President calls for achieving 100pc enrolment in primary, higher education


President Dr Arif Alvi called upon all stakeholders on Thursday to ensure that all school going children are admitted to schools and all FSc qualified students are admitted to higher educational institutions (HEIs).

Addressing the convocation of Virtual University of Pakistan (VU) here, he said, “Our rate of primary enrolment is only 68 per cent compared to other regional countries’ rate of over 98 per cent, whereas higher education enrolment is only 9 per cent compared to around 60 per cent of other regional countries.” This, he said, was not sufficient to provide much needed quality human resources required for achieving accelerated socioeconomic growth in the country. The convocation was attended by the VU faculty and students and their parents.

The president said that all children of school going age should be admitted to schools and no child should be left behind, as education was essential for the country’s development. He said that as compared to other countries in the South Asian region, Pakistan had a low enrolment rate of 68 per cent at the primary education level, whereas it was over 98 per cent in other countries.

He said that the low enrolment rate at primary level was alarming and worrisome for the entire nation. The president said that universities usually take pride in refusing admissions to thousands of students, who wanted to pursue their higher education goals. That practice on the part of higher educational institutions was deplorable and should be discouraged. He called upon the government and relevant HEIs of the country to ensure 100 per cent admission of all students seeking higher education by increasing their capacity to substantially increase the number of graduates, equipped with quality higher education, using online and blended modes of learning.

Dr Arif Alvi said that an educated youth and a skilled workforce were the most essential ingredients for moving forward, but unfortunately the pace of producing IT educated youth of 27,000 per year was extremely low as compared to the neighbouring country, which was producing almost 800,000 IT graduates every year. He highlighted that the most practical and speedy way to fill the gap between the required number of graduates was shifting our education system to internet-based online and hybrid modes, which were now increasingly being practised very successfully in different countries.