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PM says ‘parallel education systems’ biggest hurdle to progress

29 Nov, 2021
PM stresses need for giving informed choices to youth. Photo: Screen grab
PM stresses need for giving informed choices to youth. Photo: Screen grab

Expressing concerns over the lack of leadership in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that the prevailing education system was the “biggest hurdle” to the nation’s progress.

“Our education system is the reason for our slavery. Three parallel education systems – English medium, Urdu medium, Madrassas – running in the country have brought up three nations,” he said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the academic block of Al Qadir University in Islamabad.

He said that his government was planning to improve the core education and planning to bring a unified curriculum to counter the challenges posed by parallel education systems.

“Because of colonialism, Muslims are a victim of mental slavery,” PM Imran said.

The premier also spoke about the state of leadership in the country that according to him has been the “biggest problem” over the years.

“We don’t have leaders. Most of the leaders lack character. A big responsibility lies for the one who is a leader. A leader serves the public,” he said.

Taking a jibe at some political leaders for apparently favouring their family members, the premier highlighted the importance of meritocracy in the country. He related the duties of leaders with ensuring merit in taking decisions and delivering resources.

He went on to reiterate his concerns over the presence of a convicted person (Nawaz Sharif) at an event where the country's top judge, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was also present.

“The chief guest [Nawaz Sharif] was a convicted person who snatched public money. When you don’t consider theft as wrong, it will continue to grow. Society won’t prevail if we don’t consider corruption as a wrong act,” PM Imran said.

Speaking truth and ensuring justice were two qualities of a leader, according to the premier.

Informed choices

Premier Imran stressed the need for giving “informed choices” to the youth amid the obscene literature available on the internet. He was of the view that the government cannot shut social media, but they can tell children about the right choices.

He further talked about protecting the family system, while sharing his concerns about prevailing Western culture. “Europe has become a spiritually barren area,” the PM quoted the Pope as saying.

Research-based learning

In his address, PM lamented the lack of research in the country on Muslim scholars. According to him, such efforts would lead to awareness among students about the contribution of Islamic thought and Muslim scholars.

“Scientists, cultural leaders, and the world thought leaders all were Muslim scholars. There is no conflict between Islam and science,” he added while reiterating his concern for research on Islamic scholars.

“Research makes a university what it is"

He claimed that the best work on Islam was being done in Western states, saying that it was because “there was no fear of “kufr ka fatwa.” The premier said that debate was necessary to promote critical thinking.

He expressed his fear over further possible blasphemous contents in West, highlighting the Rehmatul lil Alameen Authority’s role. The PM said that he was in contact with international scholars and working with heads of states to promote Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s message. For this, the government would use conventional and new media to promote the message.

He called for research on Sufi saints and the people who spread Islam in the region.

Moreover, he lamented that the country does not have the “character” for a great nation.

He welcomed the first batch of Al Qadir University. “All big institutions start with small steps. I am happy it is opened in 2.5 years,” PM Imran said.