Prof. Dr. Shahid Munir, Chairperson of the Punjab Higher Education Commission, participated as the Chief Guest in a seminar titled “Seminar on One Country or Many? A Critical Assessment of Pakistan Educational Policies on National Integration.” The seminar was organized Sughra Begum Centre for Education Policy & Development, University of the Punjab.
During his address to the participants, Prof. Dr. Shahid Munir highlighted the global phenomena of globalization and increasing diversity in developing countries, emphasizing that such diversity can pose challenges to national cohesion and integration. He discussed the importance of integrating diverse groups into a uniform societal structure to achieve inclusive prosperity.
Dr. Munir defined national integration as the solidarity and bond among citizens of a country, transcending differences of caste, religion, and creed. He stressed the need for recognizing the oneness of the nation despite cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity. Addressing Pakistan’s challenges with national integration, Dr. Munir referenced the country’s diverse sub-cultures, traditions, ethnicities, languages, and religious faiths. He reiterated the vision of Pakistan’s founder, emphasizing the importance of being recognized as Pakistanis beyond regional or ethnic identities. The discussion also touched on the alarming rate of out-of-school children in Pakistan and the barriers to quality education. Dr. Munir underscored the importance of addressing outdated teaching practices, inadequate pedagogical materials, language transition challenges, teacher shortages, and socio-economic factors that hinder learning.