Education emergency: ‘Education, not bombs, most effective weapon of 21st century’

Speakers at Sukkur Youth Convention say all hopes pinned on the youth.

Our Correspondent February 18, 2014
Speakers at the Sukkur Youth Convention at the IBA Sukkur campus on Tuesday. PHOTO: COURTESY IBA SUKKUR FACEBOOK


Atom bombs, tanks and sophisticated guns should not be treated as powerful weapons. The most effective weapon of the 21st century is education and enlightenment, said columnist and writer Jami Chandio.

He was speaking on Tuesday at the Sukkur Youth Convention held at the Institute of Business Administration in Sukkur. Speakers were of the view that neither the members of the National Assembly nor the members of the provincial assembly but the youth of Pakistan can bring a positive change in society. The convention, titled ‘Youth duties towards nation and society’, was jointly organised by Youth Parliament and the Sports and Youth Affairs Department of the Sindh government.

Youth Parliament founder and chairperson Rizwan Jaffar said that the purpose of forming the youth parliament was to create awareness among the youth of Pakistan regarding their right to better education and health and their duties towards the nation and the society. He said that all the hopes are pinned on the youth of Pakistan and, therefore, it is their duty to live up to the expectations of their parents, teachers and fellow citizens. The educated youth, he said, possesses the power to bring a positive change in the mind-set.

Chandio strongly criticised the syllabus being taught at schools, saying that the study of history is distorted. The future of this country, the columnist said, lies in better education and development. “We cannot achieve this goal without providing equal rights for the people.”  Chandio said that the number of youth in Sindh is 3.8 million but ironically only 300,000 exercised their right to vote in the 2013 elections.

Education department secretary Fazlullah Pechuho, expressing anxiety over lawlessness in Sindh, said the country will counter the acts of terrorism within a year or two, but it is quite alarming that the people are facing a crisis in the education sector. Addressing the youth, he said that nobody would help them overcome these problems but they have to address it themselves. “The government has to play its role but the responsibility lies with the youth, as they have to improve the education system.”

According to him, some areas lack school buildings while, at other places, the buildings are in deplorable conditions, but what is most disturbing is that the teachers are not performing their duties properly. He said the youth is responsible for keeping a vigilant eye on the education system. “When well-educated youth will become parliamentarians, they will bring a positive change.”

Citing Bangladesh as an example, he said, the country successfully achieved its Millennium Development Goals, while Pakistan will only be able to achieve them in 2049. “Our education indicators are on the decline and we are heading towards a crisis.”

“I have sent many absentee teachers to their homes, but with a heavy heart,” he said. Our first priority, he said, is to make non-functional schools operational again. Others who spoke on the occasion are writer and journalist Mumtaz Bukhari, MPA Saleem Bandhani and Sports and Youth Affairs Department special secretary Riaz Ahmed Siddiqui.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2014.


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