Nawaz ‘all sensitized’ on education priority
Academia hopes to get education above metro transport in preference list
Pakistani academia believed that during preparations for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in the form of his rare write–up in Daily Arab News and deliberations with experts durczing the conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is much more sensitised on the issue of significance of education for nation building. Expressing their hopes that the metro transport projects’ craze of the government would be shaken with a shuffle inthe priorities, and education sector would have top priority after war against terrorism and energy endeavours, educationists have welcomed the premier’s special interest to the conference.
Although the federal as well as the provincial governments have already started boosting off careful consideration of education in theannual budgets, however, total allocations to the federal budget amount to merely 1.6 percent of the GDP, even less than previous years.
In his address during a panel discussion at Oslo Summit, Nawaz said despite numerous challenges, Pakistan was giving high priority to education and aimed at increasing public expenditure on education to 4 percent of its GDP by 2018. He said Pakistan during the last decade braved numerous challenges of floods, terrorism and displacement of refugees.
Other panellists included Lebanon Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, Canada Deputy Minister of International Development Malcolm Brown, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and Save the Children Norway Secretary General Ms Tove Wang.
He said Pakistan in a short time was able to establish schools for displaced people after floods and a massive earthquake. He said thousands of schools were wiped out during 2005 earthquake, whereas during the 2010 floods, about 9,088 schools were destroyed and 5,790 school buildings were used as shelters.
The PM also referred to the 3.5 million refugees from Afghanistan and urged upon the international community to enhance humanitarian funding for education. He also stressed focus to be laid on teachers’ training, curriculum development and educational technologies. He said though education was now a provincial subject, but the federal government was acting as an influential catalyst to promote education in all parts of the country.
Earlier, the prime minister had a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former PM of K, Gordon Brown. Although Oslo summit penalists list was not that high as per protocole to have the premier as member, however acadmia is happy for his participation and sesitisation.