Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09


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Lack of Political Will the key reason for not achieving Education goals: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, July 31; Lack of political will is the key reason for not achieving the Education goals, said Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA; former Federal Minister for Education while addressing the Youth Parliament Pakistan on the topic of the State of Education in Pakistan.

Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, who began by offering his heartfelt condolences on the death of 6 Youth Parliament Members said that the country has lost 6 future leaders. Mr. Iqbal chose to deliver his talk in Urdu by underscoring that a nation which relegates its national language and does not use it as the language for reasoning and creative thought cannot go very far in terms of mastering innovation and development.

Today, 25 million Pakistani's are in the age bracket of 17 to 35 years, but only 5% have the privilege to get education in universities and colleges.

"Creativity and innovation is dependent on the ability of an individual to question. Questions are always discouraged in our society by our parents, teachers and bosses at the workplace." He highlighted the need of amendment in the service structures and the infrastructure of our Educational Institutions. "Teachers must be provided with proper training and evaluation procedures should be introduced. By ignoring the technical facilities in our institutions, we are facing skill deficiencies in our youth". He said that our laboratories are not provided with basic requirements and because of this huge setback 70% of our education is in Arts Subject. "We cannot expect quality product from low motivated and less paid teachers".

"Unfortunately we belong to the category of growing bellies and shrinking minds. Our education system needs to be decentralized and District Education Authorities must be created to perform governance and operation," he added.

Referring to the policies of the Government, he said that in the 18th amendment, curriculum coordination at national level was removed and given to provincial level. It can lead to having separate curriculum in every province rather than a single unified curriculum at the national level. He added that the recent budget allocation of 2% GNP is not enough for the education system and qualitative changes cannot be brought. It will eventually lead to killing the talent of our youth. "Implementation is not present due to lack of political will and political instability. This is time for accountability of leaders by the youth which can be achieved by reforming the education system."

Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said that in order to become an agent of change, our public sector education system must be changed. This change must be accompanied with soft skills such as fairness, piousness, justice, respect and care. By only this we would be able to create a tolerant society. Our youth is facing a dependency syndrome. In order to better equip youth to face the cyber world, training of self evaluation must be provided. He said that Pakistan is also counted in the 10 countries for which it is said that they will not achieve the millennium development goals. Therefore it is necessary that our youth becomes a productive work force having skills and knowledge of international level. Brain power is required rather than muscle power, failing which the demographic dividend will  become a demographic disadvantage, he said.

Answering a question about the education funding of Pakistan from international donors, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said that beggars are not the choosers. We need to work for our own benefit and relying on IMF isn't enough. He further added in answer to another question that leadership is required in every profession and it is an acquired behavior. Whereas politics is an occupation, when you come to politics you must come with perseverance and energy to challenge the standards of status quo.

Earlier today, the Youth Parliament delegation that undertook a Study Visit to UK from July 5-9, 2010 shared their experiences of the Study Visit. The delegation members fondly reminiscing the time spent with Mr. Bilal Jamaee, one of the delegation members who lost his life during the crash, laid a draft report of the Study Visit to the House. Delegation members including Mr. Lehrasip Hayat (YP23-PUNJAB05); Youth Leader of Opposition; Syed Manzoor Shah (YP04-BALOCHISTAN03); Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence; Mr. Hannan Ali Abbasi (YP15-KP04); Former Youth Minister for Information; Ms. Anam Javed Cheema (YP29-PUNJAB11); Chairperson Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Information; Ms. Zil-e-Huma (YP31-PUNJAB13); General Secretary, Youth Parliament Green Party and Mr. Imtiaz Ali (YP46-SINDH09); Chief Whip, Youth Parliament Green Party, shared lessons learnt during the Study Visit with the House and answered various questions.

Mr. Muhammad Kamil Qaddus (YP22-PUNJAB04) from the Green party presented a bill in the House on Fake Degrees of Parliamentarians, Bureaucrats & Government Officials that advocated a uniform criteria for checking and verification of the educational qualifications of the MPs and Bureaucrats. The bill, which underwent a detailed discussion in the House, proposed a 10-year disqualification of the guilty, public apology and 4 year of imprisonment and total return of privileges and benefits through the public office. The bill was unanimously adopted by the House.

In a Calling Attention Notice, Ms. Maria Fayyaz (YP32-PUNJAB04) from the Blue party invited the attention of the Honourable Speaker towards the decision of Pakistan Railway to suspend the operation of many trains on account of the so-claimed financial losses. The members discussing the Notice deplored the decision of the Railways and questioned the strange acceptance of the Railways' decision by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways. The Youth Parliament strongly condemned the decision argued that if cutting the losses of a public corporation is the only criteria that the Government has, instead of the public service, perhaps the best way will be to close down all public corporations altogether including the Railways and the Pakistan International Airlines, etc.

Ms. Fatima Saleem (YP33-PUNJAB15) of the Blue party invited the attention of the Honourable Speaker on the scandalous news about the order of the Turkish Court to the Pakistani Consulate to pay  US $ 8000 for the services rendered by Lady Guides, hired to facilitate the entourage of the President of Pakistan during his visit to Turkey in December 2008. The House believed that such incidents become a source of global embarrassment for the Pakistani people and reflect poorly on their integrity.

Mr. Ehsen Naveed Irfan (YP13-KP02) of the Green party moved a resolution, which was unanimously approved by the House, that the Government should take immediate steps to improve the working of the Disaster Management Unit and improve emergency care services in the tertiary care hospitals.

The House unanimously approved a resolution that in order to pay a befitting tribute to its six fallen heroes, a memorial must be placed at the site of terrible tragedy of plane crash, Margalla Hills. The House approved the text to be placed at the memorial which stated: "In the loving memory of 6 Youth Parliamentarians who were martyred in the cause of public service and democracy on July 28, 2010: Mr. Hassan Javed Khan Youth Prime Minister; Syeda Rabab Zehra Naqvi, Youth Information Minister; Mr. Bilal Jamaee Youth Shadow Minister for Information; Mr. Prem Chand Youth Minister for Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs; Mr. Owais bin Laiq Member Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Information; Syed Arsalan Ahmad Member Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Information: Pakistan has lost 6 future Leaders! From: Youth Parliament Pakistan. The Youth Parliament batch 2009-2010 plans to place the memorial at the site on Sunday, August 01, 2010.

  Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA addressing the Youth Parliament Pakistan 2009-10  
  Youth Parliament Pakistan Leadership presenting a memento to Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA  
  Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA with the Youth Parliamentarians  
Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09

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