ISLAMABAD, June 29 Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said extremism and terrorism could be checked by promoting education in the country.

“The government wants to promote education at the grassroots level not only to help the country to move on the path of development but also to curb the trend of extremism among the new generation,” the PM said, while speaking at a medal awarding ceremony of the students who attained positions in the Secondary School examinations of Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE).

Referring to the ongoing military operation in Swat, he said it reflected the government's will to promote education as, he added, the action was against the people who were destroying girls' schools and were preventing them from going to schools.

He said the children should have books in their hands rather than weapons and handcuffs. The PM stressed the need for educating the young generation to ensure that they did not fall prey to terrorism and extremism.

The prime minister said the government accorded priority to education sector, particularly the professional education, and that it was working on a new policy based on advanced knowledge and high quality standards.

He said the government wanted to provide ample opportunities to the students where they could explore their potential with teachers earning due status in the society. “We want our educational institutions to become a cradle of knowledge and wisdom in real terms,” he said.

He gave medals, certificates and cash prizes to the students who bagged positions and also inquired about problems being faced by them in terms of educational standard and availability of facilities at the schools.

The students who achieved positions in Science Group are Aatiqa Sohail Khan (1st position, marks 1007 out of 1050, Fauji Foundation College for Girls, New Lalazar, Rawalpindi), Nasar Mobarak (2nd position, 1004 marks - PAF Public School, Lower Topa, Murree), Iman Akhtar (2nd position, 1004 marks - Army Public School, Karachi Cantonment), Komal Mushtaq (3rd position, 1002 marks - Fazaia Model College, Mushaf), Seema Kanwal (3rd position, 1002 marks - Hamza Army Public School).

The students who achieved positions in Humanities Group are Komal Gilani (1st position, 931 marks - Lohi Bher, Islamabad), Memoona Ahmed (2nd position, 921 marks - F.G Girls Model School, G-6-1/3), Mehwish Bibi (3rd position, 911 marks - F.G Girls Model School G-11/2) and Misbah Zeb (3rd position, 911 marks - Army Public School Okara Cantonment).