ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani announced that the first week of October be spared for celebrations, adding that the new education policy increased teachers’ salaries by 50 per cent. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) on Tuesday in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day.
PM shared memoirs of his school days with the audience. Showing his gratitude to his teacher in politics, Pir Pigaro, he said, “My teacher taught me about working efficiently to get the maximum from the minimum.”
When asked about the effect of terrorism on education in Pakistan, Federal Minister for Education Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali said, “I was told that around 700 to 800 schools were destroyed, I would ask the relevant officials of my ministry take steps for reconstruction of these institutes,” he said.
Responding to another question he replied, “I heard from NCHD officials that some 5 million school-going children in the country have been affected by the recent floods.” Ali also said that education was on top of the priority list, as the PPP led government had for the first time appointed an Oxford graduate member of the cabinet as the Federal Minister for Education.
Chairperson of NHCD Nafisa Shah said, “NCHD has more that 16,000 volunteer teachers in both government and community schools. This year we hope to have 17,000 literacy centres throughout the country.” She said paucity of funds had restricted the commencement of their operations. “I shall indeed be grateful if the honourable Prime Minister would help us and release our funds, as he very kindly did last year,” she added.
However, the PM has not yet announced any special package for NCHD.
On this occasion, there was no representation from the Higher Education Commission (HEC). When questioned about their absence, Nafisa Shah confessed that they had deliberately not been invited. She said that HEC teachers were already withdrawing huge salaries from the national fund and their protests were ‘unfair’.
Published in the Express Tribune, October 6th, 2010.
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