Education–A matter of National Security

by Waleed Ali Khan

The future of Pakistan seems unpredictable to say the least; Policy makers are scrambling to put an end to to the violence caused by people with a perverse sense of glory. These terrorists are relying on the children of the region to further their work and their weapon of choice is lack of education & awareness.  The eye-opening TED talk by Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy concludes that lack of education and isolation from the rest of he world is creating a breeding ground for terrorists in the vulnerable regions of Pakistan:


Sharmeen Chinoy gives a shocking talk on the underlying reason for the growth of extremism


The talk above gives an obvious but accurate depiction of how a terrorist is born. These childrens are being brainwashed just because they are poor and do not  have an education. Furthermore, these regions are often mountaneous and underdeveloped, and are hence blocked from the rest of the world. By limiting the use of television and media in the region; the terrorists leave the children  with no choice but to believe in what they hear from their surroundings. The only object they see from the outside world is bombs dropped by American airplanes.

Clearly, the military needs to think and strategize before it acts. There is a need for it to make sustainable plans that ensure a healthy society in that region. Awareness  and Educational problems will go a long way in not only destroying the fundamentalist ideologies of the taliban, but to also show the people of the region that Pakistan cares for them. If we fail to do that that; terrorists will be born as fast as they will be eliminated. It is about time that the army imports more than weapons from the west. Education and Awareness is of utmost importantce for our national security.

The video below shows an OLPC initiative in Colombia. What really struck me was that the initiative was taken not by the ministry of education, but by the ministry of Defense! It realized that investing in children is necessary so that they can become productive, rather than destructive, members of their society. I really hope that the Pakistan military does the same, and tries to make sustainable efforts to improve the wellbeing of the people in Pakistan’s northern areas. One Laptop Per Child might just be the answer to our biggest problem. These laptops not only provide a tool for endless learning, they provide these children a window to the outside world . This will enable them to see the world for what it truly is and also give them the ambition to better the world around them. It is about time that the massive government funding on the military is put to better use.

Nicholas Negroponte shows us how education can be a matter of national security.