Thursday, December 2

'Uniting the nation'

AAMER WAQAS CH talks to ex-provincial education minister Malik Ghulam Nabi, who says that his government's idea of nationalisation was the best policy to unite the nation, but it was destroyed by a few with vested interests

The issue of nationalisation of educational institutions became a question of national importance for another time when the Punjab government announced its denationalisation programme. After opposition from teachers and consultation with them, it has announced to withdraw denationalisation notification. Malik Ghulam Nabi was provincial (Punjab) minister of education when the process of nationalisation was started in 1972 by Z.A. Bhutto. He talks about the decision of nationalisation and its aftermaths.

"When the issue of nationalisation started, I talked to the federal government and suggested that missionary-sponsored institutions should not be touched as they came here in darkness and spread the light of education. For the other institutions, I was positive that this change would bring a lot of betterment in the nation-building.

"When a government fails, it does such things, which the present government is doing. They want to bring everything under their thumb, which is equivalent to bringing our independence to nothingness. In order to make these institutions better, changes should have been made in the present set-up - there is no need of bringing a 'revolution', as they say. They are making a big mess.

"We expected that the inferiority complex of the poor would wither and they would have an equal status with that of the rich. Nation was to be uplifted, and we made an honest effort for that. This is evident from the fact that we did not touch those institutions, which were established before the Independence. But unfortunately, the best policy did not give the desired results because of divergent reasons. We were making an effort for a united nation, which would have been possible through honest teachers and patriots. But, they opened their schools and did the damage to their mother institutes. Spirit was noble, but unions played havoc.

"The present education, whether of private or public schools, has done nothing. These have created people devoid of qualities of head and heart. Their concern is money, not education.

"Z.A. Bhutto did not fail in his programme rather he was stuck somewhere. His idea was to bring equality among various classes. He wanted to produce youngmen, who could work for Pakistan and had moral strength to stop the army from interfering."

No comments: