MIRPUR (AJK)-Well on its way to achieving its quantitative goals in Azad Kashmir in the realm of education, now the focus of the planners is on raising quality of education.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan remarked while addressing an event organised by the Quest for Education (QFE), a UK-based non-governmental organisation based in London which promotes quality education in the AJK and Pakistan.

The QFE, especially focuses on education to deprived and talented children in rural areas; and in these efforts collaborates with the Kashmir Education Foundation, based in Rawalpindi.

President Masood Khan said that according the latest survey, the AJK has surpassed all regions of Pakistan in overall educational score, more than 85 %, as well as in other indicators, such as enrolment, learning, retention and gender parity. Still, he said, there are huge challenges in educational infrastructure, teacher training and educational technology.

He highlighted how the people of Azad Kashmir, because of their passion for education, have now established five universities, three medical colleges, and scores of postgraduate colleges. "The emphasis now is on quality education at all levels - primary, secondary and tertiary", he pointed out.

The AJK president recalled how the state, decades ago, started from the scratch and now is on the path on to becoming an educational hub in the country.

Masood Khan lauded performance of the Kashmir Education Foundation over the years in producing high achievers in all walks of life and paid rich tribute to its founding fathers - General Rahim Khan, MR Khan and Sardar Habib.

He said that after having made progress in the quantitative goals, now Azad Kashmir is trying to promote compatibility between the emerging market trends and the curricula and various disciplines being taught.

Pakistan, he said, earlier this year has been declared an emerging economy by Morgan Stanley Capital International and this has opened up huge new opportunities for Azad Kashmir.

"In sync with the new national, regional and global trends, now Azad Kashmir will produce graduates in corporate management, business, and new technologies", he said.

Pakistan, the President said, is becoming a growth engine of the region after witnessing and fighting turbulence and volatility caused by global terrorism. "Now it was looking beyond this phase to a period of robust economic development and human security", he said.

Education, the President said, will act as a catalyst in promoting peace, stability and harmony and Pakistan and Azad Kashmir will contribute to this trend by putting quality education in the centre, which is also an integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Our ambition is to leave no one behind by 2030, he said.