BAHAWALPUR - South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Ms Fatima Chohan called on State Minister for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Blighur Rehman at the latter’s officer and discussed various issues including education and terrorism.

Talking to the visiting minister, Blighur Rehman said, “Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments are committed to fight illiteracy.” For this purpose, he added, the governments had pledged to sanction hefty amounts in the forthcoming budgets for educational promotion. The world community was also satisfied with the efforts Pakistan was making to boost education, he claimed.

Both the leaders expressed satisfaction that democracy was taking roots in Pakistan. Baleeghur Rehman said that Pakistan was faced with problems regarding education of females and poor quality of education. He said that Pakistan had huge diversity in terms of geography and demography.

“Both the public and private sectors are doing very well in the field of education. Due to multiple reasons, major portion of our population is not getting quality education. We are facing a grave problem of high rate of dropouts around 6 million. We are planning to enhance the education budget up to four percent of the gross domestic product which is currently around two percent,” he told the African officialdom.  The minister further said the national problems which the present government inherited were paramount.

Talking about gender representation in schools, he said that at the entry level, there was a gap of about 10 percent as the number of boys who get admission in schools is greater than girls. However, when they graduate, the girls outnumber the boys, he added.

Ms Chohan said that her country had the same phenomenon of less number of girls at entry level but their number gets greater than the males at graduation level in South Africa. She added that when democratic transition took place in her country, it had faced the same scenario Pakistan has been facing. They also discussed the law and order situation in Pakistan.

The education minister said that his country was facing the problem of terrorism which has long history right from Russian invasion in Afghanistan. “The people who were trained to fight against Russia were left unattended after Russian withdrawal. To end violence, we have initiated dialogue process with the Taliban for which the things are not easy. We have seen enough bloodshed and bomb blasts. Although it is very challenging but our government wholeheartedly wants to find a peaceful solution to the problem,” he concluded.