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September 2, 2015

Pakistan should reduce number of out-of-school children: expert

Islamabad

September 2, 2015

Islamabad
Pakistan has the second highest number of out of school children in the world, said Nasir Amin, in-charge of the National Education Management Information System-Pakistan.
He stated this in a seminar on ‘Monitoring and Evaluation in Education Sector under Proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute and Alif Ailan Programme.
Amin said that Pakistan should reduce out-of-school numbers from 6.2 million to 2 million. He said that the government prepared a 4-stage plan of implementation for achieving the goals.
He said that all stakeholders were involved in the preparation of the plan. The data, he said, however, shows that the situation on the ground is not good. He said that enrolment of existing out-of-school children is the step one, which can be achieved by building additional rooms for them in the existing schools. Afterwards, new schools may be built for bringing more children to schools. He said incentives should also be given to keep children in schools.
He said that the programme achieved one success when out of 6.2 million out-of-school children 2 million were enrolled. Increasing the number of school-going children, retaining them and, maintaining quality of education is the name of the game.
There are serious challenges also, which need to be tackled at the national level like budget constraints and terrorism.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of the SDPI, speaking on the occasion, said that we should look at education holistically. He said that nutrition is one of the main factors on which progress of a country depends. If a child is malnourished till the age of three, he will poorly develop intellect which puts a constraint on his later performance. He said that we need to know our capacity to deliver and for that we need data.
He said that data portal available at data.org.pk is an important source in planning a policy and its

implementation.
Mehnaz Aziz Akbar, chief executive of the Children’s Global Network Pakistan, in her presentation said that translating Millennium Development Goals into SDGs is a challenge for which we should involve public for success. She emphasised monitoring and evaluation at district level, especially in the absence of census.

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