QUETTA: The political leadership of Balochistan has decided to make educational reforms its top priority after youth representatives highlighted issues hampering provision of quality education.
With the objective of prioritising the future of young people of Balochistan, PILDAT and UNDP Pakistan jointly organised a dialogue on ‘Democratic, Peaceful Governance and Sustainable Development’ in Quetta.
Representatives of the Balochistan government and opposition parties sat together to engage with the youth.
In his welcome address, PILDAT president Ahmed Bilal Mehboob highlighted the three ‘Es’ summarised in the UNDP youth report that will mark the difference between a youth boom or bust: Education, Employment and Engagement. To address the third E, he said, PILDAT and UNDP organised this platform to enable the youth to express their views on state policies and matters of concern in an informed and structured manner.
In their questions to elected representatives, young speakers from different areas highlighted issues of unemployment, funds for schools’ construction, lack of focus on quality education, need for effective law enforcement strategies to monitor radicalisation of youth, lack of information on the number and type of job opportunities CPEC may create for the youth and resistance to formation of student unions.
Members of the Balochistan Assembly agreed with the concerns raised by the young speakers and said it was need of the hour to invest in youth development in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan. It was unanimously agreed that the top-most agenda of the provincial government should be to work on educational reforms at all levels.
Political leaders who attended the event included Jan Muhammad Buledi of National Party, Nasrullah Zehri of PMAP, Bushra Rind of BAP, BNP’s Sana Baloch and Akbar Mengal, Raza Wakeel of HDP, Shahid Babar of BNP-A, and Malik Sikander Khan of MMA.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018