‘Basic education is an essential requirement for optimal development of human beings through harnessing their true potential’

Islamabad, July 26, 2012 (PPI-OT): Sheikh Waqqas Akram Federal Minister for Education and Training said while addressing the seminar on second anniversary of article 25-a that basic education was an essential requirement for the optimal development of human beings through harnessing their true potential.

Federal Minster said the 21st Century had brought a different economy and society for higher education with profound implication for world of occupation that must adapt to these key features which includes globalization, ICT, revolution, economic restructuring and emergence of knowledge economy. Federal Minister said that unfortunately they were not prepared for this new paradigm.

He said that in the Western world and Far East, 12 years of schooling was considered as basic education whereas in countries of Asia and Africa, 5 years of schooling is defined as basic education. Federal Minister emphasized there was a dire need for filling this gap and article 25-a “right to education” would be gap filler.

Federal Minister said, huge disparities in opportunities, particularly for deprived, girls, low quality of education, low enrolment and completion rates, high drop-out rates and low level of to secondary level were challenges to education system in Pakistan.

Federal Minister said that Pakistan is a country where 7.26 million out of school children at primary level, and 58 % of it is female; up to 20 million children of ages 5-16 years are out of school in Pakistan which is a matter of deep concern for them. He said this scenario speaks of critical social imbalances and calls for urgent, radical and revolutionary changes.

Federal Minister said the amendment in the constitution was the first step; it was now imperative that efforts must be made for making a law for the provision of this right to concerned population and simultaneously work towards its implementation as it does not look possible to implement it in the year or the so.

Federal Minister said the National Commission for Human Development and National Education Foundation are the two attached departments of the ministry of Education and Training that are tasked to work as gap fillers to address the issues of access to education and reduction in drop-out rates.

Federal Minister said at present they were spending 2.5% of the GDP on Education sector which was the lowest in the region and according to UNESCO; standard of GDP share for education would be 4%.

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