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Wednesday Jan 22 2020

Shafqat tells moot PTI reforming education system, curriculum

 Shafqat Mahmood informed World Education Forum that Pakistan was doing everything possible to update its curriculum through comprehensive educational reforms. — Photo: 

LONDON: Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood informed the World Education Forum that Pakistan was doing everything possible to update its curriculum through comprehensive educational reforms to meet modern requirements.

Mahmood is currently in London to attend the World Education Forum. He spoke about the curriculum reforms that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government is undertaking on an “emergency basis”.

Azad Kashmir’s Minister for Education Syed Iftikhar Gilani is also attending the forum and shared the AJK govt’s plans to reform the education system.

Several presidents of universities and senior officials are also in attendance. The annual event brings together representatives of education systems from around the world to brainstorm educational reforms and new techniques.

Also read: 'Matric-pass' minister to head education department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Mahmood told the Forum that the PTI-led government had "increased education budget" to increase the literacy rate in the country. He told the audience that for over a year the government has been working extensively at the federal level to introduce structural reforms in the education system. He told the conference that Prime Minister Imran Khan had prioritised reforming the education system to end disparity of the system and Centre govt was working on it.

The Federal Education Minister also met Baroness Sugg and Andrew Stephenson MP as well as officials from the Department of International Relations (DFID) to discuss the UK’s education program in Pakistan.

Mahmood informed the British officials of the seriousness of PM Imran’s government to overhaul the education system to empower Pakistani youth. He told the British officials that aid provided by the Department for International Development (DFID) had helped Pakistan improve quality literacy rate.

Gilani informed the conference that introduction of the National Test Service (NTS) in Azad Kashmir had revolutionised the system as every teacher being appointed in schools and colleges was going through a rigorous merit-based test system. He told the conference that reforms were bring introduced through NTS to root out political appointees.

Gilani said: “Dispensation of quality education starts with teachers. For decades, most of the teachers were appointed through a system of cronyism. We have ended that completely. That has helped us improve our education standards a great deal and the whole system is now on the right track.”

As the delegates gathered for the conference in London, the United Nations said in a report that a third of the world's poorest girls, aged between 10 and 18, have never been to school.

The report from UNICEF, the UN's children's agency, warned that poverty and discrimination were denying education to millions of young people.

"As long as public education spending is disproportionately skewed towards children from the richest households, the poorest will have little hope of escaping poverty," said UNICEF's executive director, Henrietta Fore.