Outcry in Pakistan over dropout's appointment as education minister


  • ASEAN+
  • Sunday, 05 Jan 2020

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's party was under fire on Sunday (Jan 5) for its decision to appoint a high school dropout as the education minister in a north-western province. - AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's party was under fire on Sunday (Jan 5) for its decision to appoint a high school dropout as the education minister in a north-western province.

The government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province announced a cabinet reshuffle on Saturday and appointed Akbar Ayub Khan as minister for elementary and secondary education.

The English-language newspaper Dawn reported that the minister quit his studies before completing the 12th grade and moving to Canada.

He never received a higher education.

After the report sparked outrage on social media, the provincial government's spokesman justified the appointment in a video message by saying that the new minister could speak fluent English.

"Imran Khan’s party appoints a matriculate as provincial education minister and his stalwarts defend this insult to the (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's) public by saying he can speak English,” said Syed Talat Hussain, a prominent journalist with more than 3 million followers on Twitter.

In September, the provincial government was forced to withdraw an order stipulating that schoolgirls must wear hijabs after opposition from civil society groups and outcry on social media.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the same conservative province where Taliban militants attacked Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai when she was a schoolgirl in 2012.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the party of Prime Minister Khan, rules the province.

He swept to power in 2018 on the back of promises of political reforms and improvements to the quality of the state education system. - dpa
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Pakistan PM , Imran Khan Party , Under Fire

   

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