Minister says over 5 mln destitute school children started getting education

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ISLAMABAD : Minister for Education and Professional Training, Engr Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rahman has said around five million children had been enrolled in last five years to bring back all those children who left schools mainly due to financial constraints.

“The school expenses of these out -of -school children from class one to 12th have been bearing purely the government with the objective of leaving not a single child unattended just because of accessibility barriers, Baligh-ur-Rehman said in a media interview Sunday.

He said “Our this effort was highly acknowledged by the international educational organizations and they were happy on the programme under which a record number of children in history of Pakistan have been admitted in schools during short span of time.”

The government, he said was pumping more and more funds in education sector to increase the literacy rate and for the provision of quality education.

He added the Federal and Provincial governments had spent more than Rs 4,200 billion during last five years for promotion of education sector while budget for higher education sector had also been increased from Rs 40 billion to 107 billion during last five years.

He said that the federal government had increased its budgetary allocation for educational sector from Rs 500 billion to Rs 900 billion during last five years and the number was increasing every year, he remarked.

To a question, he said that Pakistan has hired the services of an international institution TIMS for assessment of education sector in the country, adding that it will start its work by next year with cooperation of national institutions.

The funds have been allocated to the TIMS in this regard and the training to local and TIMS experts had been provided to conduct assessment, he remarked.

Lauding the Prime Minister Laptop Scheme, the minister informed to this scribe that Pakistan has become among top five countries across the world which is providing E-Learning education to students.

He particularly mentioned that according to QS World University Ranking, around ten Pakistani universities have been placed in top 300 universities of Asia, adding that this number is increasing annually.

The Minister said currently Pakistan has only 26 per cent PhD’s while it need further 40 percent under Vision-2025 and the target would be gained through Pak-US Knowledge Corridor.

While, replying to a question about the appointment of new Chairman HEC, Baligh ur Rahman said that currently, around 100 applications have been submitted against the post. He ensured that the new chairman would be hired purely on merit basis through transparent process under the committee established by the prime minister.

To a question that whether the present chairman would be awarded extension, the minister replied that present chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar had worked professionally and it is now up-to the committee to extend his tenure or select any other who is more professional than him.

Elaborating the role of federal and provincial HEC’s especially after 18th amendment, the minister said that the Prime Minister and Chief Minister’s in a meeting had finalized consensus about the powers of Federal and Provincial Higher Education Commission (HECs).

The Federal HEC will have some powers while some powers had been transferred to provincial HEC,s, he explained and added in few matters both federal and provincial HEC’s would work with consultation.

He emphasized the Quran education in schools, and said that as a pilot project the compulsory Quran education has been implemented in only few public sector schools of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), while it would be made compulsory in all schools by next years.

The federal government has launched a programme under which the teachers and heads of the schools across the country were being provided professional teaching skills and training, which produced positive results, he added.

Orignally published by NNI

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