PESHAWAR:January 18: Participants of ‘The News Education Expo 2012’ here Tuesday demanded allocation of four per cent of the GDP for education and termed more investment in the sector vital for development.
Through a unanimously adopted resolution, the participants of ‘The News Education Expo 2012’ asked the federal and the provincial governments to allocate four per cent of the budget to education to bring about a visible improvement in the sector. The resolution said that without sufficient investment neither the quality of education nor quantity could be improved at public sector institutions.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the two-day expo organised by the Jang Media Group at a five-star hotel, Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, vice-chancellor University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, stressed the need for realistic policies instead of rhetoric and said that pragmatic shift was needed in policy making to bring visible improvement in the vital sector of education.
He said that everybody knew that progress and development of a nation was impossible without education but there was lack of sincerity to the cause while framing policies. “Why the double standard of education as on the one hand cadet colleges and English medium institutions are there for one class and poorly managed schools and colleges for the other class? “ he posed the question.
He said that improvement in the quality and ratio of education was not possible until and unless it was put on the government’s priority list and sufficient investment was made in the public sector educational institutions serving the vast majority.
“Let us announce today that education is the engine of development. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should take the lead by enhancing education budget to four per cent of the GDP and others will follow suit,” he suggested.
Dr Ihsan Ali, vice-chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, said improvements could be made through commitment and sincerity to the cause. He called for exploiting the available resources on local level for bringing about improvement in education. He said education should not be just job-oriented as it enabled one to acquire knowledge and skills.
He enumerated his contributions in expanding the Hazara University and Abdul Wali Khan University and improving their standards. .
“Presently we have 120 PhD students compared to 211 at the 60-year old University of Peshawar. We also have a fleet of 88 buses for pick and drop of the students which shows how an institution could be made the best if there is a will,” he remarked. He said he followed the idea of taking education to the doorsteps of the people and also the slogan of ‘Educated Pakistan.’
Dr Nasir Saeed, Dean of the Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology (PICO), Hayatabad, Tariq Yousafzai, Executive Director of the Sarhad University, Fayaz Raja from Oxford University Press, Rizwan Ahmad, Additional Director of the Agricultural University Peshawar and Matloob Ahmad, Managing Director of the Quaid-i-Azam Group of Colleges, also addressed the function and stressed the need for taking practical steps for improving the education sector.
Earlier, Haroon Khan, manager marketing of the Jang Media Group at Peshawar welcomed the guests and shed light on the objectives of holding the expo. He said it aimed at providing an opportunity to the students to get information about educational institutions in the province.
Sarmad A Ali, managing director of the group, thanked the participants and the organisers for making the event a success. He gave away shields to the stallholders and guest speakers.
The institutions that had set up stalls included the Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar, Sarhad University Peshawar, Abasyn University Peshawar, Agricultural University Peshawar, Quaid-e-Azam College, Swabi, Khyber Girls Medical College Peshawar, Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology, Peshawar, University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar, Khyber Groups Colleges, Peshawar, Euro Consultants, Peshawar, Euro Institute of Management Sciences, West City College London, Jang Media Group, ICMS Education System Peshawar, RMT Enterprise, Canadian University Application Center, Preparation for Life (PFL), Khyber Medical College Peshawar, University College Islamabad, University of South Asia, Lahore, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Professionals Academy of Commerce (PAC), Pakistan Institute of Modern Studies (PIMS), Oxford University Press, Bright Spark Education Consultants, Peshawar and ICMS University Campus Peshawar. The expo will continue today (Wednesday) till 5 pm.The news.