‘Protect children from negative effects of technology’

Ministers, adviser call for effective measures for early childhood care through proper planning and management

​ Our Correspondent September 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: With rapid developments in technology and access to information, federal ministers and educationists on Wednesday called for protecting children from the negative impacts of technology.

This was suggested during the inaugural session of the third international conference on ‘Early Childhood Development (ECD). The conference had been organised by the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in collaboration with the Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood, Rupani Foundation, Ministry of Planning and the Karakoram International University.

During the event, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati along with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, spoke about the swift development of technology over the past few decades and the need for early childhood care through proper planning and management.

Mehmood said that efforts to implement a uniform curriculum in the entire country were currently under way. He said that curriculum should be revised according to the needs of Pakistani students.

He said that the subject of early child development would be incorporated into the new curriculum.

The federal education minister further highlighted the steps being taken by the government for raising the youth on positive lines, enabling them to play their due role in the socio-economic development of the country.

While free flow of information has many positives, Mehmood pointed out that it could also negatively impact children’s growth in Pakistan. He further said that the social class system was also plagued with a host of problems.

Therefore, he said it was essential to develop a mechanism whereby a suitable atmosphere for children’s education, from the home up until matriculation in a positive manner can be developed.

The ministers hoped that recommendations to formulated during the two-day event will provide a good foundation for children’s education besides assisting the government to formulate practical policies.

The speakers further said that changes taking place across the world have impacted the erstwhile strong family system in Pakistan increasing the parents’ responsibility for children’s education training in accordance with the changing trends.

The speakers also called for a broad system to provide a level playing field to the children from all sections of society and warned for complicated issues if the society was not purged of class-based social structure. They said the youth could contribute to national development by excelling in education and research besides providing a good human resource to the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2019.

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