Looking at the developing and developed countries we can easily identify that the reason for their growth is education. This is not rocket science but it seems to escape the government in the last four decades. In the last budget Pakistan once again deplorably spared only 2% of the federal budget for education. With adult literacy rate about 49%; 15,000 ghost schools and 25,000 ghost teachers; zero accountability to regulate hefty funds that flow into educational reforms, we are headed toward doom.

When we adopt shortcuts to solutions it only results in compounding the problems that take us back to square one. The only way to approach the diverse, deep seated issues like the soaring health problems, lower life expectancy rates, crimes, disorder, and emigration of active youth from Pakistan; is to eradicate illiteracy and improve our local education system. Here are my two cents on it:

Undoubtedly, primary schooling should be fully sponsored by the government and stringent perusal on quality and progress in all sectors be judiciously ensured. This is essential for the integrity of the sharply deteriorating moral values in these times. When the generation emerges with broader minds, it will be easier to deal with the population explosion. The ability to communicate will help the citizens be more informed which will result in better decision making and dealing with the intimidating challenges of the future.

Hard earned money relayed to international boards, foreign certificate programs can be utilized for the improvement of education system. And if the government does not compromise on teaching quality with lower salaries, there can be numerous issues taken care of at the higher level where we can preserve youth from going abroad by attaining quality education in their home country. Their dynamism as students can be channelized in university research contributing to resolve problems of national concern with the application of innovation in technology. Further importance to education can improve our youth and their outlook. They can become assets. We can additionally empower them with some skills to make them grow into full members of the society rather than fodder for the Taliban.

MUHAMMAD SALAHUDDIN KHAN,

Islamabad, November 2.