We all know that Islam stresses the need for education; it is sad to note that the majority of Muslim countries lag behind others in this field. Seeking knowledge is a sacred duty; it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed in the Quran was ‘Iqra’. But Muslims are paying no attention to this holy command of Allah and have turned to listening to the sermons of unholy men killing each other in the name of religion.

Being a Pakistani, it is sad to note that when it comes to literacy Pakistan is worse off than many underdeveloped countries. Now, let’s talk about our policy makers; it seems they are not even aware of the situation.

Every year education policy is reviewed by the government but the results are always the same. Illiteracy rate is rising every year while the government starts its own schemes such as ‘Parha Likha Punjab’ Danish Schools for that matter which have not helped raise our literacy rates at all.

These politicians are playing with our nation for the last 66 years just for their own profits. We should think about our children’s education and see if we are educating them correctly? Sadly in Pakistan we are spending more on arms and ammunition than on education. Countries can defend themselves by ammunition but cannot progress with guns and bombs. Why don’t our rulers realize that they are stunting the growth of a great nation by bad policies? We also know that economic progress is not possible when more than 80% human resources are uneducated.

In today’s world the benchmark for excellence of any country is education! Moreover, if a country has a damaged academic infrastructure, the chances to survive in current competitive world are less. The federal and provincial governments need to work together towards elimination of flaws in our education system rather giving away laptops. Funds can be brought into productive use by training the teachers, declaring an education emergency and providing essential schooling material like uniforms, books and stationary. Nelson Mandela rightly said that education was the most powerful weapon which could be used to change the world.

SALMAN ALI,

Lahore, January 6.