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Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2013.
Since no politician or political party considers education and health a priority despite their slogans, Dr Shershah Syed finds no hope of improving these sectors.
The founder of Pakistan National Forum on Women Health, Dr Syed believes that health and education systems can only be improved with the help of the state and that is not likely to happen in the near future. Given this situation, the women in the country – both in rural and urban areas – are the highest suffering group, he said, during a lecture on healthcare problems at the Oxford Bookshop on Friday.
He was quick to explain that he has not lost hope without a reason. “I learnt this after spending decades trying to find ways to make some improvement.”
In order to develop the society, Dr Syed stressed that the education system needs to be improved. In our current structure, the education system is only producing technicians of every profession without any real knowledge and awareness. And this is the case in every profession, including health, which results in low quality health services for people, he said.
“It is sad but, due to a lack of education, we give cattle higher care compared to poor women”
A majority of the private universities are commercial institutions, while education standards of government institutions are also declining. “The system is not providing awareness or wisdom, only technical knowledge to earn some money.” Dr Syed was of the opinion that Pakistan is the only country whose education level is declining each year, while the population stays in ignorance about their basic rights.
Women continue to die during childbirth, but the government has yet to make that a priority. “It is not their goal, once it becomes their priority it will happen despite all the hurdles,” he said. “It is sad but, due to a lack of education, we give cattle higher care compared to poor women.”