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Uniform Education for all Stressed

By Our Reporter

Lahore,April 29:Speakers at a seminar have empasised the need for a uniform system of education for all sections of society in Pakistan.The seminar was held by the Pakistan Association for Adult Continuing Education(PACADE) in collaboration with United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization(Unesco) on "Global Campaing for education for all" at the Lahore Press Club on Saturday.

Senator Dr.Khalid Ranjha who presented over the seminar said that education had never been a priority in Pakistan which had left the country lagging behind in literacy and development. He said rural areas had poor educational facilities for their children.Poverty and feudal mindset against education were the main causes of the lack of education in rural areas besides lack of sincere efforts to pomote education on part of the government,he said.

He said that a farmer would not send his children to school but engage them to work on farms to supplement his incom. A feudal sent their children to good schools and most of them had recieved education in foreign countries but he would discourage their tenants and farm workers to send their children to school lest they challenge their authority after receiving education .

The feudal mindset against education prevailed in rural Pakistan,he said.He added village mosques had been playing an important role in providing basic education of recitation of the holy Quran to rural children where they also learned how to read and write Urdu.

The mosque school sould be revived to spread education in villages to spread education in villages in the absense of government schools,he said,adding that an awarness campaign should be launched among rural people about the fruits of education to persuade them to send their children to mosque schools and later to government or private schools.

Punjab University's Institute of Communication Studies Director Dr.Mugheesuddin Sheikh said there were half a dozen education systems in vogue for children of various classes of the people.

He said unless a uniform system of education was evolved , achieving the good quality of education would remain a dream. He said both the public and private sectors would need joint efforts.He said unless people and the government were committed to promoting education for all, no positive results could be achieved.

PACADE President Mr.Inayatullah said Pakistan was among the countries in the world with the lowest literacy rate.

China,India and Pakistan had got independence almost at the same time but China had achieved a literacy rate of 80 per cent,India 65 per cent and Pakistan 50 per cent.

He said in 1981, the government had allocated Rs.750 million for a National Literacy Plan but it could not be implemented because of a lack of political commitment. He said that the World Education Forum in Dakar,Senegal,in 2000 fixed six education goals for 160 countries.

The goals are :expand early childhood care education;promote learning and skills for young people and adults; increase adult literacy by 50 per cent ;achieve gender parity by 2005 and gender equality by 2015;and enhance education quality.He said that according to a finding of the Unesco Golbal Monitoring Repot for the year 2007,Pakistan was one of the few countries which would fail to achieve of the six goals.

DAWN Lahore. MONDAY, APRIL 30,2007

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