KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he is committed to ensuring access of all the children and youth of Sindh to universal and quality education.

He added, “We will put an end to the abuse of the educational curriculum by removing hate, violence and references to militancy and incorporate tolerance and respect for diversity.” This he said while addressing the 14th convocation of SZABIST, organised at PAF on Saturday evening.  Those who were present included Chancellor Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Vice Chairman Aftab Shaban Mirani, President Board of Trustees Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Dr Altaf Mukati, SZABIST faculty, parents and students.

He said this prestigious institution [SZABIST] was founded by his leader Benazir Bhutto (BB) with the vision to promote the cause of education in Pakistan. “I belong to Sindh and for me the youth of Sindh, young men and women, are the future leaders in all fields of our social, economic, cultural and political life,” he said.

Quoting the message of BB, he said she had told the youth of the country, “My message to you, the young generation, to whom the torch of leadership will pass on, is to focus on education, on health, on social uplift and governance.”

He said he was aware of the fact that SZABIST had consistently maintained its distinction in imparting knowledge by utilising modern learning methods. He added that the SZABIST had been the frontrunner in promoting leadership skills among students and had contributed significantly towards community development.

“I would like to share with the young graduates here today the words of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” the CM said, and quoted, “I desire that vast number of people of Pakistan should acquire technological skills. I want first-class science in Pakistan because nothing less is acceptable. And I wish Pakistan to be increasingly self-reliant in all aspects of technology.”

He further said, “I am committed to ensuring access to universal and quality education for all the children and youth of Sindh,” and added the education reforms of his government were guided by the policy principles which are as follows:

“We are committed to Education for All to eliminate class divides, gender disparities, poverty and unemployment. We believe that every citizen should be able to realise his/her full potential in society through appropriate educational and vocational skills; We will combat obscurantism and promote a forward-looking national outlook based on our progressive indigenous traditions and a positive engagement with science, development and universal values.

“We have initiated dialogue with seminary councils to modernize their education systems,” he informed, and said, “We will provide the latest technology and facilities in our institutions to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship to stay abreast with the world.”

The CM congratulated the students on their successful completion of studies, and said, “You have strived hard to meet the robust challenges set by your institution,” and added, “I hope the rigours of the academic journey have prepared you well to face the challenges of the practical life.” He hoped the students that they would contribute towards societal development. “Our country faces a host of challenges such as environmental degradation, high population growth rate that is outstripping our resources,” he said.

He said that he was very pleased to learn that more than 1000 students were graduating today, passing through the threshold of SZABIST to join the market of highly skilled professionals. He said that SZABIST has an excellent track record and a very bright future ahead; it has created its identity and become one of the most preferred institutes of the country, including becoming one of the top 3 Business Schools in the country.  On the occasion the chancellor of SZABIST, President board of trustees also spoke. The chief minister awarded degrees to the graduates.