At last education has started receiving top priority consideration at the level of the government. Punjab government in particular has taken the lead in announcing initiatives and incentives for the talented students and teachers alike though certain problems still need to be addressed.
Talented students are being paid scholarships worth millions of rupees and many of them have been sent abroad on a number of occasions to get an opportunity to visit some world-renowned universities including that of United Kingdom.
During their tours, the students were able to interact with and learn a lot from the globally famous professors and researchers as gathered from these students’ experiences that they shared with this writer during some of the ceremonies held at the Chief Minister’s Office and Aiwane Iqbal in the capital of Punjab, Lahore.
The most inspiring moment came when the audience saw some students from the neglected classes of society being honoured like international figureheads at the central stage. Not only that, the students were also given presentation-at-arms and guard of honour by the Police Band under order of the CM Punjab, MianShahbaz Sharif.
This is indeed remarkable i.e the acknowledgement of children’s hard, intelligent work but some critics opine that guard of honour by police band is some kind of exaggeration and other awards conferred on the students and teachers including scholarships and cash prizes are more than sufficient to honour these nation-builders.
Not debating this question, I, however, want to draw the CM’s attention towards thousands of those slow learners who have been left neglected since they don’t fit in any scheme of the government or that of the CM or Education Department. This class of slow learners comprises good youngsters but due to their psychological problems or due to suppression of their abilities in their specificmilieus, they are ignored and left in a state of abandonment and forlornness. That is waste of a big lot among our intelligent youth. The government must set up a cell of experts with a humane heart like the tender-hearted and upright DrAmjadSaqib who is likened to a saint of the contemporary times, given his honest and transparent services rendered towards the suffering citizenry. These experts should identify these slow learners or this discouraged/de-motivated lot and identify their problems and after identifying the problems, they should seek the help of psychiatrists and psychologists to put the affected ones back into the normal activities of life and learning.
Some experts believe that once their lack of motivation is gone, this lot can contribute no less effectively than others in the nation-building process as these slow learners carry substantial potential energy in their minds and bodies. A little attention towards this big chunk of youth population can add more to the youth power and thus further expand the cadre of our already empowered and effectively-contributing youth.
It is believed that since both the government and the private sector have already embarked upon the journey of progress, research and empowerment of the youth, no stone will be left unturned in reviving, reforming and rehabilitating the neglected youth.
(The writer is a seasoned journalist and media academician. He can be reached at [email protected])