There is a need to improve data availability and access in the country, especially on census and education, speakers agreed on Monday.
They were addressing a seminar on utilisation of annual school census data to enhance decision-making in education sector, hosted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Alif Ailaan, said a press release.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that the lack of census data on education had created difficulties in preparing and implementing the education policy. He also said that annual education census data was important because of Pakistan’s commitment to sustainable development goals.
He cited population census and increasing reliance of policymakers on the available data as crucial changes in the country. According to him, these data sets, if collected, could help in monitoring the SDGs and the provincial governments could use them to develop better policies. He also said easy access to data could also help voters hold their representatives accountable.
Saman Naz from Alif Ailaan shared a MNA/MPA mid-term report card, which compared the performance of schools in the elected representatives’ respective areas. She said that the report could help in evaluating the elected representatives.
Yasir Irfan, a senior programme officer from the National Education Management Information System, said the problem in Pakistan since the early 90s had been non-availability of valid data.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2016.