Updated on 2003-12-07 10:31:23

Present Govt's Commitment To Reform Education Sector Visible

KARACHI, Pakistan: Dec 07 (PNS) - Prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Saturday said that the present government has convincingly showed that it is committed to upgrading and reforming the education sector.

"New education initiatives are being implemented that will enhance primary school enrolment, increase training opportunities for teachers and school administrators, spread literacy and encourage public-private partnership for education. Within these programmes many opportunities exist for cooperation between the government and the Aga Khan University".

He was delivering his address at the 16th Annual Convocation of Aga Khan University.

Chancellor of the University Prince Karim Aga Khan distributed the certificates among graduating doctors and nurses at a colourful and impressive ceremony which was attended, among others, by Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Sardar Ali Mohammed Khan Mahar, Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Tariq Waseem Ghazi, President AKU Shams Kassim Lakha, Ministers, high civil and military officials, bureaucrats, donors, parents of graduating doctors and nurses and city elite.

The Prime Minister noted with delight that AKU's Institute for Educational Development has already entered into partnership for educational growth and social uplift, not only with the federal government but also the provincial government and NGOs. Our Government is determined to improve the quality of higher education, the Premier said. He said in this regard members of the Aga Khan University played a major role in helping to define what needs to be done to get things moving and achieving positive results.

"We look forward to Aga Khan University playing a continuing role in this national quest for academic excellence and indeed the establishment of a new Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Karachi, and the offering of high quality general education, will be an important step in our higher education programmes".

Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali said that it is not happened accidently that AKU has grown to play such a prominent role in Pakistan's march towards progress. The fact is that this University was established in Pakistan rather than elsewhere, and the Aga Khan Development Network has all of its operating units actively working in Pakistan, are manifestation of the commitment the Aga Khan has made to social development in this country.

"Your Highness, your faith in Pakistan is a source of inspiration and self-confidence for every one of us. And your continuous generosity is showing other members of society how philanthropic organisations, such as the Aga Khan Development Network, can lead the way in sustainable development, as also in supplementing the work of the government", Mir Zafarullah Jamali remarked.

He noted that corporate donors from local companies and multinationals, and indeed individual donors, have contributed so generously to the development of our country through this University, as according to Shams Kassim Lakha a magnificent donation of Rs one billion has been made in the form of five new buildings at the campus.

As a result of the generosity of so many individuals and companies, the University Hospital will be able to serve patients in the areas of their greatest need, the Prime Minister pointed out.

Addressing the new graduates, the Prime Minister told them that they are a very select, very fortunate group of young people. They have benefited from an education at one of the region's finest educational institutions and their qualifications will be recognised worldwide.

"There is no limit to what you might do as you go out into the world nor to what you might achieve. But I urge you, do not use that privilege only for your personal benefit. Employ your specialised education to help the under-privileged. Use it to ease the suffering of the sick without being motivated by money".

He asked them to remember that no religion in human history has ever prescribed the gathering of money as the purpose of life, neither is it the purpose of education.

"So, without thought for personal gain, use your education to empower people and backward communities. Help them replace despair, deprivation and hopelessness with optimism, opportunity and a sense of well-being".

He advised them that if they go abroad they should not forget their roots and what they owe to Pakistan. This is the best from where they started and try to give some of it back by coming to work here among their own people. They will be more grateful to them then any foreign community.