LAHORE The national budget once again served a stepmotherly treatment to the education sector presumably wishing that the provinces will take care of this area with their own resources. Pakistan already badly lags behind other states in education so much so that minnows like the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan in South Asia are spending liberally on educating their youth. On health and education, the accumulative Rs 40billion has been allocated, striking in mind what value the government gives to bringing the nation intellectually and literally apace with others. Slicing this outlay to cater to the needs of health, the emerging picture to provide for education to over 90 million young people out of a total 180 million populace feels like a joke. A scant funding for education lays bare the fact that this sector is either still a blind spot for the rulers or they deliberately intend to keep the nation uneducated, unaware, unconscious, ignorant, in obscurantism, and in the dark, which all go for a perfect recipe in the modern day world to raise the masses unaware of their rights, ignorant of what system governs them and how it is being misused, uneducated of what other nations are learning and instilling discipline in their life by dint of that, unconscious of the fraud and the tricks being played on them and confused for being obscurant of how fast the world around is moving while they are groping in the dark finding the way to take first step to a distant destination. One feels head down at the thought that Pakistan is the seventh nuclear power of the world, but the national are so disarray, disoriented and distracted that sometimes world suspects us falling out of the definition of a nation even a society. Leaving aside the outsiders, the members of the intellectual stratum in our society many a time have described the Pakistanis as a crowd or mob devoid of any guiding principles. The fault, perhaps, does not lie with the masses, but with the classes which are overpowered by a mindset wherein they abhor that the people break the shackles of ignorance. Ours is a society largely constituted by feudal, Waderas, nawabs, sardars, etc., leading under the impression of being superior themselves and loathing others who might even try to come up intellectually, financially and socially. They fear losing a vote-bank if awareness came to their Mazaras and Kamis through education. That was why thousands of ghost schools were detected during the first tenure of Shahbaz Sharif in 1998 and still many exist in various rural localities of the country. The status conscious class is prone to do it for political considerations while another factor should also not lose the sight. That is lack of job opportunities on account of slow economic growth and industrialization, etc. High number of educated people against less number of jobs marks another inefficiency of the government. Educationists say creating jobs congruous with the volume of educated people is pivotal to national growth and a disproportionate therein on account of less number of jobs opportunities is equally dangerous to the country. Todays is a research-oriented global society wherein different governments tap and utilize maximum talent out of their youths in the national developments with a futuristic view as well as to groom the youngsters to meet the challenges. But our budgetary allocation on research studies is slim at just Rs 14billion and that, too, after making Higher Education Commission, the body responsible for supervising the research activities, down in the mouth inflicting a dispute on it in the near past. Educationalists say given the situation in Pakistan, we need more and more research works on every sphere of life from trafficking to the worst problems facing the country particularly terrorism, in order to find their causes and solution. They said if sincerity of purpose is there and a will existed, Pakistan blessed with the largest young population, can beat others in minimum time. They say our youth brims with talents that can be employed to check corruption, crime and get solutions by assigning them the same job which has been given to an officer in the department concerned. The investigations of the fresh brains would not only serve as a counter check but they can also explore new avenues in the concerned areas through their research. Only will and political initiative is needed, which however feels absolutely absent when one looks at such a meager allocation on education and research work.