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5.1 FIRST EDUCATION CONFERENCE 1947 IN PAKISTAN

When Pakistan came into being in August 1947, the overriding concern of the Government was the speedy rehabilitation of millions of refugees and restructuring of the administrative machinery, but it was equally aware of the importance of education as the most essential sector and the integral part of the development of the new born country. The First All Pakistan Education Conference was therefore, called at Karachi from November 27 to December 1, 1947.

Quaid’s Guideline

The Father of the Nation in his historic message to the Conference provided guidelines for the restructuring of education system in future. He stressed the need of having a system of education inspired by the culture and ideological aspirations of the people and also having regard to the modern conditions and the vast developments that had taken place around the world. He was of the view that academic education was not only enough; there immediate and urgent need of scientific and technical education. He also emphasized the need of building up the character of the future generation.

Fazlur Rehman’s Address

In the augural address Mr. Fazlur Rehman. Federal Minister for Interior, Information, Broadcasting and Education and Chairman of the Conference pointed out the weaknesses of the system of education inherited from the alien rule such as it intended to serve a narrow utilitarian purpose, its growth was a matter of artificial improvisation, it lacked realism and it was unable to adjust itself to the needs of rapidly changing society.

Moreover, in his view, the system was over, literary- biased and had utterly un-inspiring soulless character.

He forwarded three-dimensional type of education to be introduced in Pakistan such as spiritual education, social education and vocational education. In his view, the future of education should only be build up on these foundations, but an ideal integration should also be brought about in these elements, representing a whole system. In his proposed scheme, he attached the highest importance to spiritual element because it had been neglected in the past.

Main Issues Focused

The deliberations in the Conference were focused on several important issues relating to education such as:

  • Integration of moral, social and vocational elements in the system of education.
  • Compulsory primary education.
  • Compulsory physical education.
  • Compulsory military training in colleges
  • Training of citizenship.
  • The problem of literacy
  • The problem of medium of instruction
  • Technical and vocational education
  • Education for women
  • Establishment of Advisory Board of Education
  • Establishment of Inter-Universal Board
  • Promotion of Scientific Research and
  • Establishment of Overseas Scholarship Scheme.

Important Recommendations

The following are the recommendations forwarded by various subcommittees constituted to work on various levels and types of education in the conference.

  • Six-Year free and compulsory education should be provided and should be gradually raised to eight years in future.
  • Private agencies are encouraged to provide pre- primary education to children between ages of 3- 4 years.
  • Education should be based on Islamic of universal brotherhood, social democracy and social Justice.
  • Provinces should take necessary steps for the training of teachers.
  • The common language of the country should be Urdu.
  • As a transitional measure English should be retained as a compulsory language at school level.
  • Physical activities should receive emphasis in educational institutions.
  • Steps should be taken to bring Madrassas into line with the existing system of education.
  • Provincial governments and States should introduce special classes for adults, and school teachers should be trained for this purpose.
  • College students should take part in mass literacy campaign and should also be trained for this purpose.
  • Primary schools should be co-educational or otherwise according to the local needs.
  • Separate schools for girls should be provided at secondary stage and domestic sciences should be introduced as compulsory subjects to the curriculum.
  • Two medical colleges for women (one in each wing) should be established as soon as possible.
  • Educational facilities for female students should be provided in schools.
  • Industrial homes for women be established to get training in various vocations.
  • Ways and means should be undertaken for introducing free and compulsory primary education in the tribal and backward areas of Pakistan.
  • Scholarship to poor and deserving children be provided.
  • Grants should be made available to students intending to pursue research in scientific and technological fields.
  • A scheme for exchange of students and teachers between domains of Pakistan and countries should be formulated.
  • A Council of Technical Education for Pakistan Should be set up.
  • Fundamental scientific and industrial research should be promoted.
  • An Inter-University Board of Pakistan should be formed.
  • The, widest possible use of educational broadcast and educational films be made at all stages of education.
  • A scheme be prepared for the setting up Of National Library and Museum in Pakistan.
  • A central Institute of Islamic Research be established for organizing and stimulating Islamic research according to the modern needs of the society.

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