“Maths and science are the guarantors of a bright future for Pakistan,” said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, at an event he hosted along with the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science (PAMS), an informal collective of leading businesses and non-profit organisations dedicated to ensuring greater attention for maths and science in government schools across the country.
The event launched Volume I of the ‘Powering Pakistan for the 21st Century’ report, which has two more upcoming volumes. Volume I is titled, “How Maths and Science Powers Nations” and presents the case for maths and science as being essential to progress and prosperity of all nations. The event was attended by eminent scientists and researchers from around Pakistan, as well as leading companies and businesses.
Speaking at the launch, PM Sharif admitted that maths and science education has received insufficient attention by previous governments and spoke about the urgency of preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, mentioning recent meetings with leading businessman and founder of AliBaba.com, Mr. Jack Ma, and others at the World Economic Forum recently. He said he envisions a Pakistan that secures a future for young Pakistanis in which they are not just job-seekers, but inventors, entrepreneurs, enablers, disruptors, researchers, and global market leaders.
PM Sharif paid tribute to Pakistani engineers and scientists who are earning Pakistan a great name through their consistent hard work in the laboratories and research centers across the world. He credited them for Pakistan’s acknowledgment as the first non-European country to become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
The event was attended by a strong representation of the scientific community and technology entrepreneurs with likes of Dr. Kulsoom Ghias of Aga Khan University, Dr. Sabieh Anwar of Lahore University of Management Science, and Jibran Saithi of QuBit among many others who unanimously endorsed the urgency of maths and science education in developing the cognitive skills needed for citizens to begin to assess their rights, and take advantage of the privileges they are afforded. Education advocate and popstar, Shehzad Roy also spoke about his adoption of government schools.
Dr Baela Raza Jamil, one of the members of the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science, said, “It is laudable that leading political figures are endorsing the urgency of maths and science for Pakistan,” and expressed hope that this ownership will extend to the provinces and be reflected in classrooms in all publicly-funded schools.
Volume II of “Powering Pakistan for the 21st Century” will offer a summary of the current situation of maths and science in Pakistan, and is expected to contain stark data about the level of learning outcomes in maths and science across the country. Volume III will offer a roadmap for the future based on extensive consultations with scientists, mathematicians and academics in Pakistan and abroad.
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