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Education key to removing barriers of class, privilege, says Pak envoy in Malaysia

(2013-12-04)


In an age when barriers of class and privilege work against bringing positive changes in people’s lives, education can play the role of an enabler in leading moral, spiritual, and intellectual enlightenment besides creating opportunities to improve quality of life.

This was stated by Mr. Shahid M.G. Kiani during a reception arranged at the Pakistan House in Kuala Lumpur here to pay tribute to the work and services of The Citizen Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting literacy and imparting education through its 910 purpose-built schools all over Pakistan. A select number of leading Pakistani professionals, businessmen, bankers, philanthropists and representatives of Pakistani community in Malaysia were also present.

“Such organisations deserve to supported through all possible means as they strive in a noble cause to remove barriers of class and privilege and make the citizens of Pakistan agents of positive change,” said Mr. Kiani, adding access to basic education was the right of each individual and not a privilege.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ahsan M. Saleem, Founding Director TCF, said his organisation was professionally managed and had been crusading for the promotion of literacy since 1995 when it was set up by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in the country. “It is now one of Pakistan's leading organizations in the field of formal education, imparting education to 126,000 students through a network of 910 purpose-built school units,” he said.

Mr. Ahsan particularly mentioned female literacy as one of the primary goals of his organisation which not only encouraged female enrollment but also strove to maintain a 50 per cent female ratio in most of its campuses. “TCF has a full female faculty of 6,300 members besides a dedicated Teacher Training Center in Karachi and Mansehra for the ongoing training of its faculty,” he said, adding nearly 9,500 jobs had been created so far in communities in which TCF operates.

Mr. Ahsan said the vision of TCF was to remove barriers of class and privilege and and focus on the character building of students to equip them with high moral values and confidence. “To achieve these goals, TCF is constantly surveying education-deprived locations in Pakistan to extend its network with each new location appraised through an extensive land survey, assessment of income level, number and standard of existing schools in the area,” he said.