The Pakistani government plans to use education, sports and development to counter extremism and terrorism, the country's ambassador to the UAE Jameel Ahmad Khan said.
"Our students are our future leaders and they will have to lead from the front to wipe out the scar of extremism and terrorism from the face of their country and project its soft image worldwide," Khan said at a ceremony he organised yesterday at the Pakistan Embassy to honour outstanding Pakistani students in the UAE.
He awarded certificates of appreciation to Zainab Shaukat, Sahil Tareq, Sa'adia Mohammad Ashfaq and Amnah Azam Malek for their excellent performance in curricular and extra-curricular activities
Zainab, a student at a GEMS school, was also awarded the Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Award for Excellence.
She is the only Pakistani student who has received this prestigious award, which honours a student's outstanding academic performance, commitment to the environment and world citizenship.
"Such luminary children would set an example for the youth to acquire education and be competitive with the world community," Khan said.
He applauded the performance of the four students and congratulated their teachers and parents.
"We pin our hopes [on the] talented children of Pakistan, studying within and outside the country," he said.
It is worth noting that all Pakistani schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, run under the patronage of Pakistani missions in the UAE, have fared badly, with their performance ranked ‘unsatisfactory' by the respective education authorities in the country.
However, the Pakistan Community Welfare School in Mussafah was recently declared ‘satisfactory' by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).
The school, which was supposed to have been shut down about four years back owing to a lack of funds, teachers and proper infrastructure made a turn around after the involvement of the Pakistan Professional Wing (PPW), which stepped in with financial and administrative support to guarantee the education of hundreds of students from the lower and middle-income group of community members.
Munir Mahmoud, chairman of the PPW, said efforts by current principal Aneesa Nazir, over the last four years, to restore it to its former glory had been a dream for many.
He said the PPW had supported the school financially in upgrading its overall infrastructure.
He added that Pakistani community schools in Dubai, as well as in other emirates, must make a number of changes to their administrative systems to not only benefit students but also comply with the benchmarks set by the UAE's official education bodies.
He said the PPW delegation would meet the ambassador soon to present their suggestions on how to further improve the overall standard of Pakistani community schools.
The suggestions include the establishment of professional governing bodies to monitor and run the daily affairs of schools.
The boards of such bodies will consist of number of professionals — such as educationists, doctors, engineers, businessmen, chartered accountants or bankers and the like.
He said the professionals, hailing from different sectors, would use their expertise to help schools maintain high standards — something that will benefit the community