July 27 - Aug 02, 2009

Education is self-enlightening. It is termed not only an important component of life in our religion but socially and culturally educated person grabs more respect and higher status in society than an uneducated person does. Education brings not only economic stability but also social and political stability in the country. Educating the nation is much more important than fighting a war against terrorism. Lack of education in masses does not make them comprehend the correct path for themselves and they are only able to visualize there short-term benefits. Illiteracy increases poverty and poverty is giving force to terrorism.

Acheiving desirable level of accomplishment requires a relative level of education. Education of any sort is always paramount. Progress to advanced levels of education demonstrates that one has acquired the capability and commitment to apply information, ideas, theories, and methods to achieve diversified targets.

Education brings about stability in a country but before that stability in the system of education itself is essential. It has to align with the norms and requirements of the society. At the same time, educational requirements of a country like Pakistan cannot be met by state owned educational institutes only. The role of private sector institutes becomes crucial in providing quality higher education to the nation.

Learning and getting educated in any field tells us the ways to earn more and get better off. Perhaps that is because the higher level of education one achieves, the higher level of income he/she is likely to command as well. Evidently, education is vital for financial growth. Educational requirements are an easy technique to narrow down the field of applicants, especially in situations where there are more applicants than jobs. When hiring from a crowd of applicants, employers prefer those who have completed the higher level of education. Therefore, higher education differentiates one from other.

Higher education in various disciplines refines the natural skills of a person. It helps identify the aptitude, opens mind, generate ideas, and let people find better ways to achieve there targets. Promoting higher education creates an environment for research and development and nation progresses as a whole. This is how a nation can achieve efficiency in all economic activities like production, distribution, and consumption. Only an educated nation is able to make best use of scares resources. Making best use of resources provides satisfaction and creates stability in the society in the longer run.

Lack of education increases unemployment and provides people with poor living standards. Recent past has witnessed the extreme instability throughout the world. Reason being economic down turn resulted into down sizing by many organizations after a series of financial losses. In this scenario, only those who had proved themselves to be more competitive than others managed to retain their jobs. They were having an edge not only in education but also in application of the learning. Even if an educated person equipped with some technical skill looses job he can earn livelihood by starting own work (Self-employment).

Getting formal education is a way to learn from centuries of othersí lives, which cannot be learned otherwise without work and academic experience. Whatever career you choose, you will need to learn the knowledge and skills related to your trade, and accomplish tasks based on that information and training which you have acquired while getting educated.

Education, particularly higher education enlightens us how to manage assignments efficiently and effectively. It helps open door for new opportunities.

Therefore, to meet one of the Millennium Development Goalsí (MDG) targets of gradually moving towards 100% primary education by 2015, government should provide free primary education. Secondly, to achieve stability in the country, increased focus on higher education should be given and instead of cutting down the funds for Higher Education Commission (HEC), higher education be given more importance. The funds should be allocated to the particular trades where experts are demanded by the industries. Education and training is the key to sustainable development, peace, and economic stability of Pakistan.

(The writer is PhD Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Karachi, and lecturer Defence Authority College of Business.)