KARACHI -  Former federal minister Javed Jabbar said it was high time the Education Department of provincial governments link up with academic reform initiatives of private sector so that their impact could be multiplied and expanded to cover large sections of teachers and students associated with the government-run school systems.

He was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the two-day “Badal Do Teachers’ Expo” at a local hotel in Karachi on Sunday.

He recommended that Sindh Education Foundation being part of provincial government’s educational set-up should become part of the praiseworthy initiatives like “Badal Do” where a number of private sector’s like-minded organisations got together to inculcate values of tolerance, cultural diversity, pluralism and civic responsibility among teachers.

Former Senator Jabbar also on the occasion urged the federal and provincial governments to link-up three parallel education systems that continue to produce three different sets of educated Pakistanis.

“These three systems that are matriculation, Cambridge, and Madressah education don’t have any inter-connection with each other as they represent three different income groups in Pakistani society,” said the former federal minister and noted scholar.

“There should be an attempt to introduce a broadly singular education system in the country in place of these three lethal divisions in the society,” he said.

“This kind of three parallel streams of education continues to reinforce negative phenomena of inequity, disparity, and lack of cohesion on massive scale in the society,” said the former Senator. He said that 20 million children were of out of schools in the country, which accounted for 10 per cent of 200 million total population of Pakistan.

Jabbar said that was a very alarming figure, which posed a daunting challenge for the government to educate all the countrymen.

He said that recently the world renowned UK-based magazine the Economist had recently recognized and appreciated well educational reforms being observed to improve government-run schooling systems in Pakistan especially in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Such an appreciation by a well-reputed international magazine showed well the promising nature of Pakistani education system where reforms could bring massive improvement in favour of both students and teachers, he said.

Senior journalist Zubeida Mustafa inaugurated exhibition of photographs taken by the trainee teachers of the Badal Do programme.