Tuesday August 09, 2022

DAI celebrates International Literacy Day

September 14, 2019

Islamabad: DAI today hosted an event to celebrate International Literacy Day, which is celebrated worldwide to underscore the universal right to education for all, as mandated by the United Nations on 26 October 1966, says a press release.

The Islamabad event convened education practitioners, policy makers, teachers, students, and academia to discuss improving learning approaches in Pakistan, with a focus on finding locally led solutions for the most marginalised students by generating political will, inclusionary approaches, and high-quality teacher facilitation and support.

The plenary discussion highlighted key opportunities and bottlenecks in Pakistan’s state and non-state education systems, including the quality of teaching, standards, access, and inclusion, especially with regard to the most marginalised children. The distinguished panel of experts included Saima Anwer, education adviser, UK Department for International Development; Umbreen Arif, educationist; Khadija Shahper Bakhtiar, CEO and Founder of Teach for Pakistan; Aban Haq, Head of the Innovation Fund at Karandaaz Pakistan; Murad Raas, Minister for School Education, Government of Punjab; Mehnaz Akber Aziz, MNA; Sarah Sheikh, Executive Director of the Family Educational Services Foundation; and Soufia Siddiqi, a technical consultant with the Government of Punjab.

Shafqat Mahmood, minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, delivered the keynote address in which he conveyed the government’s vision for improving education outcomes. He emphasised increasing the use of technology, particularly mobile phones, to deliver education at scale to the most marginalised children in Pakistan.

Sakil Malik, senior global practice leader for Education at DAI, stated that although access to education has improved, many marginalised children remain outside Pakistan’s formal education system. A decade-long endeavour to improve the quality of education has made significant headway, he said, and this effort must be sustained and scaled. The panel on education quality and access was attended by Murad Raas, who stated that the three major issues to address in education are quality, access and governance.

Zehra Zaidi, director of education at DAI, convened a panel on non-state education provision, which discussed how non-state providers can be leveraged to improve education outcomes through public private partnerships and innovative approaches to service delivery which enable effective models of education provision to be taken to scale to address systemic failures in education service delivery.

Jeremy Kanthor, Vice President of Governance at DAI, concluded the event, reiterating DAI’s commitment to supporting sound education policy and practice in partnership with the government and civil society organisations.