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Abdul Khalique Jafrani




Company Profile
Special Report

Jul 17 - 23, 2000

Abdul Khalique Jafrani, is a prominent businessman of Karachi. He is known as a friend of China in the business circles specially his agile efforts for promotion of trade between China and Pakistan. He was chosen as the member of the governor's task force due to his special interest in the promotion of education. Currently, he holds the office of the Chairman of Pakistan Electrical & Electronics Merchants Association. He carries various distinctions to his business career. He has been given the life membership of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He was member of the Managing Committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). He was vice chairman of Customs and Port Committee of the KCCI. He was also the director of the Pakistan's pavilion at Trade Exhibition of Casablanca. Since he acquired his entire education right from primary to the graduation level from Karachi, and being a member of the task force on education, he keens for improvement of education standards in Sindh.

PAGE: How would you compare the growth of education in the province of Sindh when compared with other provinces of the country.

JAFRANI: It is unfortunate that the education sector in the province of Sindh suffered a serious setback due to unabated law and order situation which polluted the education environment almost for a decade particularly in the urban areas of the province. The disturbed conditions however have settled down to a great extent and one hopes that things will further improve with the strengthening of socio-economic and political stability in the province. Although the disturbed conditions have caused a great loss to the education, yet the situation was never stagnant in Karachi as those willing to get education never distracted of their aim. Things are hopefully on the right track, Jafrani said.

PAGE: Are you satisfied with the budgetary allocations made by the Federal as well as the provincial governments for education sector.

JAFRANI: The government of Sindh has allocated a nominal allocation of Rs470 million for education in Sindh. The figure is self-explanatory to the government of Sindh's interest in the field of education. Being a member of the task force Jafrani has strongly opposed and have urged the government to increase this amount since education is the only way of survival of the coming generations. Everybody realizes the importance of education for economic prosperity and improvement of life in Pakistan, however the budgetary allocations either at the federal level or at the provincial level do not translate the importance the education sector deserves. He expressed his fears that if concrete and practical steps were not taken accordingly, the education would become a product purchaseable by the rich of the society alone.

PAGE: Would you like to comment on the role of private sector in the field of education in Pakistan.

JAFRANI: The involvement of the private sector in the field of education has played a noticeable role but not free from negative and positive aspects. The private sector has entered at a massive scale in the education sector. It is however unfortunate that they are treating this noble sector as a pure commercial venture.

Large number of foreign institutions have also arrived in Pakistan but again purely with commercial interests and not to spread the light of knowledge at the grass root level. A large segment of the society despite having great talents is deprived of acquiring higher education. They simply cannot afford the high prices of the modern education such as Informational Technology. They also unable to send their children to the local business schools and university because the amount required completing these courses are beyond the reach. Under this situation, a strong and effective regulatory body is required to keep the private sector within bounds.

PAGE: What steps would you like to suggest to spread the modern education up to the poor strata of the society.

JAFRANI: It is a matter of great concern that education at primary level has been completly ignored, especially in the public sector schools. Everybody knows about the importance of the primary education but this is the most neglected sector in our public organizations. The situation demands for immediate and effective steps to be taken at the primary stage to lay a strong foundation of education for the generations to come. Whatever the cost may come, Computer and English education should be declared as a must right from the primary level to make the primary education more productive in the years to come. In fact, the importance of primary education calls for radical changes in the syllabus. Currently, the innocent children are forced to go through a number of subjects who are by no means helpful to them at the secondary level of education. Our children are the future leaders of this country. We owe to give them a better education enabling them to live and earn respectably. It has been proved all over the world that the investment in human resource development is the best investment which pays back more than any other sector of investment, Jafrani remarked.