Skill Development addition in curriculum vital to meet job market demands: Shafqat


ISLAMABAD, Apr 19 (APP):Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Friday said the addition of Skill Development subject in the curriculum was imperative to meet demands of the job market and reduce unemployment in the country.

He said as vocational and technical education was necessary to produce skilled workforce, the ministry was reviewing different models of technical studies being imparted in various countries.

Addressing the third session of ‘Pakistan Summit’ he said a large number of degree holders were not getting jobs for lack of required skills which eventually led to unemployment in the country.

The minister regretted that the students of class-4 were being taught the subjects of sixth class, expressing the resolve to upgrade the primary level syllabus at par with international standards.

Shafqat said as many as 70 skill development centers were being set up on modern lines to train the country’s youth as per international standards.

He said the education sector was facing serious issues in terms of quality and the government with its experienced team was identifying the problems in that area to resolve it effectively.

He said that 58% literacy rate was a cause of concern for the government and constant deliberations were being held to make a corrective action plan, he added.

The minister said the government was embracing modern technology to bring significant changes in the education. The adult literacy programme launched in the past did not yield desired results.

The government was planning to introduce online programme for illiterate adults so that the aspirants could get education through their mobile phones, laptops and tablets, he added.

Shafqat said the ministry had also decided to start online faculty development programmes to enhance the capacity of teachers.

Shafqat pointed out the various stumbling blocks in smooth functioning of the government institutions ranging from 18th amendment to stay orders of courts, adding “It won’t deter us, we are committed to achieve our targets set by Prime Minister Imran Khan to make Pakistan a prosperous state.”

“My basic plea is that the education is beyond politics and we need to work jointly to accelerate literacy rate,” he remarked.

To a query, he said an inter-provincial conference was being arranged next Monday in Lahore to enhance coordination among all stakeholders.

Over 11,000 out-of-school children belonging to different age groups were identified under the survey conducted by the ministry in Islamabad and the enrollment of around 5,000 was being ensured at this stage, Shafqat Mahmood said.

“We have tried this campaign as a pilot project in the capital city and soon it will be replicated at national level after its complete success,” the minister remarked.

The government was also working on a number of projects to enhance the education standards in the country he said adding that it was striving to scale up literacy rate from 58 per cent to at least 70 per cent by the end of its five years term in the office.