News & Media

Lawmakers extend full support to new education policy

Daily Times - 26-1-2022

The parliamentarians and civil society organizations on Tuesday reaffirmed their support to the newly formed Education Parliamentary Caucus (EPC).

The EPC has been formed to address key bottlenecks in the current education system of the country as well as table suggestions for improvements to decision makers. The key focus of the efforts would be to make sure that education policies and plans can bridge the implementation gaps and effectively cater to the diverse real needs of children, adolescents and adults for quality education in Pakistan.

In a statement, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani admired the initiative and extended his support to ensure quality education for all the children in Pakistan as enshrined in Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali also joined the virtual launch of EPC. On the occasion, he said that it was the responsibility of parliamentarians to take this initiative; we should have done it long ago. “The only way forward for Pakistan is education and skilled education for girls and boys,” he added.

Other Parliamentarians participated at the launching ceremony included as Wajiha Qammar, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Education and Professional Training; Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Ministry of National Health Services and MPAs from Punjab Aisha Nawaz Chaudhary, Tahir Khalil Sandhu and Abbas Ali Shah; MPAs from Sindh Tanzeela Qambarani, Syeda Marvi Rashdi; MPAs from Balochistan Bushra Rind, Ahmed Umar Khan Kalat, Senator Sana Jamali; and MPA Shagufta Malik from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Excited to work towards the common objective of promoting education in Pakistan, PPP MPA Rashdi said, “The EPC is a great initiative that will surely help, observe and scrutinize the work of the Department for Education in the provinces. This will definitely make a difference pertaining to the children’s social needs, schools and colleges based on the higher education system in our country.”

Lawmakers from Balochistan have especially stepped forward to contribute to the EPC. Senator Sana Jamali congratulated civil society and parliamentarians for taking the much needed initiative to form a parliamentary caucus for education. She ensured that Balochistan Assembly will extend maximum support to the cause.

A letter has also been written to the decision makers to take evidence-based urgent actions for education in Pakistan. Addressing the president, prime minister, parliamentarians, ministers and secretaries of education and literacy in Pakistan, the letter requested support for EPC and also put forth six recommendations for making transformative decisions impacting millions of children, youth and teachers.

Addressing the lower learning levels in Madrassas, the letter recommended to assess Madrassas on the ASER Basic Tools and provided immediate Remedial support. Assumed capacity of Madrassahs to cope with the SNC 2020 burden may lead to stress and disruption. This reality needs to be accounted for when overloading them with the many reforms; prepare them first on foundational skills then build them for adjusting to SNC and/or other shifts in the academic/TEVT options.

The letter also pointed out the URGENT need to integrate Katchi Abadis in policies, planning and budgets; there must be a Section in the Department of Education on “Education and Skills” in KAs catering to a range of education needs: 2nd Chance Learning and TEVT for livelihoods.

The EPC will be working concurrently upon these recommendations at provincial and national levels to vigorously mobilize required resources and create pressure on parliament for the enactment of all relevant policies particularly Article 25A and SDG-4 with the support of partner organizations, including Sightsavers, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Affairs, KKAF, Teach for Pakistan, Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood, Pakistan Coalition for Education, Save The Children, VSO, Care International, Unicef Pakistan, Taleemabad/Orenda, Centre for Social Justice and EdLab Pakistan.