LAHORE - Mere capital investment will not suffice for making the elusive dream of sustained economic growth possible unless it is reinforced with properly trained and managed human capital. Therefore, a well planned technical education system is the imperative for the much needed economic growth that eludes the country. One important foundational step that Pakistan can take for a start is increase its active participation in international educational forums like the International Forum for Education 2020, the Forum for International Networking in Education (FINE), and World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). These initiatives have been taken to address the need to revolutionize education in the wake of the fast occurring socio economic global changes.

There is no denying the fact that socio-economic development of any society mainly depends upon the quality and extent of education accessible to its members. Therefore its development is to be taken like a challenge, because prosperity and development of any society is linked with the significant and sustained investment in higher education. This challenge demands efficient and judicial use of available resources that may come from the government, private sector, civil society groups and development partners. However, Pakistan’s record on the education front has not been impressive due to number of factors so far and the future demands further dynamism and coherence in our policies at macro and micro levels.

Pakistan has been formulating educational policies for past many years but none of them have been adequately implemented. Despite formulation of so many policies, the higher education system is still lacking far behind international competitive standards. The enrolment rate to higher education in the country stands at a meagre 8% whereas India stands at 20%, hence, the difference in the level of economic growth of the both countries.

Efforts of USAID have also been magnanimous as far as investment in education is concerned. USAID is investing $87 million in higher education, helping develop a cadre of expertise and leadership in the areas of civil service, education, civil society, and business.

Along with investment from various sources, both government and private, the most essential factor which should be the focus of attention by the stake holders is the need for innovation in education. Participation is the aforementioned international forums and interactions made in them can help stakeholders in really improving the innovation in education agenda. Of particular relevance would be participation in the WISE annual summit where a community of 18000+ global members participate both directly and indirectly and 152 of the world’s countries come together with new and innovative ideas and projects showing success of some of them and how their implementation can help other countries who are encountering similar problems.

The fact that education alone cannot fulfil its part in reaching the goal of sustained economic growth in today’s world where other factors such as economy, law reform, infrastructure and planning play a decisive role in advancement of higher socio economic stability through rise in education accessibility is undeniable.  The WISE community is a multi sectoral platform which caters to exactly these pressing issues which are faced by both developed and developing countries.