By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday urged upon all the stakeholders to find ‘out of the box solution’ to educate and impart skills to about 23 million out of school children in the country without divulging into ‘a brick and mortar’ ventures.
Speaking in ‘Education Excellence Recognition’ ceremony arranged by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president said that the number of out of school children was a matter of disconcerting for him.
The UNISCEF in its latest report about the out of school children after the recent floods had placed these figures at 27 million, he said, adding that by going through formal methods of enrolling them and constructing schools would take time.
“The world is moving at fast pace with bewildering developments in the latest knowledge,” he added.
The president said the government wanted the spread of latest science and technology throughout the fabric of society with new methods of education and techniques, but the other stakeholders like the industrialists and businessmen should also come forward to play their part in this regard.
He said the issue of number of out of school children posed a question mark and eve-ryone should find a quick and out of the box solution.
The president noted that the country was not quick to jump onto the bandwagon of lat-est revolutions in the realms of science and technology and stressed upon adoption of a holistic approach to the realities by accelerating pace of changes to match the rest of the world.
He said the education was a subject which now devolved to the provinces, and all the provinces were spending about 20 to 28 per cent of their budget on this sector.
In some of the neighbouring countries, the ratio of school attending children stood be-tween 98 to 100 percent but in Pakistan, it was 68 percent.
The president said that it was also a law of nature that those nations had excelled in different fields who had quest for the new and innovative ideas.
He also stressed upon enhancing the number of students at the higher education level and regretted that the formal attitude in this regard should be discarded.
Sharing examples, he said in Karachi, about 60,000 students appeared at FSc level but only 7,000 students could make it to the higher-level education.
In the neighbouring countries, the ratio of students seeking higher education reached to 25-26 percent.
The president also highlighted the significance of the single national curriculum.
He said that tools and gadgets were available and it was need of the hour that they must utilize them to equip their future generations with skills and latest education, be-sides imparting the core social values.
The president said that consultation process, trade, respect and identity were some of the ingredients upon which an edifice of the state was erected.
He said nations were built upon their national characters.
He also emphasized upon documentation of the economy to bring changes through adoption of latest tools, adding that the country possessed immense potential and the businessmen, traders and industrialists could play a vital role in this regard by harness-ing the young talent.