Reforms agenda on education

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Caretaker Information and Education Minister Mossarat Qadeem stressed for integrated approach taking the civil society on board in the reforms agenda of education in the province. Without integrated approach, we can not move forward as we know “education is to be a state concern” involving all stakeholders in fine-tuning the educational needs in requirements for the society. Therefore, this approach should be put on ground with the active involvement of the society.

This, she stated, while welcoming the participants of the donor’s conference co-hosted by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & GIZ and participated by the representatives of UNICEF, USAID, EU Cooperation, Aus Aid, CIDA, Save the children, Norwegian embassy in Islamabad, International Association of Japan, DFID, authorities concerned of P&D and Elementary and Secondary Education Departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The participants were unanimous in identifying the problem areas responsible for low enrollment rate in quality education which included high dropout rate, push out rate, weak learning out put and the gap of professional and trained manpower and financial resources. 

The minister said that they need to have a shift in policy from imitative approach towards innovative approach. They witnessed the weaknesses of the imitative approach wherein policies formed for the last 65 years and plans made and the best ones but those were not in consonance with the ground realities. The problems started when the civil society was totally ignored. The government and donors relationship excluding the civil society was a wall that should fall down, however, there needs to be a monitoring body to monitor the performance of managers, administration and teachers in the education system, she added.

The minister said accountability and transparency should stay at the top and should never be compromised. They need a de-politicized educational system with the vigilant community and fortunately they had a vibrant media to indicate the weaknesses and raise the issues so that there is a “check and balance mechanism to bring about improvement in the education sector”.

What they need to do is to give schools with all facilities and the teachers present there, rest assured the female students would come to schools. She stressed for effective monitoring system, free from all sorts of interference including political and they would get results.

The caretaker set up wanted to sensitize the community and the opinion leaders to had ownership and this is a sort of integrated approach and all empirical studies indicated it as “success story” world over. Expectations were around that with the firm will and commitment, they could make a difference. Rest assured we would narrow down the financial gap and stop wastage of resources. The ultimate goal is quality education whatever approach is made, must have long-lasting impact, she concluded.