LAHORE:Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof Dr Shahid Munir has said that there is a need to ensure socio-economic justice in Pakistan to strengthen national integrity and achieve development goals through promotion of education.
He was addressing a seminar on ‘A Critical Assessment of Pakistan Educational Policies on National Integration’ organised by Punjab University Sughra Begum Centre for Education Policy and Development at Al Raazi Hall. On this occasion, PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood, Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, Chairman Department of History Prof Dr Mahboob Hussain, Director Sughra Begum Centre for Education Policy and Development Dr Sonia Umar, faculty members and students were present. In his address, Dr Shahid Munir said that economic exploitation was one of the most important problems and the solution to all problems, including education lies in the improvement of the economy. He asked why the problem of national integrity was not in India, Canada, America despite such cultural diversity? He said that national integrity could not be strengthened by putting everything in the curriculum.
He said that only 13% of the youth in Pakistan enter universities. He said that there were only two classes in the world, the rich and the poor. He said that if the economic problems of the people were solved, then problems like national integrity would also be solved. He said that poverty was the main reason why children stay out of school in Pakistan. He said that around 2,400 teachers would be trained this year under the faculty development programme. He said that leadership had an important role in national integrity and for national integrity and development, women should come forward in every field, he added. He said that there was a need to promote such research in universities that could solve the national, economic and social problems of the country. He said that information technology has to be promoted in every sector to solve employment problems. He said that teachers have to play a role in promotion of the trend of starting their own business among students. He said that developing skills among the youth is the need of the hour.
Dr Khalid Mahmood said that the best education policies were developed in Pakistan but their implementation was the real problem. He said that two and a half crore children were not going to any school for which steps must be taken to ensure their admission in the school. He said that after government schools and colleges, the state universities were also being brought down by not patronising them. He said that the problem of funding for government universities was being created and these problems were not being resolved. He said that the culture of corruption, incompetence and favouritism was destroying our country. He said that it was time to reap the benefits of education policies through their implementation. He said that intolerance and extremism were increasing by ignoring educational issues. He said that all stakeholders have to play a role in the development of the country.
Dr Nizamuddin said that education policies regarding colleges were made very late. He said that the trend of failing children in school must be stopped and changes in the structure of the system at the school level should be introduced. He suggested that big mosques can be used for primary schools before noon. Dr Mahboob Hussain said that we are in dire need of national integrity. He said that the Parliament did not play a role in education policies and there was no discussion on such policies. He said that the recent parliament had five PhDs and 102 foreign qualified people but hired technocrats, experts and NGOs for development of education policies. He said that the recent parliament passed various Acts in haste. He described the role of language as important in the formation of the national curriculum. He said that religious and linguistic divisions were obstacles to the way of national unity. He said that real history should be taught in the national curriculum and discrimination on the basis of gender should end.