Speaker National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza Saturday gave loud and clear wake up call for development of education fearing that the country would suffer badly if it continues to lag behind in this vital sector.
"If we do not anticipate the sporadic change coming to destroy the fine fabric we have built with lot of hard work, we may lose for years to come" she issued this caution while addressing the 4th Annual Convocation of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology held here at Convention Centre.
The speaker added that present government was fully committed to implement ambitious academic agenda to help country not only survive but thrive in the increasingly competitive global arena.
Fehmida Mirza was of the view that majority of the internal problems confronting by the country including the economic woes can be redressed only through knowledge and education. She said human and intellectual capitals are the real drivers of sustainable national growth.
Speaker of the lower house lamented that Pakistan spends only 1.7 percent of its GDP on education, which is quite insufficient to ensure an ambitious academic revolution. "If we take the case of our neighbors Bangladesh and India, they are spending much higher that we do on education and especially higher education", she said
Keeping in view the constraints and resource crunch, the country may not be able to achieve the MDGs by having literacy target of 100 percent by year 2015 and estimated that with the present growth rate, the country may increase the literacy rate by 58% by 2015, she said.
She assured to impress upon the government to further expedite its educational development agenda and allocate maximum resources on this account
"We in Pakistan have to be awake to the challenges of creating learning opportunities and application of literacy, education and knowledge through higher education"
Chancellor of SZABIST, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said the institute will be ungraded, expanded and developed further to produce most qualified, knowledgeable and valuable human resources for the country.
President of the institute Dr Saqib Rizavi while congratulating the graduating students said that SZABIST is endeavoring to bring the students education par excellence that nurtures and prepares them to face challenges of the modern age.
Director SZABIST Islamabad campus, Syed Asad Hussain said his institution is striving to contribute the goals of knowledge-based economy by training and producing maximum number of entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors.
Vice Chancellor of SZABIST Dr Amanat Ali Jalbani and President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Javed Akhter Bhatti also addressed the occasion and stressed the need for industry-academia linkages to promote knowledge based economy.
A total of 532 students were awarded degrees during the convocation which included 76 under-graduates, 455 masters and postgraduates and one PhD. Twenty students received gold medals in different disciplines include PhD (Management Sciences),MS (Management Sciences),Master of Business Administration, Professional Master of Business Administration, Executive Master of Business Administration, Master of Human Resource Management, Executive Master of Project Management, Master of Project Management, Bachelor of Business Administration ,Bachelor of Science (Social science),MS (Computing),Master of Business Intelligence, Master of Information security & Network Analysis, Master of Computer Science, Bachelor of Science (Telecommunications), and Bachelor of Science (Computing).
Long time service achievement awards awarded to , Syed Asad Hussain Director SZABIST Islamabad Campus , Mr. Fahim ur Rehman Head of Examination, Academic & Admissions, Mr. Tariq M Hashmi Librarian, Mr. Muhammad Nazakat Attendant, Ms. Gulshan Rani Library Assistant, Mr. Murtaza Noor Jr Assistant ASO, Mr. Manzoor Hussain Attendant whereas Special awards has been presented to Ms. Ayesha Qadir Records Controller, SZABIST - Karachi Campus, and Mr. Hamid Ali Controller Records & Registration - SZABIST Islamabad Campus.