PESHAWAR: People from various walks of life have called for measures to improve the education sector in the country by taking steps to put in place a uniform and quality education policy. Participants including Dr. Shafqat Parveen, associate professor at the Institute of Education and Research (IER) at the University of Peshawar, at a forum discussion organised by Daily Times, said that Pakistan had failed to develop uniform education policies and a system, which will take the consequences in shape of rising tides of anarchy, chaos, fanaticism, sectarianism and extremism as is witnessed in Pakistan on a daily basis.She said that the Government of Pakistan had failed to implement a uniform education system throughout the country and as a result, we see mushrooming growth of educational institutions beyond the purview of the state policies. “It is sad and tragic to note that our education system is creating divides, injustice and inequality in the society, instead of acting as a catalyst for unification of the society,” she added.Professor Amjid Riba, coordinator of Bachelor of Education programme at the University of Peshawar, said that no nation could claim to be sovereign and independent in the true sense unless its population was educated and literate. “An uneducated populace can neither understand national interest, nor play an active role in nation building,” he added.He said that the only way to gain success and glory was to get education and increase our literacy rate both at the individual and the national level.“Pakistan came into being on August14, 1947 and since the day, our successive governments focused on the defence needs of the country as their first priority because our eastern border was quite vulnerable to Indian aggression,” he added.So, it was the need of the hour to raise a strong defence force to counter the nefarious designs of the enemy against the motherland. For this, every government allocated huge funds from the budget to meet the defence requirements of the country. As a result, from day one, the government was compelled to shift its focus on the defence of the country neglecting the foremost need of the country to adequately educate the people of the country.According to Arshad Saleem, a lawyer of Peshawar High Court, Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan requires the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children from five to 16 years of age.The government school teachers’ association president, Sardar Amanullah Khan, said that in Pakistan, there were three education systems that ran parallel to one another.“First is the government-run education system where children from the middle or the lower middle-class are educated. The second is the private education system, also known as English medium institutions where children from the elite class are educated. The third one is madrassa education system where children from marginalised or poor classes are educated.Ahmad Asfhani, representative of the Youth Parliament, criticised the successive governments that had failed to realise the importance and power of an educated society which will automatically reach the pinnacle of glory and success.“On the one hand, our state education is very miserable and pathetic and on the other hand, the state could not enforce a uniform education system which has resulted in the feelings of ethnicity, provincialism and racism”, she added.Former education minister, Sardar Hussain Babak, lamented the education system,which, he said, could not cultivate the feelings of unity and harmony in society.“We have subordinated national interest to racial, ethnic, provincial or individual interest. Our federating units are at daggers drawn over small and petty maters. Sadly speaking, our nation stands directionless and aimless. We are victimised by vested interests,” he added.“Our precious national resources are plundered by foreign powers and we have turned a blind eye towards them. All this happens only because our masses are largely illiterate and ignorant,” he added.