Islamabad: Dr Fehminda Mirza, speaker of the National Assembly Saturday gave a loud and clear wake up call for development of education fearing that the country would suffer badly if it continues to lag behind in this vital sector.
“If we do not anticipate the sporadic change coming to destroy the fine fabric we have built with lot of hard work, God forbids we may lose for years to come” she issued this caution while addressing the 4th Annual Convocation of SZABIST held here at Convention Centre, Islamabad today.
The speaker in the same breath added that present government was fully committed to implementation of an ambitious academic agenda to help Pakistan not only survive but thrive in the increasingly competitive global arena.
Ms Mirza was of the view that majority of the internal problems confronting Pakistan including the economic woes can be redressed only through knowledge and education. She said human and intellectual capitals are the real drivers of sustainable national growth.
Speaker of the lower house lamented that Pakistan spends only 1.7 percent of its GDP on education, which is quite insufficient to ensure an ambitious academic revolution. “If we take the case of our neighbour s Bangladesh and India, they are spending much higher that we do on education and especially higher education”, she said.
Fehmida Mirza said given constraints and resource crunch, the country may not be able to achieve the MDGs by having literacy target of 100 percent by year 2015 and estimated that with the present growth rate, the country may increase the literacy rate by 58% by 2015.
She promised that as speaker of the national assembly she would impress upon the government to further expedite its educational development agenda and allocate maximum resources on this account.
“ We in Pakistan have to be awake to the challenges of creating learning opportunities and application of literacy, education and knowledge through higher education”
Chancellor of SZABIST, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said the institute will be ungraded, expanded and developed further to produce most qualified, knowledgeable and valuable human resources for Pakistan.
President of the institute Dr Saqib Razavi while congratulating the graduating students said that SZABIST is endeavouring to bring the students education par excellence that nurtures and prepares them to face challenges of the modern age.
Director SZABIST Islamabad campus, Syed Asad Hussain said his institution is striving to contribute the goals of knowledge-based economy by training and producing maximum number of entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors.
Vice Chancellor of SZABIST Dr Amanat Ali Jalbani and President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Javed Akhter Bhatti also addressed the occasion and stressed the need for industry-academia linkages to promote knowledge based economy.
A total of 532 students were awarded degrees during the convocation which included 76 under graduates, 455 masters and postgraduates and one P.hD. Twenty students received gold medals in different disciplines.
For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106