Pakistan-Turkey educational and cultural linkages to be enhanced

ANKARA, 7 October 2019: Federal Minister for Education, Professional Training & National Heritage Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, leading a 5-member delegation, today met with Minister for National Education of Turkey Mr. Zia Selçuk in Ankara. Both the Ministers discussed steps to further alleviate Pakistan-Turkey relations in education, particularly technical education and vocational training.

Welcoming Pakistan delegation, Minister Ziya Selçuk said that Pakistan occupies a very special place in the eyes of the people of Turkey. He said Pakistan and Turkey had supported each other throughout history, emphasizing that Turkey will not forget the support given by the people of Pakistan during Turkish War of Independence, Çanakkale War, and the 15th July 2016 failed coup. He also appreciated Pakistan Government efforts in handing over Pak-Turk Schools to Maarif Foundation of Turkey. Referring to Jinnah Young Writers Awards essay competition, a joint project of Pakistan Embassy Ankara and Turkish Ministry of National Education, Minister Zia said it has proved an important initiative further contributing to Pakistan-Turkey friendship. He showed keen desire to further enhance education ties.

Minister Shafqat Mahmood thanked the Turkish hosts for warm hospitality and said the people of Pakistan have genuine love and respect for the people of Turkey and vice versa. He particularly thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his steadfast support to the people of Kashmir and appreciated his bold speech in the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in which President Erdogan showed strong solidarity with the suffering people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Mr. Shafqat Mahmood briefed the Turkish Minister about education reform programme of the Pakistani Government that includes a uniform curriculum for the entire education sector of Pakistan. He said efforts were underway to impart quality education to Pakistani youth as per the requirements and needs of society. He also mentioned about initiatives for technical education and vocational training and said Pakistan is keen to learn from the Turkish experience.

Minister Shafqat Mahmood and the accompanying delegation including Ms. Wajiha Akram, PParliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Syed Javed Hassan, Chairman, National Vocational & Technical Training Commission, Dr. Nasir Khan, Executive Director NAVTTC and other senior officers visited Directorate General of Religious Education of the Ministry of Education. They also visited Ahmet Tevfiq Ileri Imam Hatip High School. Minister Shafqat Mahmood remarked that while revising Pakistan curriculum, we can learn from the Turkish experience of Imam Hatip model, an amalgamation of religious and modern education. 

In order to pay respects to the founder of modern Turkey, the delegation visited the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Minister Shafqat Mahmood laid floral wreath on Ataturk’s tomb.