The constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says, ‘The State of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period’. The Human Development Report placed Pakistan at 136th position due to 49.9 percent literacy rate. According to UNESCO, the rate of completion of primary education is 33.8 percent in female and 47.18 percent in males. The reasons are numerous and highlighting them repeatedly is not the solution. Awareness is needed on all levels from individuals, to policymakers, to accord education a high priority, in order to bring a change and improve the condition of the country.

The first step is having a practical policy fully implemented. Increasing the budget for education should be top priority of the incoming government. A uniform system of education, where the medium of instruction should be one is even more important. Gender discrimination should be discouraged and the concept of ‘education for all’ should be propagated. Teacher’s training programs are also a requirement. Technical education is a must. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan emphasised education as a tool to fight against tyranny and injustice. The students who understood the importance of education were the flag bearers of Pakistan.

Today, the only hope to build Pakistan, fight all the evils and overcome problems depends on our sincerity to prepare our younger generation to be physically and cognitively strong. Those who are well versed in reasoning and research, and have a vision for the future should be at the helm of things or at least guide them. This cannot be accomplished without meaningful and objective academic background. Such rock solid foundations of today are the only investment for a secure future.

RAMEEZ FAROOQUI,

Karachi, May 28.