Dr Shaukat Farooq, President, Knowledge-Based Welfare Society (KBS), has said that sustainable human and economic development can only be achieved by investing in education sector.
Dr Farooq was addressing a seminar on ‘Education and human development’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Arif Naveed from SDPI conducted the proceedings.
Dr Farooq said that poverty and ignorance were our biggest evils and our national identity can only be achieved by making education, uniform, compulsory and free for all and increasing its quality. He said that Pakistan bring its education budget from 1.5 to at par with the UN standards, i.e., 5 per cent of the GDP.
He said that progress and development in the West was due to social and industrial development in which knowledge played a central role. He observed that these countries made education compulsory and for all about a century ago.
Dr Farooq asked the government to set up teachers training and vocational centres. He called for creating a national awareness drive towards educating future generations to put Pakistan on path to progress.
Advocating quality education and brining at par with international standards, he called the people to ask their political candidates to bring education on their priority agenda while casting votes in the next general elections.
Arif Naveed speaking on the occasion said that too much emphasis on religio-nationalism which constructed the notion of citizenship was threatening our national and religious identities. He also cited a recent SDPI study which pointed that education was promoting religious discrimination through negative portrayal of the religious diversity in the textbooks and pejorative attitudes of teachers. Such an education system, he said, seriously threatens the pluralist values hence compromising the prospects for democracy.
He proposed a complete overhaul of the education system by rewriting better textbooks and promoting pedagogical techniques that enhance analytical, critical and reflective capacities of the students.