I feel ashamed when our leaders speak English before local audience: Imran Khan

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday strongly criticised the English-medium educational system, saying it was inherited from the British, who built such schools to “create a class in India which is Indian in colour but thinks like us (the British), has our attitudes and through whom we can govern such a big continent”.

Addressing Punjab Education Convention 2021 here, the prime minister said after independence from the British, Pakistan should have turned its focus on correcting the education system and developing a system to “create the nation”.

Instead, three different education systems were formed: Madressahs, Urdu-medium schools and English-medium schools for a select class, he added.

“The English-medium [system] evolved in such a way that there was less emphasis on education and more emphasis on creating ‘desi vilayati’ (local foreigners). The attitudes and mental slavery of another culture were absorbed.”

Talking about his own experience, he recalled that when he graduated from Aitchison College and went to England for further studies, he felt like “I was made an English public-school boy, not a Pakistani. I was distanced from my culture and my religion through that educational system.”

“In the past, best intellectuals had been groomed in the government owned schools, but later, the system waned and the private sector thrived making us servants of an alien culture,” he observed.

The Premiere said that said that integrity and honesty were the hallmarks of a true leadership and stressed upon the need of making the young generations acquainted with the Seerat of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

Addressing Punjab Education Convention here, the prime minister said besides, imparting quality education to the young people with the use of modern technology, it was imperative to guide and educate them about the supreme qualities of Seerat-e-Nabi (PBUH) for their character building.

He regretted that the past rulers never laid emphasis upon education sector as it was not their priority. “No one ever thought of one curriculum in the country,” he added.

In the past democratic culture, the rulers always prioritized short-term projects like metro, to get publicity for the elections campaigns, he added.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, provincial ministers, provincial authorities and a large number of people were present on the occasion.

Fifty years back, the prime minister said, Pakistan had been progressing at a rapid speed, even countries like South Korea and Malaysia studied the upward trends in the country. The US president used to come to airport to welcome Pakistani counterparts, he added.

The prime minister said the English language should not be made a status symbol and expressed his displeasure at conducting official functions in English language as majority of commoners who watched TV did not understand it.

In parliament, he said, speeches had been made in English language to impress the people.

“It should be used as medium for getting higher education. Mother tongue is the best medium for imparting education to the children which is helpful in their understanding,” he observed.

The prime minister cited that children in their nascent ages could learn a lot if imparted through their respective mother tongues, and cited Switzerland where the children could speak multi-languages.

Whether in China, Japan or France, they had different sets of educational curriculum? he posed a question, reiterating that single curriculum produced one nation.

Lauding efforts of the Punjab government and the provincial education minister, he said that though they had been undertaking huge work in the province, but it was not properly projected.

The reason for not doing it might be that the provincial government did not want to publicize its good deeds when compared with the previous government which even went for wide publication of its negligible work.

The prime minister also observed that with the use of modern technology, different issues like corruption and wastage of resources could be overcome.

He cited the paperless working of Saukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and the E-governance system at the federal cabinet level.

The prime minister said in the past, no focus was made on the construction of dams for generation of cheap and clean power as no one ever thought of the future generations. Expensive power generation was made on costly fuels, he said, adding that forests were destroyed.

Imran Khan said he was “ashamed and pained” by the assault of a female TikToker by hundreds of men near Minar-i-Pakistan earlier this month, citing the lack of proper upbringing as a “very big reason for the destruction we are seeing in society”.

In his first public remarks since the August 14 incident that sparked outrage across the country, the premier said the incidents of harassment and the sex crimes that were taking place now were “not a part of our culture or religion”.

“When I was growing up, nobody could have thought that acts like this would happen [in Pakistan]. I have been to the entire world; the respect for women I saw while growing up existed in Muslim countries but not in the West. A big reason for the destruction we’re seeing is that our children are not being brought up properly,” he noted.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, on the occasion, said that budget allocation for the education sector was enhanced besides, over 200 per cent allocation for the higher education. Primary education throughout the province had been ensured with drastic steps, he added.

The online services and facilitation was provided to the teachers and students, besides focusing on the education of transgender’s community.

Provincial Minister for Education Murad Raas gave an overview of the steps taken for the promotion of education in the province.

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