Ahsan directs to complete education reform projects by 2017

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 12 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning,
Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that government is committed to revolutionizing the education system and directed to complete all educational reforms projects by 2017.

He gave these instructions while chairing a high level meeting
with officials of Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CADD), Education and Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education( FBIS), said a statement issued here.

The minister was briefed about the progress of Vision 2025
education sector projects including Smart School System, Up
gradation of ICT schools, Examination System reforms , National Curriculum Reform, Transformational Teacher Training Program and Mainstreaming of Madaris projects.

Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the need for speeding up the pace of work as these projects would bring a radical change in the education system of Pakistan.

While giving his observations on smart school project he said
that next academic session in 2017 should start with smart schools.

He said that Smart School project would revolutionize the
education system and contribute to promote the creativity and innovation among students.

Under this project 32 schools would be transformed into SMART school by employing blended learning.

Out of 32 schools 24 would be chosen from ICT area and 8 would be chosen from the provinces.

Minister said that there is a dire need to reform the whole
system of examination like testing, evaluation and compilation of results.

He emphasized that all provinces should have standardized
examination system and council of common interest must be taken on board for reforms in this area.

He directed the officials of Federal Board of Islamabad to
develop examination reform agenda with the consultations of provinces and make sure that this project should complete by 2017.

The initial project of worth Rs 49.9 million aims to bring the
examination and assessment system at par with international standards.

About National Curriculum Reforms project Ahsan Iqbal said
that curriculum is the soul of the education system so its
importance can never be undermined.

He stressed to keep the private sector in the process of
reform in the national curriculum.

Minister said that “we need to utilize the blended learning
methods for students to inspire creativity in them”.

He also directed authorities to include Art subject as
compulsory to inspire creativity in students along with STEM
subjects.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) subjects are critical for our future.

The minister said the medium of instruction in primary schools must be revisited as majority of students are unable to develop proficiency in English and resort to rote learning without comprehending concepts.

The quality of teaching in vast majority of schools in English
language is very poor resulting in further marginalisation of
students in rural and under developed areas.

“We should go in early stages with description part in Urdu
language and terminology part in English language to help students develop conceptual learning”, he added.

He also suggested that use of national language as medium of education will increase the mobility of students.

This project of worth Rs 100 million aims to facilitate NCC to
make coordination among various federating units in development of minimum National Education Standards up to Higher Secondary level and National Curriculum Framework.

About Teacher Training project, Minister instructed to
establish a state of art teacher training institute keeping in view the international standards of teachers.

Federal Minister was also briefed about the mainstreaming
Madaris project by introducing primary education alongside the curricula of Deeni Madaris.

The project of about Rs 50 million aims to bring qualitative
improvement in students of Madaris through provision of quality education .

Ahsan Iqbal said that students of Madaris should be encouragedto get education in Maths , Sciences and English .

He said Matric level education must be provided to Madrassah students to equip them to compete in the job market.