Monday, December 17, 2018
BREAKING NEWS

Civil Society Delegation Met Federal Minister of Education 

Associated Press Service

ISLAMABAD: November 19,2018- A delegation of civil society’s representatives met with the Federal Minister of Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood to share their recommendations to address the issues of Educational Reforms, Status of Education, Existing Laws’ Effective Implementation, Budget Planning, Child Sexual Abuse in Schools, etc.

In the meeting with the Minister, child rights activists shared their recommendations to ensure qualitative and inclusive education. They further offered their technical assistance in this regard as they work at the grassroots level and have expertise which can help in making the Government more effective. The delegation was led by Activist and Documentary Filmmaker Haseeb Khawaja.

Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister of Education and Professional Training, has addressed activists’ concerns and recommendations and further said that right now his top priority is to enroll Islamabad based urban and rural out of school children, in this regard he requested support from the visiting civil society’s representatives for tangible outcome.

Haseeb Khawaja (Activist, Consultant & Documentary Filmmaker) said, “Ensure equal access, quality & inclusive education system for all children including displaced & refugee children, Pakistani children from minorities, orphans, transgender children, street working children and differently-abled children.

He further added, “Violence in schools – from bullying to sexual harassment & corporal punishment – is very common which needs to be criminalized. Moreover, we need curriculum/ syllabus reforms to ensure brighter, progressive and tolerant Pakistani minds according to international educational standards”.

Ayesha Khan, (Country Director, Hashoo Foundation) & {Vice President, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), Hashoo Group} said, “The Education Ministry should consider the collective wisdom and experience of civil society organisations in service delivery of quality education. For example, HF early childhood development policy dialogue session came up with the following key recommendations:

  1. Any revised educational framework must be aligned with global policy and national SDG targets.
  2. Teacher training is critical to improve access to quality early years education.
  3. No need for more buildings, outreach can be achieved through fully utilising existing infrastructure to introduce and implement the holistic approach of ECD that also addresses the stunting and mother and child health issues rampant in Pakistan.”

Aliya Syed {Rotary Club of Islamabad (Metropolitan)} said, “Civil society is looking forward to the new Government for a robust review of National Education Plan while taking onboard all stakeholders ensuring increase in girls’ enrolment in schools. We also extend our full support to develop a data bank to record incidents of school attacks; their rehabilitation and on children sexually abused in schools”.

Ibtesam Qaisarani (GD Pakistan) said, “Ensure implementation of Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, that guarantees the right to free and compulsory education to all Pakistani children in schools and budget allocation for education shall be increased.

Shazia Ejaz (Advocate High Court & Chairperson, ELE Foundation) said, “Ensure effective utilization of budget for creating impact in quality education”.

TA Bhutta (GPP) said, “Prioritise Early Childhood Education (ECD) and ensure that all primary schools have ECD Rooms”.

Naima Saqib (Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi) said, “The number of out-of-school children is on the extreme rise and the number of Government schools are not increasing in the same proportion ”.

Civil society representatives present on occasion included Haseeb Khawaja (Activist & Documentary Filmmaker), Aliya Syed (Rotary Club), Rohma Labeeb (ITA), Ibtesam Qaisarani (GD Pakistan), Naima Saqib (ITA), TA Bhutta (GPP), Advocate Shazia Ejaz (ELE Foundation), Ayesha Khan (Countary Director, Hashoo Foundation) & (Vice President, CSR, Hashoo Group).

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