Work on children to transform country: Baligh

Federal education minister announces plans reach every child for nutrition

APP May 03, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Without ensuring a holistic development of children, there can be no claim of transforming the society.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Balighur Rehman while opening the second National Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) at the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in the capital on Wednesday.

The two-day conference was jointly arranged by the Ministry of Education, the AIOU, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Rupani Foundation and other stake-holders including the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Plan international, UNESCO and Open Society Foundations.

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Rehman maintained that children are our asset and early childhood development is the fundamental right of every child to unleash their full potential.

Stating that the government is committed to providing early development and learning opportunities to children, he extolled the efforts of the government for the promotion of quality education in the country including the introduction of minimum educational standards, development of value education documents, and a huge increase in the educational budget.

He further claimed an improvement in the rate of enrollment in schools with more than five million additional children now going to schools.

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Referring to the targets set during the first national conference on ECCE and the work the government had done on it so far, Rehman said that they have since revised the curriculum in light of the theme which emerged from the conference’s main recommendations.

In this regard, the federal minister said that the curriculum from grades I-V has been revised to encourage activity-based learning for children.

The revised curriculum, he added, also emphasised upon the character-building and turning children into life-long learners.

Work is also underway to revise the curriculum for grades class six through eight, he said.

He announced that the government will try to reach every child for their proper nourishing to achieve the ultimate target of establishing a prosperous and healthy society.

Later, the conference, at its opening session at the AIOU auditorium, vowed to lay greater focus on proper upbringing of children, making them a part of the mainstream of national development.

AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui announced that the university will soon set up a Centre of Excellence on ECCE to promote the cause of children.

A first-ever a quality research journal on ECCE, developed by AIOU’s education faculty, was also launched on the occasion. Moreover, Dr Siddiqui said that they will be introducing a four-year Bachelors of Studies (BS) degree programme and a post-graduate diploma on ECCE.

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Joint Educational Adviser Prof Rafiq Tahir highlighted the work by education ministry in promoting quality education and early childhood development and said they had made consolidated and well-coordinated efforts for tangible results.

Khadija Khan of the Rupani Foundations gave a presentation on the achievements of the first national conference on ECCE. A posters’ competition on ECCE was also arranged.  

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2018.


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