Education and National Security


libraryIn America, political and policy leaders are asking whether the American education system, one of the top of the world, is falling behind and whether this lack of attention to education is a threat to their economy and national security.

“The dominant power of the 21st century will depend on human capital,” the report said. “The failure to produce that capital will undermine American security.”

The report said that the State Department and intelligence agencies face critical shortages in the number of foreign-language speakers and that fields like science, defense and aerospace are at risk because a shortage of skilled workers is likely to worsen as baby boomers retire.

Compare this with another article published the same day, this time in Pakistan.

Criticising the removal of jihadi material from syllabus and replacement of the lesson, The Holy Prophet, with ‘Three Days to See’, heads of various seminaries called it a deviation from the path of Islam. “The rulers, in fact want to enforce secularism and the removal of jihadi verses and replacement the Holy Prophet’s lesson is a first step towards an anti-Islamic system,” they said while addressing a news conference on Monday… “Those who shared their ideas regarding the new syllabus and replaced the Prophet’s lesson with a non-muslim writer’s lesson committed Kufr,” they decreed. They also slammed the removal of two other lessons, the ‘Voice of God” with “Giant Man” and “Hazrat Omar” with Quaid-e-Azam.

Have we really come to the point where we are rejecting any syllabus that includes the ideas of non-Muslims? Have we really come to the point where even lessons about Qaid-e-Azam are deemed Kufr?

It’s quite trendy lately to claim to be “defenders of Pakistan”. But look at what these groups are preaching – closing relations with other countries, closing minds at home. They’d rather our children be proficient at assembling kalashnikovs in the dark than than proficient in science and language. They teach a distorted version of history that guarantees we will continue to face a distorted future. They support people who burn down schools, and they think they’re making us safer.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is looking at their own failings and adjusting. They are investing in education because they know that without an educated population, no country can truly be secure. If we really want to defend our country, we need books not bombs.


Author: Mahmood Adeel