KARACHI         -          The country is currently exposed to the class-based stratification in terms of socio-economic wellbeing of the masses and needs a comprehensive approach for a uniform education system, said PTI’s member of the National Assembly from Karachi, Aftab Hussain Siddiqui, here on Saturday.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the day-long “Children Carnival and Inter-School Competition” organised by an NGO, he said both federal and provincial governments must join hands for uniformity in the education system. Siddiqui, also the Parliamentary Secretary for Aviation Division, said Prime Minister Imran Khan stood by his commitment and the federal government was working to introduce a uniform education system in the country. This, he said, was crucial to get rid of the present multiple academic systems for which all the provinces must rise above political difference and support the federal government in the endeavour.

MNA Aftab H Siddiqui said that PM Imran Khan is focusing on academic facilities for students of the needy families and had recently rolled out the largest ever need-based scholarship programme of the country. “Some 200,000 students belonging to the low-income families would be provided scholarships in four years as 50,000 such scholarships would be given on annual basis,” he said.

According to him once these students from needy families would complete their education, they would be given loans under yet another initiative of the present government “Kamyab Jawan Scheme” to help them start their own businesses. “Another major initiative of the present government is the introduction of mainstream education in the religious seminaries across the country,” said the MNA belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

NGO’s Chief Executive Officer Zahid Saeed on the occasion urged the government to declare educational emergency in the country, with the support of provinces, so as to deal with issues like out-of-school children. “Although the subject of education had been devolved to the provinces following the 18th Constitutional Amendment but the federal government cannot absolve itself from its responsibility to provide quality education to children belonging to  under-privileged communities,” he said.

“Presence of 4.2 million out-of-school children alone in Sindh is a serious challenge for the government and this also demanded that available resources and budget for the education sector is spent in a transparent manner and on an efficient basis,” he said.

Zahid Saeed claimed that per capita income of Pakistan could increase by five times if the government worked with dedication to improve educational standards and to enrol the out-of-school children as had happened in the case of China. About the NGO, he said it had begun its journey some 25 years back and decided to establish schools in remote and rural parts of Sindh where there existed no government or private school.

First of these schools was said to be established in a remote part of district West of Karachi and since then in a span of 25 years over 150 charitable schools have been established with a strength of 29,000 being taught by 1400 qualified teachers. “We want to increase enrolment of students to 100,000 in next five years,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the day long fun cum educational related activities students of the charitable schools actively participated in series of contests and also presented different skits and tableau highly appreciated by the guests.