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December 15, 2019

Centre, provinces urged to work together to ensure uniform education system in Pakistan


December 15, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been acting on his promise to introduce a uniform education system in the country after getting rid of the present multiple academic systems, and for the purpose the federal government and all the provinces are required to be on the same page irrespective of their political differences.

Aftab Hussain Siddiqui, a Member National Assembly belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and parliamentary secretary for the Aviation Division, stated this on Saturday while addressing as the chief guest the inaugural ceremony of a daylong ‘Children Carnival and Inter-School Competition’ held at the Arts Council. The carnival was held to mark the Silver Jubilee of foundation of the not-for-profit Green Crescent Trust (GCT) that has been running a network of over 150 charitable schools in Sindh having enrollment of 29,000 children.

Siddiqui said Khan in his drive to promote uniform academic facilities for the students of the needy families had recently rolled out the largest-ever need-based scholarship programme of the country.

He said some 200,000 students belonging to low-income families would be provided scholarships in four years as 50,000 such scholarships would be given on an annual basis. He added that once these students from needy families completed their education, they would be given loans under yet another

initiative of the government, Kamyab Jawan Scheme, to enable them to do entrepreneurship.

The MNA said another initiative of the government was to introduce mainstream education at religious seminaries of the country. He conceded that successive governments in the past had not paid heed to the health and education sectors owing to which people were deprived of the basic needs of life.

He said the country would definitely make progress if education standards and facilities available to the students of the government-run schools were remarkably improved, and for this collective efforts were required. He added that the federal and provincial governments while leaving aside the political differences should combine their efforts to reform the education system of the country.

He said the government would definitely support bona fide non-governmental organisations working in the education sector like the GCT.

Also speaking on the occasion, GCT CEO Zahid Saeed urged the government to declare educational emergency in the country with the support of the provinces to deal with the alarming issues like out-of-school children. He said that though the subject of education had been devolved to the provinces following the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the federal government could not absolve itself from its responsibility to provide quality education to children belonging to under-privileged communities.

He said that 4.2 million out-of-school children alone in Sindh was a serious challenge for the government, and available resources and budget for the education sector had to be spent on a transparent and efficient basis.

He said the per capita income in Pakistan would increase by five times if the government worked with dedication to improve educational standards and to enrol the out-of-school children as had happened in the case of China.

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