Powering Pakistan

LAUNCHING of the report “Powering Pakistan for 21st Century: How Math and Science Power Nations” brought to limelight some of the fundamental requirements for genuine progress and prosperity of the country. In the presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his team, experts from the field drew attention of the Government towards malice afflicting our educational system and the way forward.
Science and technology is surely foundation for an economic edifice but it has not received proper attention in Pakistan sans a few years’ period when Dr. Attaur Rehman-led ministry got necessary funds and initiated projects of far-reaching importance. Unfortunately, the gains were reversed by the PPP Government, which choked funding for higher education as well as scientific research and abandoned plan for establishment of universities of world standard for science and technology. The situation has not changed much despite the fact that some educational reforms are being undertaken in the Federal Capital and in Punjab and KPK. Budgetary allocations for education are still low and far from the promised 4% of the GDP and whatever funds are available these are not utilized judiciously. It was rightly pointed out at the launching ceremony that our syllabus is out of sync with the modern day requirements, there are either no labs or do not have necessary equipment and material, teachers are not qualified, there is no focus towards concept clearance and there are only a few instances of research and development by universities. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a development vision and is implementing this vision with the active collaboration of our friendly country China but the Government is overlooking the fact that we need properly qualified manpower to exploit full potential of these opportunities and plans. The benefits would trickle down to masses only if there are abundant opportunities for quality education and every citizen has access to them. We hope the Prime Minister would also think about and concentrate on establishment of quality institutions of learning with the cooperation of some foreign countries.

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