Education at “forefront” of government’s agenda:PM

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told Nobel Laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai on Wednesday evening that promotion of education was at the “forefront” of the present government’s agenda.

Malala, who is in New York in connection with a U.N. event, called on the prime minister during which she reinforced her commitment to promote education in Pakistan, particularly the female education. Referring PM Abbasi’s commitment to expand education in Pakistan, she expressed hope that he would become the champion of education in Pakistan.

Appreciating the resolve of Malala Yousafzai for promotion of education in Pakistan, the prime minister said that education was at the forefront of the present government’s agenda as no investment would yield dividends without investing in the education sector.

The last four years, he said, have seen improvements in the field of education in Pakistan. However, the government was cognizant of the challenges in the education sector, and that he had written to the provincial chief ministers urging them to work together for the promotion of education in the country. The prime minister noted with satisfaction that the Punjab government has done great job through its education programme, in collaboration with DFID , had resulted in significantly reducing the drop-outs while increasing the enrollment. However, a lot of work still needs to be done to address the gender inequality and infrastructure issues.

The government was now focusing on syllabus to make mathematics, history and sciences as core part of the syllabus to promote analytical skills of the students. The prime minister further said that the government was also in contact with NGOs and the provincial governments to achieve this objective.

Prime Minister Abbasi alkso said that massive increase has been made by the present government in the higher education budget. “I believe that not only the quantity, but also the quality of education matters.”