KARACHI       -         Arts Council of Pakistan had formed a committee of senior educationists, led by former vice chancellor of Karachi University Dr Peerzada Qasim to work for holding national conference on education in March 2020, here at ACP.

Such announcement was made by ACP President Ahmed Shah on Sunday during a session on “Educational Issues and the Solutions” held on fourth and last day of International Urdu Conference; organised by PCP-Karachi.

The panel on education was moderated Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed and it included Dr Peerzada Qasim Raza, Ms Zubaida Mustafa, Prof Tauseef Ahmed Khan, Ms Ameena Syed, Sadiqa Salahuddin and Ghazi Salahuddin. 

During the session, the panellists—having different experiences in education sector – called for increase in the government’s annual budget to four percent of gross domestic product, which is the international standard for minimum budget allocation for education.

They also emphasised on inclusive education along with proper monitoring of schools and taking practical steps to bring street children into schools especially girls.

Ms Sadiqa Salahuddin, sharing her experiences in education under public and private sectors, induction of female teachers mainly at primary level was imperative for increasing enrollment of girls. The parents of girls were shy to send them to schools dominated by male teachers.

“Only 30 percent are female teachers at primary level. Of them, majority do work in urban areas,” she said adding that for promotion of literacy in the country the change in overall society was needed.

A writer Ms Zubaida Mustafa advocated for providing education especially primary education in mother tongue of the children, which has proved very beneficial for building knowledge base among toddlers.

Ms Ameena Syed from Oxford Press-Karachi underlined the need to re-visit the examination system and make it capable to promote critical thinking among the students. 

The exam system should be curriculum based instead of text books based, she said. Prof Tauseef Ahmed supported the revival of students unions.

However, he added, the Federal and Provincial governments should do legislation to ensure better role of these students bodies. 

Former vice chancellor of University of Karachi, Dr Peerzada Qasim, while concluding the session on education issues and the solutions, said solutions were available but strong will power and commitment from the governments and the society was required. 

He said education is now provincial governments’ subject and therefore more responsibility lied on their shoulders.

He said six national education policies formed by different governments were good documents. Any of these policies should be picked and implemented in letter and spirit.

The higher education was comparatively better, he said. He said education could be promoted in the country through small projects/initiatives.

Dr Peerzada Qasim regretted that majority of teachers had adopted teaching as their profession not by choice but by chance.

President of Arts Council of Pakistan (ACP) Ahmed Shah said 200 delegates from 20 countries including United States of America, Japan and India have participated in four-day international Urdu conference.

In a chat with media, he said this event was being organized by ACP for last twelve years and it was getting momentum over the passage of time.

“This has proved a unique step for promotion of literature and poetry,” he said adding that this year, more colours have been added to it.

The President ACP said the conference included Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, Siraiki literature and poetry, besides children literature. He expressed his satisfaction over the successful holding of the event. In future, further steps would be taken to make this event more attractive and useful, he added.

Gap in female, male

writers narrowing: Amjad

Renowned scholar and poet Amjad Islam Amjad on Sunday said during last three decades many writers and poets had emerged and that now literature and poetry was in better hands.

He made these comments while speaking during the books launching session of four-day 12th International Urdu Conference organized here by Arts Council of Pakistan.

Amjad Islam Amjad said the gap between female and male writers and poets was narrowing day by day.

He said such sessions on books were a good attempt to reconnect youth to books.

Another writer Asif Farukhi said the novels of present times were different than those of past. These novels were need of the time. There was continuous process of improvement in these novels and every person should read these.