Pakistan should jump on train of industrial revolution, technology: President

Pakistan should jump on train of industrial revolution, technology: President

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi stressed upon the need for fast emulation of latest trends in science and technology as these were prerequisite for fast track reforms in the education system.

Addressing a national seminar on education here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said education and health were the two key factors for national development and called upon the stakeholders to ensure quality in both these areas of national prosperity.

The president said the government had strong passion for bringing about innovative mechanism, compatible with the latest trends across the globe, in the education system for better grooming of the new generations.

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, National Defence University (NDU) President Lt Gen Amir Riaz, Shaeed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) President Dr Shahnaz Wazir Ali and a large number of educationists and professionals were present on this occasion.

The president said the latest trends in technology were altogether changing aspects of the daily life with the 4th industrial revolution knocking at the doors.

Besides, quality and quantity in education sector, imparting of education should be made easier and the access to knowledge should be made an open source for everyone, he added.

Referring to China’s steps for pulling out huge chunk of its population out of poverty, he said through quality education and healthcare facilities, they achieved the marvel.

The president also referred to use of modern gadgets and apps being utilized across the West for teaching and distance learning techniques and emphasized that Pakistan should also take stride in these mega trends.

Highlighting the significance of system chips, he said Pakistan should start manufacturing these components indigenously as the future rested with the artificial intelligence era with estimated worth of $30 trillion. He also regretted that Pakistan, so far did not figure in these developments.

The president said Pakistan did not need to cling to slow progress in the education system but should jump to the next level by virtue of technology and become part of ‘such intelligence based factories'.

He further stressed upon the qualities of honesty and integrity for embarking upon any ventures and observed that the latest tools were available for achieving the breakthrough in education and knowledge.

Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood in his speech highlighted three different streams of educational system in the country with separate system of certification.

He termed these systems unjust as these were class-based, and called for an equal system of education for all at the higher level.

The minister regretted that there was no linkage between the education and market jobs and stressed upon the use of latest technology to bridge these gaps.

He expressed the resolve that the government would bring tangible reforms in the education sector.

HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri said number of graduates in the higher education had increased but the quality was not of satisfactory level.

He said the HEC was producing 50,000 research papers but lacked proper and consistent funding. The ratio and percentage of students in the higher education needed to be increased on the annual basis, he added.

Banuri also called for creation of proper educational opportunities in the deprived areas of the country.

NDU President Lt Gen Amir Riaz highlighted the close relation between the knowledge based society and the human development. He said the issues at hand required will and collective efforts.

Such a drive should be powered by pursuit of knowledge with ambition, he said and underlined the need for focusing on the primary teaching level where the teachers were lowly paid. He also appreciated formation of National Curriculum Council.

BISP Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar, CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, SZABIST President Dr Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Chairman Citizens Forum Mushtaq Chapra and others also highlighted the need for adoption of modern methods for imparting education mainly targeting the out of school children.

They referred to Article 25-A of the Constitution which was inserted after the passage of 18th amendment, making the basic education as an enforceable right of the citizens.

They also stressed upon bringing about conformity in three different educational system of the country.