjuman Astatza’s Prof Nadeem Ahmad Ashrafi, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) Regional Director Salman Abid and others regretted that merely formulating policies was not enough to promote education.

They said the government should exhibit political will to achieve the goal by first increasing the GDP percentage allocations and then ensuring its utilization on education.

Dr Nosheen was of the view that the country’s foremost challenge had been the population growth which was hindering increase in literacy rate.

The increase in literacy rate could help bring the population growth to an acceptable rate because the educated people would resist early and childhood marriages, she said.

Quoting an example of Malaysia, she said the brotherly Muslim country had made a rapid progress by making concrete efforts to increase its literacy rate.

“The rise in the literacy rate has led to decrease in the population growth rate in Malaysia. Some 20 years ago, Malaysia was far behind us in every field and now it is competing with many developed countries. And we are among the top nations which could not even reduce maternal mortality rate,” she said.

Stressing the need to promote technical education, Dr Nosheen said that mere degrees were not enough to ensure employment, as was evident from the high unemployment rate of the youth passing out every year from the educational institutions in the country. — Staff Reporter

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2015

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