ISLAMABAD: The prime and foremost objective of education is to provide the nation with such a citizenry, which by virtue of law abiding and contribution to collective good, could be able to strengthen political,  Social and economic foundations of the society. The role of civic education for the development of human societies has been historically proven and even today, those societies are far more strengthened and developed than others, who have inculcated sense of responsibility, rule of law, tolerance, peaceful co-existence and volunteerism among their populace through civic education. It’s ironical that such role of education, even at higher level seems evidently missing and we could not introduce our students with the values pertaining to civic life.

These were the shared observations expressed by the speakers while addressing at the occasion of conference “Civic Role of Higher Education”, organized by the Centre for Civic Education Pakistan (CCEP). Earlier, Zafarallah Khan, Executive Director CCEP presented a detailed overview of the state of civic education in Pakistan, especially with the youth perspective. He informed the audience that Pakistan has a massive “Youth Bulge”, as its 45 % of the population comprises of youth. However, he said, only three percent of them have access to higher education. He said that this youth population could be turned into an asset by providing them healthy opportunities and participation. But, a failure in this regard could be resulted as making this youth population a collective liability. He added that the prevailing situation seriously demands us to correct the past follies and realize the importance of civic education without any further delay.

While delivering her keynote address Dr. Najma Najam, Vice Chancellor of the Karakurm International University Gilgit, said that awareness should be raised among the youth that higher education does not mean securing a degree. She said that besides imparting education, our universities should inculcate such value among the students that they could be able to become responsible and useful citizens of the society. Dr.Ahmad Farooq Mashadi, Head of the Department of Education, Baha-ud-Din Zikriya University Multan said that civic education is vital for the progress and development of any society. He observed that we have ignored the role of civic education and its values, which is resulted as the social ills like extremism, intolerance and indiscipline have become our national character. He said that civic education should be included in the curriculum at various levels so that a stable society could be established on the basis of global values of peace, tolerance and humanism.

Dr. Naheed Chishti of Balochistan emphasized that our youth should be aware of fundamental human rights. She said that Pakistan is a federal country but rights of federating units are being denied which tells the sorry state of affair in our society. Framan Ullah Anjam, Regional Director HEC Peshawar said that the element of dialogue on various issue needs to encouraged in our universities. He highlighted that the deployment of traditional police force in universities is having negative aspect and instead, if necessary, specially trained police force should be deployed on such sensitive places to avoid undue tension and confrontation.

Dr. Shagufta of Foundation University opined that universities could play important role to promote volunteerism in the society. Dr. Waseem Akbar of Gomal University said that better training of teachers and uniformed system of education could be a solution to many of the problems that we are facing in education sector.