ISLAMABAD – Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Imran Khan, announced on Wednesday that his party would invest Rs 2.5 trillion rupees on education if voted to power.The announcement has received warm welcome across the country, especially from country’s middle and lower middle classes that constitute major portion of the educated lot of population.“PTI would spend Rs 2.5 trillion on education sector. PTI believes Pakistan can only compete the progressive nations around the globe until it invests in education sector,” said Imran Khan who is regarded as ‘Ron Paul’ of Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention that ‘ Ron Paul’ has been characterised as the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party movement in the USA and is an American physician, author, and former politician.Imran was addressing a huge number of people including party workers, members of civil society, critics and media (National & International)on the occasion of unveiling of the six-point ‘Education Emergency Policy’ of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Seminar was held here at a local hotel. Likewise Imran Khan vowed on Wednesday that his party would give priority to education sector and try to raise standard of education by increasing the education budget from current 2.1 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP in case if PTI is given a chance to serve the nation for five-year term. Before anyone could stand up to ask how would PTI manage to raise whooping 2.5 trillion rupees, Imran himself unveiled his strategy in this regards and said his party would recover looted money from the dacoits and corrupt politicians to invest in neglected sector of education. “I know 2.5 trillion rupee is a huge amount to be spent in a single sector. Honestly, country’s education sector needs fresh blood in the form of such a huge amount that is imperative to educate our youth. The PTI would generate funds by recovering looted money from corrupt politicians and the same would be diverted to education spending,” Imran Khan told the participants who were eager to know how would Khan arrange such a huge money to invest in education sector.Elaborating his point, Imran Khan vowed to introduce uniform education system with one curricula for all and provision of education in mother tongue and Urdu language for primary levels.Addressing the participants of the launching ceremony of the much-awaited and talked-about ‘PTI Education Policy Vision’ here, Imran Khan said his party would declare ‘education emergency’ in the country the moment it assumes power. He admitted. Imran Khan, one of the most famous Oxfordian around the globe, admitted while unveiling his party’s education policy that it was not simple task to invest trillion of rupees in a single sector, however, he made it clear and loud that Pakistan’s education system needs reforms at grassroots level and his party would do it. Under the PTI education policy, Imran Khan said that one education system would be introduced and Urdu and mother tongue would as medium of instruction at primary level with the objective to achieve equality and attain cultural and social harmony.“The PTI considers education a critical subject and a prerequisite for improving the deteriorating plight of the country; hence, it would introduce a new uniform curriculum for education in the country for which the PTI would make all-out efforts to bring seminary students into the main streamline,” Imran told the participants. He, however, did not made it loud and clear that ‘ English Language’ being an International language has its significance and Pakistan’s education system can not afford to ignore it. But, he said it would be taught as a subject and not as a cultural imperialism, as it triggered wide cultural and societal divisions in the country.Giving an insight into the country’s education system as an experienced educationist, Imran criticised the politicians and the government both for their criminal negligence to ignore ‘education sector’ and highly politicising the educational institutions. He vowed to bring reform in the educational institutions until PTI comes into power. “All educational institutions would be de-politicised and decentralised to the town level under which education service delivery and its management would be devolved to district and sub-district levels in case if our party constitutes next government,” Imran said, adding that current ruler spent 500 crores (raised through corruption) to build a magnificent house in the heart of Lahore rather than investing in education sector. Expressing his optimism that the PTI’s tsunami had already triumphed three provinces and soon it would hit the fourth province as well, Imran told the participants of the moot that it was a matter of few months, ‘you will see tsunami will sweep away all the corrupt forces’.He told the participants that in FATA and Balochistan, the educational institutions had been shut for the past ten years due to which a generation could not educate their children, which is matter of immediate attention.Earlier, the PTI senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen unveiled the PTI Education Policy Vision under which the PTI presents a solution to the education emergency in Pakistan. Declaring the education as emergency plan, Tareen said that the PTI would introduce one education system for all segments of society and every province would be able to teach their children in mother tongues and Urdu as medium of instruction in all government and private schools up to class 8. He said that class 9 to 12 would have transitional years during which schools shall have the option to shift to English as the medium of instruction in preparation for professional/higher studies.Tareen, an industrialist and central leader of PTI, said that a uniform and world standard curriculum would be introduced for all the government and private schools, adding that the education service delivery and management will be devolved to district and sub-district levels and the provincial government would only provide oversight and regulation.The current spending on education spending, which is 2.1 per cent would be raised to five per cent, as it would help the government achieve the stated objectives, Tareen asserted.The PTI leader went on saying that the party would give a special focus to adult literacy from the age of 15-to-30 (55.8 million) and invest resources to provide functional literacy to them. He said that PTI government under its educational policy would give special emphasis on teacher training, besides inducting million fresh teachers and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which he termed a paradigm shift, would be used extensively for teaching, learning, performance management and proactive disclosure, Tareen vowed.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Feb-2013 here.