Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden speech highlighted some major issues in our education system that he would like to address. Here’s what he said.
Imran Khan’s maiden speech as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan has sent ripples of optimism across the country. The speech was by far one of the most relatable and honest account of problems that the country faces by a prime minister and one that made many (those who can think that is) realise the myriad challenges we have to deal with as a nation. Although the scale of the problems is daunting, the prime minister hit the nail on the head by reassuring the people that they needed not worry (ghabrana nai hai) and that he would be the one at the forefront of the storm.
While all the points the prime minister touched upon are vital to changing the fate of this country, his realisation of the importance of education and the need for addressing this highly neglected sector is what truly stood out. To put the words to paper, here is all the prime minister said about education in his speech.
Education was among the major problems in Imran Khan’s maiden speech. He started off the speech section with reference to the stress Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid on the importance of education. Khan related Prophet Muhammad’s policy following Muslim’s victory over Meccan disbelievers in the Battle of Badr. The Prophet (PBUH) decreed that any Meccan prisoner of war who educated 10 Muslims would be set free, making known the importance education for Muslims and how it was imperative for progress.
The prime minister asked people to reflect on the county’s state of education. Khan said there were over 22.5 million children out of schools in Pakistan (download full Pakistan Education Statistics 2015-16 report) today, a fact he mentioned at four different times during his talk. He also asked people to gauge how much the West had been spending on the education of children. Khan said a majority of Pakistani children were enrolled in public schools, where education standards were highly unsatisfactory. Resultantly many parents were forced to get their children educated in private schools, which was a highly expensive exercise for most parents in Pakistan, especially the salaried-class.
Over and over again, the Pakistani prime minister spoke make the people realize the importance of educating the less privileged sections of the society. He said if population continued to rise and the mammoth number of children continued to remain out of schools, there would be no jobs available to these uneducated Pakistanis.
Presenting his policy guidelines for reforming the sector, Khan said he would like to see the Prime Minister’s House turned into a top-class elite research university. He said the PM House had an excellent location, which should be the case for a top university.
He said his government’s utmost effort would be improve the provision of education in government-run schools. Khan said the government would do all to raise the standard at public institutes. He said they would invite educationists in the private sector to come forward and acquire premises of public schools on rental basis to be used in the second shift to provide quality education to children. The prime minister said the education crises would be treated as an emergency and his government would put out-of-school children back in schools.
Khan also discussed children enrolled in mardassas and said they would be provided opportunities to pursue mainstream education once they got done with their madrassa education. He said he wanted madrassa students, who were close to 2.4 million in number, to become doctors, engineers, judges and generals, adding that his government would focus on ensuring that madrassa students are incorporated in the national mainstream.
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