College leaders from Pakistan fight terrorism with education

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BY VALERIE VELIKAYA

Pakistan
PHOTO BY VALERIE VELIKAYA

A panel of Pakistani educators dis­cussed the role education plays in the fight against terrorism in their homeland.

Five professors from the Sukkur Insti­tute of Business Administration (IBA) in Sukkur, Pakistan held a conference in the Hudson Auditorium last Thursday, Sept. 18.

The institute is Pakistan’s first commu­nity college, and JCCC, funded by a U.S. Embassy grant, collaborated with Sukkur leaders to create a developmental educa­tional program in order to strengthen the country’s literacy rates while discourag­ing terrorism involvement in the youth.

Approximately 40 attendees listened to each instructor express their dismay with the educational system in Pakistan.

“It’s a problem, and we think that it’s not only our problem, but a problem of the world,” said Noor Hussain Shar, co­ordinator, IBA Community Colleges. “It’s a problem of terrorism living on the globe.”

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 3,268 deaths were recorded last year, and as of today, over 2,467 fatali­ties since the beginning of the year – all associated with major acts of terrorism in Pakistan.

In March, about 19 civilians, including 10 women and four children, were killed as a result of gang-related violence. The number of casualties continues to escalate due to unhindered terrorist attacks.

Lack of attention towards the edu­cational system, renders the country vulnerable to violent acts, said Sher Mu­hammad Daudpota, director, Replicating Community College Best Practices.

“If we address those issues then I think we’d be in a better position,” he said. “The whole world will be in a better position to fight against the terrorism and then ev­ery educational institution … will take responsibility.”

“The solution is very, very simple,” said Ali Gohar Chang, principal, Public School Sukkur. “We need to provide ev­ery kid a revision; we need to provide every kid with facilities and we have to make sure that all the teachings … edu­cate our children and then make sure, making sure that they have a normal life.”

According to Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, director and dean of Sukkur IBA, 50 per­cent of Pakistan’s population is within the age group of 15 to 23. UNICEF lists the male population as currently hold­ing a literacy rate of 79.1 percent while the female rate falters at a 17.6 percent difference; 60 percent of the population is working for an education while 40 per­cent have never seen a school.

“We have to find out the reason for each type of terrorism activity … and then erase it,” said Siddiqui. “All these reasons can be eliminated [with] educa­tion.”

The long-term solution is education, he said.

 

Contact Valerie Velikaya, managing editor, vvelikay@jccc.edu

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