Pakistan may not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of education by 2015 even though the government plans to increase education spending from two per cent to four of the gross domestic product.
This was stated by Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Muhammad Baleeghur Rehman at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day conference on the Applications of Molecular Biology in Medicine and Agriculture at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) on Tuesday.
“To expedite the process of achieving the MDGs and Education for All targets, the government will announce a comprehensive strategy in the first week of September,” Rehman said.
The minister said for the 50,000 university students in Pakistan, a programme involving a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 will be launched to support their entry into the job market. The Pakistan Manpower Institute has been taken on board to facilitate the programme as well as the Higher Education Commission which has been asked to provide interest-free loans for deserving university students, he added.
Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that selection committees will be constituted in universities to select recipients.
The minister said there was a proposal for fee waivers for students vying for doctoral studies from remote areas like Balochistan, rural Sindh and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. “We’re looking forward to the establishment of a national curriculum commission, to be formed with the collaboration of education secretaries of all four provinces, to provide a uniform system of education,” he said.
Referring to the conference, he said the mix of scientists, researchers and scholars made it the perfect platform to share experience, foster collaborations and evaluate emerging technologies in molecular biology around the globe.
QAU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai said recent advances in the field of molecular biology have resulted in the transformation of new products or processes which have flooded world markets, showering vast economic rewards on nations which have had the courage and vision to make science and technology the cornerstone of their development programmes.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2013.
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