Technology is a game changer and the government is striving to introduce technology at different levels of education, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood said on Friday. Addressing the Pakistan Summit 2019 in Islamabad, he said the government was committed to improving the standard of education and was striving hard to deliver results. He added that there were numerous challenges related to the dispensation of education, which will be removed with time and efforts.
“Unfortunately at the state level, our rhetoric has not kept pace with our actions. I don’t think that ever in our history any government has not said that education was a top priority for them. This has always been the standard mantra that education is very important. But, when you look at our performance in the last 72 years you realize that despite this constant rhetoric of education being the stepping stone to the future and so forth, our literacy rate is still 58 percent which also very debatable”, he added.
Mehmood said almost 20 million children were out-of-school and different streams of education were present in the country which were leading to completely different mindsets. He said the quality of education was deplorable where students of classes sixth and eight had learning levels to that of classes third and fourth. Even some of the university graduates lacked the much-needed speaking and writing skillset which was expected from them. He said a serious disconnect was present between what was said and what was being done, which needed to be rectified to the earliest.
He also applauded the efforts of the organisers of the conference, saying it was an honour for him to be invited among such esteemed dignitaries. He said during the last seven to eight months, he had met some of the most passionate people in the industry and academia who were giving their time, money and energies for the cause of education.
Earlier in his exclusive interview to the Academiamag, the minister said “the education policy framework centres on four different aspects which include out-of-school children, single national curriculum and quality and skills development. But we have added a fifth dimension to it which is literacy and is now the centrepiece of the entire policy.”
“One of the things that we are considering is to make social work a compulsory subject. I would like to add that we are just considering it and it is not decided yet. We are proposing to make social work a compulsory subject after class 12 colleges. Whether it is a medical college or a science college, or it is a government or private institute, we will make social work a mandatory subject. Every boy and girl who is studying would have to take classes of adult learning as a part of the social work course that he or she is supposed to complete,” the minister added.
The Pakistan Summit is being organised to bring together people all across the country on a single platform to pave the way for Pakistan’s success in the coming times. The conference was being organised by nutshell conferences and Martin Dow and revolved around themes including education, entrepreneurship, national transformation strategy, national human resource development strategy, empowerment and envisioning a digital Pakistan.
The conference also includes multiple panel discussions on a wide array of topics with esteemed speakers from different walks of life including Maheen Rehman, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Andleeb Abbas, Dr Shireen Mazari, Dr Musadik Malik and Dr Sania Nishtar just to name a few.