ISLAMABAD Educationists on Monday called for major changes in syllabus and a uniformity to divert the youths minds from extremism and help them focus on building a tolerant society. During a consultative meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at the PM Secretariat, the vice-chancellors and academicians vowed to extend full support to the govt in rooting out extremism. Gilani reiterated his governments commitment to stamp out terrorism from the country and sought educationists assistance in devising a national policy to combat the menace. Gilani announced establishment of public libraries across the country with the first to be set up in Islamabad and setting up of media university with a pilot project to be launched from the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan. He said it would be followed by strengthening departments of mass communication in eight universities, which would go a long way in the capacity-building of the media personnel and improvement of their professional capabilities. Gilani said a meeting of the Council of Common Interests would be convened soon to discuss the issue of funding and provision of more resources for the proposal of bringing uniformity in education system and syllabus. He said education was a provincial subject after the passage of 18th Amendment, but he assured that the federal government would extend all-out support to the provinces in improving education standards. He lauded the role of educationists and media representatives, saying that they played a key role in steering out the country of the ills. Gilani said keeping in view the suggestions from the previous two sessions, a number of decisions were taken while more would be taken after the four-part dialogue series, which would be announced on August 14. The prime minister regretted that dropout rate was making the young minds vulnerable to falling prey to terrorists. Gilani said he was eying the suggestions that would be made forth at the forum so that a positive change could be brought. The prime minister said imparting education was a gigantic task and needed the help of private and government sectors. He also mentioned his recent visit to the UK when he was assured of 650 million pounds aid for reforming the education sector in Pakistan. Gilani said there was a need of encouraging regional, national and foreign languages. He said 65 per cent of countrys youth need to be given proper education at formal and vocational levels. He said in Gilgit-Baltistan, literacy rate was over 80 per cent and appreciated the role of Sir Aga Khan Foundation. Gilani said terrorism was hampering national growth. But, he added that education could help uproot the menace. He said law enforcement agencies were jointly working in coordination with the provincial governments to pre-empt and counter the threat. He said 2.9 million IDPs of Swat and Malakand were repatriated in 90 days while they were paid compensation. He also stressed the need of encouraging extra-curricular activities and said it could play a vital role in generating healthy activities in the country. Around 40 participants, mostly educationists, and hosts of television shows were in general critical of the several education systems running parallel in the country and urged measures to bring uniformity. They opined that poor standards of current syllabus at government schools could not meet the future challenges. They reached consensus on teacher-training, improvement of service structure, induction of trained and at least graduate level teachers, teaching in regional languages, distance learning, short courses, and making education affordable. Mehtab Akber Rashdi, Prof Elvin Adwin, Yasin Masoom Zai, Sadrudin Pardhan Irfan Awan, Dr Salma, Nargis Zaidi and others spoke on the occasion. The meeting, third in a row, and part of the series of 'Prime Ministers Dialogue with the Nation, was aimed at gaining an insight into their vision and giving a definite direction to the nation.