National Book Day: Sustainable solutions lie in social science education

Published: April 23, 2012

Academics regret decline in book reading trend among youth.

FAISALABAD: Sustainable solutions to issues like intolerance for other people’s opinions and beliefs, lack of awareness about rights of women and children, poverty and crime cannot be found without promotion of social sciences, University of Agriculture Vice Chancellor Prof Iqrar Ahmad Khan said on Sunday

He was speaking at a ceremony held to mark the National Book Day on Sunday.

Prof Khan said the UAF was revamping its Faculty of Social Sciences to align research underway at various departments with the needs of the Pakistani society. He identified promotion of research in national language as well as regional languages and cultures and transfer of modern agricultural techniques to farmers as central to the strategy devised to the revamp the social sciences faculty.

He said the university was working to update its curricula.

The vice chancellor regretted that the book reading habit was declining among the youth. He said they appeared to be more interested in surfing the internet nowadays. “Youth should be urged to visit libraries. The attendance at our libraries is very low these days,” he said.

He said empowerment of women and promotion of book reading and social science education among the youth were all critical to the progress of the country.

He said celebration of a National Book Day was a step in the right direction. “It should not be a one-off event. The day should be marked across the country every year,” he said.

Prof Dr Riaz Majeed, a former principal of the Government College Faisalabad, said Pakistanis should follow the example of Germany in developing an interest in reading. “They fought two (world) wars but they did not let a single book in their libraries be damaged,” he said. “In those days, they used to preserve their books in steel boxes to protect them,” he said.

Prof Dr Anwar Masood said he had read over 1,000 books when he was researching for his PhD in Seeratun Nabi (peace be upon him).

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

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