Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday urged the nation to focus on mathematics and sciences to ensure progress in all spheres and attain a coveted place in the comity of nations.
He was addressing an event on the launch of the first volume by the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Sciences—“How maths and science power nations”—a project by Alif Ailaan here at the PM office.
He said his government was endeavouring to rise above petty political issues and focusing on the provision of quality education with particular emphasis on sciences to take the country forward.
The prime minister said the future of every nation was based on learning mathematics and sciences, adding the ancient civilisations relied on their knowledge, innovated and built cities that were a source of marvel.
He said the artefacts used by the people of Harappa, Taxila and Moenjodaro, and the style of their buildings reflected they were highly learned and civilised.
He said Islam also called for learning, research and studies and that was the reason great Muslim scientists and researchers made great discoveries in every field of life.
The prime minister said Muslims of sub-continent rose to the fore due to the efforts of educated scholars; in this regard, he specially mentioned Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s efforts.
He said this quest for knowledge was also apparent in speeches and writings of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
He said Pakistan was now also an associate member of the European Research Centre – CERN and its scientists were bringing a good name to the country.
He said their placement at world’s leading scientific research centre was only possible due to their hard work and commitment to attain higher knowledge.
He regretted that, in the past, the vital areas of food security, environmental issues, educational reforms, economic stability were ignored; however, the incumbent government was making hectic efforts to overcome the lapses of the past.
The prime minister said the last week he represented Pakistan at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, adding the world was getting ready for the fourth industrial revolution and recalled his meeting with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Ali Baba CEO Jack Ma.
He said for a bright Pakistan, the young generation needed to lead the world markets in all spheres, but this could only be achieved by getting a quality education in sciences and mathematics.
He said his presence here was to strengthen the vision of his government for a better and brighter Pakistan that occupied a prominent position amongst the comity of nations.
He said his government was endeavouring to improve the condition of the educational institutions and was upgrading all schools in the federal area to bring them at par with those in the modern world.
He noted that the current enrolment rate of children in schools was not very impressive; however, efforts were underway to improve the situation.
The prime minister directed the Capital Administration Directorate and all provincial governments to benefit from the recommendations of the conference so as to significantly enhance their quality of education.
He said the previous government’s focus was on giving jobs, adding his focus was on imparting good education, as he believed that Pakistan could progress through innovation and entrepreneurship.
The event was attended by academicians, teachers, and representatives of leading educational institutions in the country.
The first volume was launched by Alif Ailaan—a campaign that seeks to put education at the front and centre of public discourse in Pakistan.
The campaign pointed out that there were 24 million boys and girls out of school; of those children who do go to school, the vast majority receive poor quality education, and 45 per cent of government schools were in a dilapidated condition and lacked basic facilities.
The event was addressed by Dr Sabeh Anwar, Dr Kalsoom Hayat, Mosharraf Zaidi, Jibran Sethi and Shehzad Roy.
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Food Security Minister Sikandar Hayat Bosan and PM’s Special Assistance on Foreign Relations Tariq Fatemi also attended the event.