Govt keen to achieve five most vital goals in education sector: Shafqat

ISLAMABAD, Mar 20 (APP):Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mahmood Wednesday said the government was keen to achieve five goals in education sector including increasing literacy rate, enrollment of out of schools children, skills development, quality education and uniform education system.
While giving briefing about the functions of ministry of education and its attached departments during the National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, he said that these five targets were most essential at present.
The NA Standing Committee on Federal Education was held here under the Chairmanship of MNA Najeeb Ud Din Awaisi which also attended by the committee members, representatives of the education ministry and its attached 25 departments.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that after 18th amendment the role of attached departments of education ministry had limited to only Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Emphasizing the five major targets in education sector, he said that one of them was to increase literacy rate from 58 to 70 percent.
He said that to achieve this target, the government will have to educate around 15 million children, with establishment of 700,000 literacy centers.
The minister said that as many as 700,000 teachers would also be needed in these literacy centers. “We were in consultation with the donors to this affect”, he said adding that although it was a difficult challenge but we will make every endeavor to achieve the task.
In this regard, he said, “we were introducing a new policy in next few months under which new steps would be taken to enhance the literacy rate”.
While lamenting over the issue as the number of Out Of School Children (OOSC) was more than 20 million he said that the second step was enrollment of OOSC.
“We had launched an enrollment programme in ICT schools as an experience, which latterly would be extended to the other parts of country with collaboration of the provinces”, he added.
By conducting home to home survey, we had identified around 11000 out of school children in federal capital and their enrollment was being done by next month, he added.
Thirdly, he said, the present government as per its manifesto was pledged to introduce uniform education system for entire nation aimed at to unit them under one vision.
He said the different syllabus being taught in schools was dividing the nation’s minds adding; the government had launched a uniform education system movement.
To achieve the task, he told, a curriculum council had been established to formulate a new curriculum which could benefit the country and accepted by all stake holders.
The assessment of quality education was among fourth target as the learning of our youth was weak, he added.
Despite having higher education degrees, the youth was unable to get jobs because their education was not relevant to the market demand, he lamented.
With the use of Information and Communication Technology, the government would provide the facility of online lectures by best lecturers to students of far flung areas, he underlined.
He said the final target of government was to accommodate maximum number of educated youth in job market by providing those skills development and employment opportunities.
Around three million youth were coming in job market annually; he said and vowed to provide them best skills education so that they could be able to earn hand some money at national as well international level.
On demand of the committee members, the minister assured all out support while taking all the provinces on board so that after successful launching of educational projects in ICT, these could be started in other parts of the country.
To a question, he said that the implementation of the bill regarding compulsory Quranic education in ICT schools was under process.
Shafqat Mahmood also informed the committee members that besides providing religious education, the government would also include the chapters regarding characterization and ethics of the students so that they could be respectable citizens.
Educationists experts have judged that currently many subjects being taught in the curriculum were wrong, he added.
MNA Sindh Abid Hussain Bhayo said that the province was ready to work with the federal government to attain the development goals in education sector.
The committee also urged the minister to take special initiatives for the education of special students.
The minister assured that the government would keep special students on priority.