The writer is an
analyst and the
President of all
Management is all about arranging and telling, whereas, leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. Pakistan is not a poor country, but poorly managed. Nature has blessed Pakistan with abundant resources, but unfortunately, the wrong people on the wrong job with bad policies and poorly managed plans let it down to the category of a Third World country. So, the country itself is not poor, it’s all about the management that we are still facing these challenges. It has failed to capitalize on and materialize the level of its governance. Understanding the dynamics of an unpredictable world is important, especially as unilateral actions by big powers and populist leaders, which mark their policies, have implications for Pakistan. In evolving its policy strategy Pakistan has to match its goals to its human and economic resources and capital. No strategy is effective unless ends and means are aligned. So Pakistan needs leaders and leadership requires wisdom, understanding, out-of-box solutions, forbearance, and accountability. Pakistan has to pursue its national goals in an unsettled global and regional environment marked by several key features. They include rising East-West tensions, increasing preoccupation of big powers with domestic challenges, ongoing trade and technology wars overlying the strategic competition between China and the US, a fraying rules-based international order, and attempts by regional and other powers to reshape the rules of the game in their neighborhood. Pakistan has a constitutional commitment to deliver ‘free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 5 to 16’. The government intends to go beyond it as Pakistan is committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) to provide ‘lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Leadership is one of the most fundamental components of a successful organization. An organization with strong leadership is not only able to achieve its goals but also ensures that its success will be sustainable for a long period of time. The concept of leadership is not straightforward and people are often confused regarding what it means to be a leader. It is a common misconception, for example, that leadership can only succeed when a person has significant power or authority. Moreover, people fall for the fallacy that bosses and leaders are synonymous with one another when in reality they are very different. People get more confidence when they are trusted with important decisions and leaders ensure that they create an environment where people are able to succeed in their tasks by providing the necessary support. A boss typically is someone who uses their authority or power to control people to act in a particular way, whereas a leader seeks to influence others through their actions. There are many inspirational stories of how leaders are able to transform organizations in different ways. Today’s inspirational story is all about such a leader who seeks to influence others through their actions. A successful, two-day Pakistan Learning Conference 2023; Building Foundations, was a vision and brain idea of a visionary leader the Secretary of Education Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary, organized by the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training under his leadership in Islamabad. Gathering global educators, policymakers, and experts, this eagerly awaited conference is delving into vital topics of Early Childhood Education (ECE) and foundational learning. The Secretary shared the Human Capital Review Report and shed light on how addressing learning poverty is crucial for socioeconomic progress. Mr. Waseem also highlighted that a fund of Rs 25 billion had been established specifically for Out of School Children (OOSC) and added that a significant portion should be allocated for Early Childhood Education (ECE). He provided reassurance on behalf of the Prime Minister, affirming the government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that out-of-school children were enrolled in schools. He further added that through the flagship initiatives of MOFEPT which include the Out-of-School Children enrolment drive, foundational literacy through ASPIRE, and establishment of classrooms in primary schools & kindergarten important steps are being taken for transforming early childhood education.
The right of the citizens of Pakistan is protected under Article 25-A of the constitution. After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the MoFE&PT is directly responsible for the provision of education services only to the extent of Islamabad Capital Territory. Pakistan needs more than 200,000 schools and 25 million teachers by 2025 to cater to over 25 million currently out-of-school children (OOSC). The Millions of children in flood-hit Pakistan are in dire need of help, school education is at risk for millions of students. Since his appointment, Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary had to face major challenges for the educational situation of Pakistan. The Secretary has a comprehensive action plan to transform Education and foundational learning. He worked on war footing and his efforts were highly appreciated globally and by the Government of Pakistan at the highest level. Through the vision of such a visionary leader Mr. Chaudhary, Pakistan could come closer to the vision of an educated, confident Pakistani youth, supported from the moment they are born, and equipped with the foundational learning to achieve their dreams. Furthermore, he focused on combining both formal and informal education for the nation’s progress. However, the Ministry under the leadership of Mr. Waseem is playing its role of coordination amongst the federating units. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference has been very actively playing its role in this regard. Overall, Mr. Waseem focused on key issues being faced in education, and out of box solutions by his visionary leadership by emphasizing innovation and enhanced practices, fostering idea exchange, and facilitating collaborative efforts to advance education in Pakistan. The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training under the leadership of its Secretary of Education Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary aligned all its programs to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Government of Pakistan has formulated the first-ever National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy 2015, which aims to cater to the needs of our industrial sector by adding value to human capital through imparting requisite training and skills. To ensure minimum National Standards in education, National Curriculum Council (NCC) has been formed with membership from all provinces. The initiatives of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training surely will improve the state of Education in the Country and will ensure holistic development and economic growth. It is indeed the primary responsibility of any civilized nation to provide its children with a balanced and well-rounded education, develop them to their full potential, and nurture them into good citizens, conscious of their responsibilities to family, society, and country. Within a fortnight Tele-school and other interventions were launched in order to mitigate the learning losses suffered due to prolonged school closures. No doubt, The Ministry is aggressively working to end the education apartheid which has plagued our country for many years. This can only be achieved if we raise the quality of education in the public sector institutions as well as those private institutions which cater to the disadvantaged section of our society. The development of the Single National Curriculum is a major pillar of this strategy. Other initiatives include the introduction of Ed-Tech and the latest interventions in schools located in ICT, which would be a replicable model for the Provinces and Area Governments. Now, It is high time that we re-shape our education service delivery and structure all initiatives that allow our learners to compete and thrive in the face of new realities. Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training (MoFE&PT) along with all its associated entities, provincial education and training departments, is striving to develop and implement effective educational plans and strategies for rectifying learning losses, and sustainable student retention mechanisms to ensure no child is left behind. A few of the recent flagship initiatives include: Re-envisioning the ‘Pakistan Education Policy 2021’; Developing a ‘Single National Curriculum’ so that all children have fair and equal opportunity to receive a high-quality education; Introducing reforms in educational assessments by creating Relative Grading System at Federal Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education along with modernizing the examination processing systems-through digital technologies. Reorganization of key departments of ‘The Higher Education Commission to support further integrated and effective planning, promoting research and online education; Launching ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ under the ‘Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan National Youth Development Programme’; fostering skills education in the country to reduce the skill gap and unemployment; and Setting up of Pakistan Institute of Education, as a premier institution which would function as a think tank for future policy-making and evidence-based decision making. Education is the basic right of every child and a very important aspect of the progress of any nation. In the modern era, no nation can survive without quality education. Human Resource Development is the central pillar of government policy, and education plays a fundamental role in the formation of human social capital. No doubt, the success of all the above-mentioned Programs is proof of the vision, brain idea, and visionary leadership of the Secretary of Education Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary.
Pakistan is not a poor country, but, poorly managed. Pakistan needs only right person on right job. No strategy is effective unless ends and means are aligned. So Pakistan needs leaders and leadership requires wisdom, understanding, out-of-box solutions, forbearance and accountability. Visionary leaders like Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary can change the world. Indeed, Pakistan needs leaders, not bosses!
Pakistan is a great country with tremendous resources regarding minerals, water resources, land, good industries, strong manpower, flourishing weather, and all those blessings which any developed country can have, but unfortunately, the wrong people on the wrong job with bad policies and poorly managed plans let it down to the category of a Third World country. So, the country itself is not poor, it’s all about the management that we are still facing these challenges. In an increasingly multipolar world, Pakistan needs to raise its economic and diplomatic game by vigorous outreach to other key countries and actors beyond governments to secure its national goals through planning, good governance, and management. All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF), the only largest representative Federation for All Pakistan private schools included Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Baluchistan, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir with more than 300 registered Associations; 207,000 private schools; 15,00,000 teachers and 26.9 million students presented Education Recommendations for Budget 2023-24. APPSF recommended to Federal & Provincial governments allocate and spend a minimum of 5% of GDP on education and research for schools and the higher education sector in the new budget keeping in view the effects of COVID-19, the pandemic, recent devastated floods, and high inflation rate. APPSF further recommended Government should announce tax amnesty and exemption for 10 years for investing in the education sector so that 200,000 new schools, colleges, universities, and technical and vocational institutes can be established. No child must be deprived of education due to poverty or any other reason. Under the leadership of Secretary of Education Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training under their leadership aligned all its programs to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-4). No strategy is effective unless ends and means are aligned. So Pakistan needs a team of leaders like Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary who can grow, achieve and boast the rate of education, economy, and other national goals, with his expertise, experience, invaluable insights, inspiring ideas, and best practices, enriching the Ministry.
Because before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself, but when you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Keeping in view all the above efforts, it could be said with full conviction that Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary is a person in Pakistan who practically proved his leadership quality and experience. Pakistan is not a poor country, but, poorly managed. Pakistan needs only visionary and good leaders like Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary. Indeed, Pakistan needs leaders, not bosses!
The writer Mr. Kashif Mirza is an economist, anchor, analyst, and the President of the Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation