Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said the federal government would hold a national summit on curriculum reform.
The minister — while addressing a two-day event Decade of Learning Conference organised by the British High Commission and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office — said that the examination system and teachers' training reforms need to go hand in hand with curriculum reform, as all of the three aspects need to be aligned.
In his address, Iqbal suggested partnering up with citizens in policymaking so that the policies don’t get affected when governments change. "This would have great significance in case, if there is a change in government, civil society would be able to force the new set-up to continue with the policies that are in the greater public interest."
He added that the changes which are in the interest of the country should not be thrown out of the window with political change as happened with visions 2010 and 2025. Iqbal also reiterated that stability and continuity of policies are pre-requisite for sustainable development in any state.
Commenting on the state of Pakistan's education and health sectors, the minister said that the major challenge is developing an effective management structure at the district level.
"We need to strengthen more social sector management system at district levels which suffers from a high turnover of staff," he said.
Iqbal proposed to engage top-level professionals as Chief Executives of the district education authorities on market-based salaries.
He said that the fourth industrial revolution poses great challenges for education and learning.
"The old models of learning are becoming redundant and new methods of learning in education to promote creativity, innovation and critical thinking must be adopted," the minister said.
Iqbal, who is also a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, appreciated the contribution of FCDO in improving the standard of education in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
He emphasised the fact that while Pakistan is good at planning, the actual bottleneck and the real challenge come during the implementation of policies. The minister added that the lack of policy implementation and poor management capacity lead to a substandard performance in the public sector.
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