Formal education: Ministry’s initiatives garner support at national moot

By Our Correspondent
May 31, 2023

Islamabad: Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain presided over the 36th Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) here on Tuesday with participants supporting the ministry's initiatives to further the cause of formal education.


Mansoor Qadir, Punjab minister for school education and higher education, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, Minister-Education & Literacy Department Sindh, Muhammad Ismail Rahoo, Minister of Universities & Boards Sindh, Sardar Naseeb Ullah Mari, Minister-Secondary/Colleges/Higher & Technical Education Department Balochistan, Rehmat Salam Khattak, Advisor (Minister In-Charge) to CM on Elementary and Secondary Education Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Irshad Qaiser, Minister-Higher Education Department & Information Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Raja Muhammad Azam Khan, Minister-Education Department Gilgit Baltistan, Zahid Khan, Secretary-Elementary and Secondary Education Department AJK & Khalid Mehmood Mirza, Secretary-Higher Education Department AJK attended the meeting. Secretary Education, Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary, senior officials of Federal Education Ministry, provincial/regional education departments of Sindh, KPK, Balochistan, Punjab, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan also participated in the meeting.

Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain said the meeting was going to play an instrumental role in developing synergies for providing access to education in all corners of Pakistan. He said his ministry was ensuring that an inclusive approach is taken to devise strategies that benefit students, teachers and parents in every province. "The IPEMC’s contributions are going to be significant in enrollment of Out of School Children (OOSC) and multiple distance learning interventions."

The minister emphasized the importance of developing framework for data sharing as well. He also assured the provinces that maximum facilitation would be given to them for reaping benefits from these projects. Federal education secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhary informed participants of the IPEMC and overview of the core agenda of the meeting.

He said the grants were provided to provinces under ASPIRE project during current and previous fiscal year to facilitate disadvantages areas for educational access. He informed the attendees about the flagship initiatives related to distance learning, Out of School Children, Curriculum reforms and foundation learning conference of MOFEPT and how the provinces could contribute towards their implementation for optimum results.

The meeting proceedings started with a comprehensive overview of the National Distance Education Strategy comprising vision, learning goals and objectives was also carried out during the meeting. The strategy was fully endorsed by the provinces and they assured the Ministry of complete alignment of their plans with the strategy.

MOFEPT representative delivered presentation on the enrollment of Out of Schools Children (OOSC) at Federal and Provincial Level. MOFEPT informed that a model Universal Enrollment Pilot Project in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had already been rigorously launched in collaboration with implementation partners and Secretary Education was monitoring the progress on a day-to-day basis. It was also informed that the initiative was focusing on bringing down the OOSC to zero in ICT by 30th June 2023. MOFEPT emphasized that after successful piloting of ZERO OOSC initiative in ICT, the learning will be replicated across the country. Provinces offered their full support in taking forward this remarkable initiative and committed to providing their complete facilitation in the enrollment drive across Pakistan.

A presentation was given by National Curriculum Cou­ncil on the Inter-provincial Coordination with regards to implementation of core curriculum. Important decisions were made for effective implementation of the new curriculum focusing on reforms in the quality of textbooks, teachers, and assessments across the country.

Provinces also appreciated the initiative of Teleschool Pakistan App and ensured the Ministry of their complete support in expanding the enrollment on the App across the country.

An important endorsement of National Education Management Information System (EMIS) for Data Standardization of Framework under Data and Research in Education (DARE) project was also carried out in the meeting.

A presentation was also given by MOFEPT on the two-day International Foundational Learning Conference being organized by MOFEPT in June. Participants were informed that the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Accelerating Foundational Literacy were part of Pakistan’s national agenda, and the Conference was expected to not just reiterate the federal and provincial governments’ commitment, but also is an opportunity to develop consensus of all federating units for increased and focused investment in the future of all Pakistani children.

Federal Minister for Education, Rana Tanveer Hussain presented grant cheques of Rs5,400 Million in total to Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces under ASPIRE Project to facilitate disadvantages areas in getting educational access. Earlier, during FY 21-22, grant of Rs3.24 billion was provided to provinces under the same project.