MINISTER for Education Shafqat Mahmood briefed a high level meeting on Monday about reforms in the education system, initiatives related to distance education during the Corona epidemic, and launch of pilot projects in the use of technology, “Skills for All” projects across the country. The Minister said steps had been taken to educate out-of-school children, especially girls, in backward areas, train 50,000 youths in artificial intelligence and other modern sciences under the Skilled Pakistan Program, establish National Skills Accreditation Council and international organizations.
Education sector was already not in an enviable condition but the situation arising out of Covid-19 has badly affected it during the last one year and uncertainty still prevails about resumption of normal activities. In this backdrop, it is encouraging that despite challenges of various sorts, the Minister was working hard and introducing much-needed initiatives and that too after taking all stakeholders including provinces on board which is a key to success of any reform or measure. Appreciably, his approach is focused on provision of equal opportunities and easy access to quality education, promotion of modern sciences and provision of education and skills tailored to employment opportunities.
Inclusion of a visionary scholar and expert like Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman in the team of the Prime Minister is also reflective of the commitment of the Government to introduce much-needed reforms in the education sector. However, we have been hearing since long about suggestions regarding the use of technology for promotion of education in the country, accreditation from international institutions, enhancement of teacher capacity, promotion of artificial intelligence, biotechnology and other modern sciences in the country but the pace of implementation is not satisfactory. The country cannot think about an economic revolution or industrialization without making substantial investment in the field of education especially science and technology and research and development and, therefore, the Government, without losing further time, should allocate necessary resources for the sector.
The Prime Minister may consider holding regular meetings on the subject to ensure removal of obstacles and smooth implementation of ideas that have the potential to put the country on the path of fast-paced development.