RAWALPINDI: The 18th Amendment will revolutionise the education system, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Sunday.
He was speaking at the student achievement celebration evening and award ceremony of Roots School System here at their DHA Campus. Addressing a gathering of students, faculty and parents, the minister said that the 18th Amendment had also made education compulsory for all up to matriculation level. He said that no country can attain progress and prosperity without investing heavily in education of its people. “Ignorance and illiteracy are the biggest threats to the existence of the country and fighting these menaces is the collective responsibility of all,” he said.
Kaira said illiteracy is one of the major causes of extremism, which has to be rectified by imparting quality education at grassroots level in the country. “As a nation we had remained unable to provide basic facilities of health and education to our people. He said ‘jihad’ against illiteracy is the top priority of PPP-led government and all necessary steps would be taken to achieve this goal.
Kaira expressed his confidence that the PPP-led government would enhance budgetary allocation for education and health to the level of at least five per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the next three years. “We will have to focus on increasing literacy rate as well as improving the quality of education,” he added.
The minister pointed out that when the PPP government came into power, only 1.8 per cent of the GDP was being allocated for the education sector by the previous government. He said developed countries spend around US$ 100,000 to 150,000 on education of each student per year, whereas in Pakistan only Rs500 to 600 are incurred on a student annually.
He lauded the students of Roots School System, who secured scholarships in topnotch universities of the US, UK and other European countries. “They are really a pride for the entire nation,” he added. He expressed the desire that the standard of education in public sector schools came at par with that of private educational institutions.
He appreciated the confidence level of the students who delivered speeches on the occasion. “There is no dearth of talent in the country. What is needed is to provide our students all the necessary facilities,” he added. Later, talking to media-persons, the minister condemned the recent cowardly acts of suicide attacks in which, besides others, two journalists lost their lives.
He also expressed sympathies with the members of bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of the injured. He said that the media-persons have rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terror. To a question, he said that prime minister had called the conference on the issue of energy and it would continue till a solution was sorted out for the problem.
The meeting, he said would be attended by the Chief Ministers of all the four provinces and concerned officials. He said that the government was working on war-footing to resolve the issue and expressed the optimism that it would be resolved very soon.