Govt reform agenda unlikely to succeed without prioritising education: I-SAPS moot Experts, parliamentarians call for national response to education challenge

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Zubair Qureshi

A large number of public representatives and education experts from provinces and the federal capital have called for generating a national response to end the education emergency in Pakistan.
They were giving their input at a National Conference on Education here Wednesday. The conference was organized by Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS), a national public policy research institute.
Deputy Speaker, National Assembly, Qasim Suri was the chief guest on the occasion. While discussing the poor education indicators and magnitude of the challenge, Suri stressed the need for a well-coordinated response to the challenge. He stressed the federal government to act as a coordinating vector for charting a course for addressing the education needs.
Suri appreciated the government for making education a priority in their reform agenda.
Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Convener Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs Riaz Fatyana commended I-SAPS’ work for organizing the national conference on the issue of education. He informed that Pakistan is lagging behind the SDG-4 targets and stressed the need for combined effort to achieve these. He was of the view that the efforts of the current government particularly for education reforms are praiseworthy and will soon show mark improvement in the education indicators.
Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives and Convener, National Caucus on Financing SDGs, Kanwal Shauzab while appreciating the organizers outlined the government efforts for achieving SDG-4 targets.
She highlighted that the current regime has introduced exceptional reforms in the education sector and which will lead to substantial improvement in the education sector.
Dr Salman Humayun, Executive Director I-SAPS while discussing the need for a national response which should be an aggregate of federal and provincial responses to the educational challenge.
He underscored that the desired response needs to address the challenge of developing minimum common standards, improving data structures, collecting regular data on various international commitments, students learning assessments, and coordination among the federating units.
Earlier, I-SAPS senior representative Ahmad Ali while welcoming the conference delegates laid out the objective of the conference. He informed the participants that the conference while deliberating on the diverse contours of the educational challenge will focus on generating a national response to educational challenges in Pakistan. He elucidated that the conference aims to initiate debate and explore the ways and means for synergizing Federal-Provincial interface for effectively meeting the obligations under Article 25-A and SDG-4.