PM hints at imposings education emergency in country

Shehbaz Sharif calls alarming figure of 26 million out-of-school children a criminal negligence n Announces Daanish Schools in remote areas of AJK, GB, Balochistan, Sindh

ISLAMABAD  -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced that the federal government would establish Daanish Schools in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh provinces to fulfill the aspiration of Quaid-e- Azam’s Pakistan by delivering quality education to children coming from economically disadvantaged families.

“This is not the fault of the poor children if their parents cannot afford quality education despite working hard or those who are orphans... If the iron gates of the Aitchison College or Grammar School are obstructing their way (to quality education), the door of Daanish Schools are open for them,” the prime minister said while addressing a ceremony of inspection of site for Daanis School being established in Kuri area of the federal capital.

To be established over 30 acres of land, the school will provide free education and accommodation to the children from the capital city and its suburbs with a vision to provide equal opportunity for quality education.

Calling the alarming figure of 26 million out-of-school children a “criminal negligence”, the prime minister said Quaid-e-Azam’s dream about Pakistan would remain unfulfilled without making arrangements for their education.

“There can be no bigger national service or the fulfillment of the responsibility than enrolling these out-of-school children,” he said and announced that the federal government would fully bear the expenses of constructing Daanish Schools in AJK, GB, remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh.

Prime Minister Shehbaz also announced that the federal government would declare an education emergency in the country and would dole out all possible resources to educate particularly the children from disadvantaged families.

He told the gathering of federal ministers, bureaucrats, heads of international institutions, educationists and students that the Daanish Schools project was initiated under PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s vi­sion and that the students were making an impact in debate, sports and other fields interna­tionally. Recounting the jour­ney of the visionary project, the prime minister said they resist­ed the immense criticism of the initiative just to support the chil­dren to support children from low-income groups with quality education at par with elite-class education institutions.

He also recalled that under Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, the PML-N government in the past gave away laptops to the stu­dents which became an earning tool for them. Besides, the then Punjab government also re­cruited around 200,000 teach­ers purely on merit. 

He said the groundbreaking of Islamabad’s Daanish School would be performed soon and asked the education minis­try to ensure its completion within 6-8 months. He also an­nounced to personally inaugu­rate the Daanish Schools to be established in AJK, GB and Ba­lochistan. In his address, Min­ister for Federal Education and Professional Training Dr Kha­lid Maqbool Siddiqui lauded the vision behind Daanish School and said the scope of the proj­ect was being expanded to oth­er parts of the country.

He requested the prime min­ister to declare an education emergency to address the chal­lenges and shortcomings in the education sector and that every vacant building should be used for teaching purposes. 

Comparing the aging nations of US, Japan and Germany, he said Pakistan was rich with youth bulge and the govern­ment should utilise its resourc­es to skill train them to make them employable in the inter­national market.

Chairman of Benazir Income Support Program and Akhuwat Foundation Amjad Saqib re­called the journey of establish­ment of Daanish Schools aimed at addressing the disparities in the society and lauded the Punjab Education Endowment Fund which benefited around 450,000 students in Punjab.

Highlighting the issue of out-of-school children, he said the poor parents also yearned to see their children educate and excel and expressed the hope that the prime minister would play his role to change their fate. In his remarks, Usman Akram, a Pre-Engineering stu­dent of Daanish School in At­tock, said the Daanish School had played a remarkable role in improving the literacy rate in the province by providing a platform of quality education to the students like him coming from a low-income group. 

He said the Daanish School students were ready to play their role in national develop­ment and requested the prime minister to expand the facility across Pakistan.

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