How youth can play vital role in solving Pakistan’s education problems
A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Mitharam Parmar moderated the North Sindh Regional Youth Conference in Pakistan. Here is an edited version of his report.
Pakistan – a country with lots of social issues like low-quality education, poor governance, lack of awareness among the masses, lack of opportunities, violation of rights and many others.
It should have a bright future because youth makes up more than 67% of the population of Pakistan. But if that potential isn’t used and channeled effectively, there will be nothing to gain and much to lose.
The first major challenge is low access to education. Seven million children are missing out on primary education in Pakistan, enrollment in secondary schools stands at a mere 23% and only 5% of Pakistanis make it to university. According to research, 50% of rural school children cannot read a sentence.
Young people need to get organised regarding the social issues in which they can play a positive role.
Voice of New Generation (VNG), with the support of the Center for Research, Advocacy and Democracy, Civil Society Support Program, Strengthening Participatory Organisation and other civil society organisations, held a one-day North Sindh Regional Youth Conference on “Peace, Development and Cultural Diversity” at the Institute for Business Administration Sukkur.
It was attended by 250 youth and 50 civil society activists, media, academia and political activists from around the region.
- Gathered youth (individuals & groups) and senior fellows at one point
- Built capacity of youth to understand the Peace, Development and Cultural Diversity theme
- Made youth aware of their role towards peace and development of their areas
- Provided exposure to the urban world for rural youth through participation in conference
- Cultural Diversity in North Sindh; an introduction
- Cultural Diversity in historical perspective
- Role of Youth for Cultural Diversity, Peace and Development
- Peace promotion through Education
- Educational Policies, Gaps and Way Forward
Mitharam Parmar, Global Youth Ambassador at A World at School and former Executive Director of Voice of New Generation, moderated the conference. He also facilitated the session called “Role of Youth for Cultural Diversity, Peace and Development”.
He shared that youth has no real platform where they can be aware of their positive role in social change. Youth are energetic and committed to social change but they need a proper road map.
He suggested youth take on board these major points:
- Just take a step
- Raise and spread awareness
- Educate the masses
- Believe in yourself
The Peace Promotion through Education session called upon the non-governmental organisations to introduce their initiative for education around north sindh and other part of whole country.
The leading civil society group Strengthening Participatory Organisation shared about the project “Engaging Children, youth and communities for the promotion of social cohesion and resilience (SCR) in Sindh”.
The representatives said they have engaged 5000 out-of-school children in child-friendly spaces and temporary learning centres at Karachi and Jackobabad districts of Sindh. The children are provided with non-formal educational activities and extra activities and are also linked with youth platforms working around Pakistan.
Khursheed Shah, former Provincial Education Minister and current leader of the opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan, joined in the session “Educational Policies, Gaps and Way Forward”.
He said the government has great focus on education. He welcomed the input and suggestions by communities and civil society activists and organisations for educational improvements.