Planning reforms: Minister hints at standardisation of education boards

E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting held to discuss MDGs.

Our Correspondent November 27, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training has said the government is putting all its efforts to implement the education sector reforms 2001-04, national education policy 2009 and national plan of action 2013-16 to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs).

Balighur Rehman was addressing the inaugural session of E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting at a local hotel on Thursday.

The forum was established in 1993 at the Education for All summit in New Dehli for nine highly-populated developing countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and China.

The rationale behind the initiative at the time was to collectively represent over half of the world population and more than 70 per cent of the non-literate youth and adults.

This year the review meeting is being held in Pakistan to take stock of the progress towards the goals of universal education and policies adopted in these countries in reaching the most marganalised groups, among other targets.

Rehman said the E9 countries have over half of the world’s population and more than 70 per cent of the world’s illiterates and 42 per cent of the world’s out-of-school children.

He shared key features of the recently-approved national curriculum, which included standards and competencies-driven learning which correspond to students learning outcomes, progressive approaches for primary, middle, secondary and tertiary education.

India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development Joint Secretary J Alam shared the achievements of the E-9 countries up till now. Sharing the achievements of India, Alam said they have opted to carry out curriculum reforms, reformation of study material and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and shedding light on EFA, he termed it an ‘unfinished’ agenda.

Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal hinted at the government’s efforts towards standardisation of all education boards in the country. He said education boards of various cities should be aligned so as to help students when they reach the higher education stages.

“We are putting efforts to establish a skills’ university so assistance and guidance to all vocational, technical and other education related systems are aligned,” he said. He remarked that compared to the previous decade, the gender disparity gap has also been reduced and curriculum was formulated to introduce critical thinking and youth with independent ideas with open choices.

The meeting will continue on Friday where a joint declaration will be released about the two-day meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2014.

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