Pakistan’s Covid-19 emergency education technology response laudable: Rana Tanveer

He was addressing the Virtual Arab Region and Western Asia Regional Consultation for the Transforming Education Summit, hosted by the State of Qatar on Tuesday.

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ISLAMABAD, Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain has said that Pakistan was facing two fundamental education challenges i.e around 22.8 million out of school children and too many children who are in school are not learning.

He was addressing the Virtual Arab Region and Western Asia Regional Consultation for the Transforming Education Summit, hosted by the State of Qatar on Tuesday.

The Summit arranged by the State of Qatar is in pursuance of Transforming Education Summit which will be organized by HE Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations in New York in September, 2022.

The purpose of the Virtual Regional Consultation was to discuss the region’s priority action areas in the lead-up to the Transforming Education Summit.

Tanveer Hussain while addressing the summit said that Pakistan faces two fundamental educational challenges: First, too many children are out of school, the figure roughly stands at 22.8 million. Secondly, too many children who are in school are not learning (4 out of 5 children cannot read by age 10).

He continued that in future, Pakistan’s educational challenges include: Financing of education amid global economic challenges, Challenge of educating marginalised groups, including girls, disabled and children in poverty.

Rana Tanveer Hussain said that Pakistan’s high population growth is 2% a year which implies that the enrolment must increase by 1.6% each year to enrol all children in school by 2050. Additionally, Pakistan is the 8th most climate vulnerable country in the world making education vulnerable to disruption.

Federal Minister said that use of data for accountability and monitoring in education is one of the most effective tools to overcome the challenges, this tool has been a success in Pakistan particularly in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. Moreover, Pakistan has seen the growth of a successful low-cost private school market which has enhanced access to education across society.

Rana Tanveer said that in the context of Covid-19, Pakistan’s emergency education technology response was laudable: Technology formed an important part of Mo FE & PT’s Covid-19 education response, including “Teleschool” (education learning on TV), National Radio School Programme on Radio Pakistan & E-Taleem (Education) Portal including all the contents available for TV lessons.

In conclusion Rana Tanveer said that there are some fundamentals perspectives which need to considered for transforming Education in region for example there is a need to not only address access to schools, but also the quality of learning once children are in schools. There is a need to look beyond primary school enrollment to focus on secondary schools as in Pakistan nearly 25% of children do not reach secondary school.

Federal Minister said that teachers are the biggest aspect of a quality education. Reforms are needed to improve teacher’s professional development and school leadership.

Similarly, early Childhood Education is a fundamental but neglected realm of education which requires more investment, regulation and coordination.

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