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May 15, 2006

Seminaries’ role to be streamlined, says Anisa

 
May 15, 2006

ISLAMABAD: The seminaries in Pakistan are to be encouraged as they are playing a very positive role in imparting religious and scientific education to students, especially those from remote areas, said Minister of State for Education Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli on Sunday.

In an exclusive interview with APP, she lauded the contributions and services of Deeni Madaris for imparting cheap education to the poor segment of society and said the government wanted to streamline these institutions for the benefit of students.

“The role of these seminaries is to be streamlined to integrate religious education with formal educational system and bridge the gulf between the two

parallel systems of education,” she said.

The minister said that on this front the government was successfully progressing and subjects like mathematics, computer sciences and English were to be incorporated to the syllabus to bring the students of the seminaries at par with those of government institutions.

About the curricula reforms, she said curriculum development was an ongoing process to respond to the global challenges and emerging trends and added that efforts were underway to make it vibrant and responsive to the development of individual as well as the society.

Anisa said the existing scheme of study was also being reviewed to make the learning in schools more effective.

She said she looked after President’s Education Sector Reforms which emphasised the provision of education for all school age children and it plans to achieve 76 per cent net primary enrolment by 2006.

She said that in the financial year 2005-06 initially an amount of Rs 900 million was allocated for President’s Education Sector Reforms Programme which had been enhanced to Rs 1757.76 million to meet the additional requirements of provincial and district governments.

She said the government was sincere in its efforts to improve the condition of educational

buildings and provide missing facilities there and for this purpose she said the budget for education sector would be increased by 4 per cent of the GDP.

The minister said the National Education Census was underway to ensure that the national database was systematically updated by incorporating information of all categories of educational institutions in the country.

She said so far, 97.35 per cent institutions had been covered and draft tabulation had been prepared and approved, and the project would be completed by June 30.

When asked about the role of the schools in private sectors, she said these institutions were contributing a lot in promoting quality education, however, she added, a Regulatory Authority had been approved by cabinet to monitor and further improve the performance of these private schools.

She said the fee structure did not include in the authority’s terms of reference, adding

“let the issue be decided by parents for the benefit of their children”.

She said that the government was trying to bring far-flung areas at par with the urban areas and for this purpose a number of steps were being taken.

She said quality of education would be improved to groom the students according to the requirements of modern time.

She said it was unfortunate that there had been a greater increase in facilities for general education as compared to technical and vocational education.

She said the number of graduates with general qualifications looking for jobs in white-collar sector was beyond absorption, giving rise to unemployment among educated youth.

About general elections to be held in 2007, she said that these would be held as per constitution of the country.