Center of Culture
“You have referred to the questions of a Khyber university. Let me tell you that nothing is nearer to my heart than to have a great centre of culture and learning in a place like Peshawar, a place from where the rays of knowledge and culture can spread throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. I, therefore, fully sympathize with your aspirations in this behalf and, provided you go the right way about it, perhaps you will get your university sooner than you can imagine.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Responsibilities of the youth
- Context: Speaking at the Students of Islamia College, Peshawar
The historical aspiration of building a great center of culture may not be immediately attainable but we must begin the work of providing modern education to every citizen of Pakistan regardless of socioeconomic differences. Limiting education only to a privileged class weakens the nation because it can be relatively easy to rouse the sentiments of an uneducated populous and hijack a democracy.
Wealth generation is a product of innovative ideas and relentless creative labor. We cannot ignite Pakistan's economic engine by having a mass-population that suffers from unawakened intelligence. Every citizen of Pakistan believes that investing in education is the greatest priority.
We ought to innovate the business model of our colleges and make education more affordable. Education is a potent force through which the cycle of poverty can be broken. However, a world-class education remains largely unaffordable by a majority of Pakistanis. By partially shifting the cost-burden from consumers to future employers, colleges can disrupt how they generate financial returns. Colleges need to launch nation-wide boot-camps that accelerate the speed of education and provide vocational training to our workforce within a short span of time.
The people of Pakistan need to design a new curriculum that places technology at its heart but also focuses on liberal arts to provide holistic education to the people. This curriculum ought to cover disciplines from all civilizations of the world to build a global perspective. We ought to engage Pakistani diaspora across the globe who are exposed to processes, values, cultures and systems of technological innovation. Overseas Pakistanis, particularly Pakistan-Americans, ought to to be engaged to proliferate knowledge in Pakistan.
Pakistan can leverage its geo-strategic strengths and build academic partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia, invite educators to work on collaborative research, build multi-national think tanks and develop international breeding grounds of innovation in Pakistan and partnering countries.
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