Minister of State Baleegh Ur Rehman attends 5th Inter Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference

Islamabad, April 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Minister of State Baleegh Ur Rehman attended the 5th Inter Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) at Serena Hotel, Quetta today.

Minister of State Baleegh Ur Rehman thanked the government of Balochistan and Ministry of Education Balochistan for the warm welcome and commended them on arranging the prestigious conference. IPEMC shows national solidarity and national progress towards better education, stated the Minister. Further he added that I am quite hopeful about the future of education in Pakistan and the IPEMC is the first step towards the better education.

Minister of State said that that the education is the only way forward; it’s the panacea of all evils in our society. It is education which pushes us towards innovation and teaches us the golden principles of honesty, integrity and helps us understand the point of views of other people.

In order to achieve the excellence we need to improve our curriculum and for that a National Curriculum Council has been established which would help create a minimum national curriculum where federal government and provinces would be given equal representation, stated the Minister. Moreover national education standards would be defined for teachers, students and educationists in order to achieve our goals. We are also working on national education policy 2009, said the minister.

Talking about the vocational training schools Minister of State said that we are going to establish these schools all over the country in order to reduce the drop outs rate, as there are many children who are out of schools due to various reasons. And if we provide them a platform to learn some technical skills it would not only help them find a good job in the market but would empower them which would boost their self confidence.

Education and character building are two sides of the same coin we can’t ignore one side and polish the other, emphasized the Minister. In the end Minister of State said that there is no quick fix solution for anything ‘basti bastay bastay hee basti hai’ so have patience and work hard, emphasized the State Minister.

Additional Secretary for Ministry of Federal Education briefed the participants about the progress on National Curriculum Council. He said that the composition of NCC consists of three members from each Province and Area, however, Government of Sindh desired to participate as an observer. Objective of the NCC are to establishment of the National Curriculum Council (NCC) Secretariat, coordination among various Provinces/Area Governments in development of minimum National Education Standards up to Higher Secondary Level (ECE to Class-XII) and National Curriculum Framework, Conduct seminars and workshops on curriculum development and to assist NCC to hold its quarterly meetings, Conduct Research Studies to analyze the curriculum development across the country.

Our aim is to ensure compatibility in diversity to achieve national goals of education, said the Additional Secretary. Moreover provision of broader guidelines regarding what all students should know, understand and value on completion of a specific level of schooling. (i.e. pre- primary to higher secondary) would be ensured.

Joint Education Advisor Rafiq Tahir said that all provinces and areas government will hold a dialogue on National Education Policy 2009 and will come up with the tangible changes / recommendations for the improvement of NEP-2009 by last week of May, 2015. The Revised NEP will be announced in January, 2016 as required by IPEMC. The Five years (2009 to 2014) review of implementation of NEP 2009, Inclusion of 25-A in the existing education policy, rationalization of 7% Budget allocation of GDP, Quarterly implementation review of the education policy at IPEMC, Early Childhood Education of age group 4-5 may be included in revised National Education Policy, and policy provision regarding recruitment of competent, dedicated and qualified teachers on merit basis be implemented, stated the JEA.

Talking about the German Education system and its similarities to Pakistani education system JEA said that Operational level bodies working under the IPEMC could be developed along the same line as in Germany. For example Interprovincial Education Secretaries forum should prepare for the IPEMC, National Curriculum Council should report on standards implementation and Provincial Technical Working Groups (e.g. Quality, Access) to analyze information and inform/make recommendations to NCC and the Secretaries forum etc.

The National Qualifications Framework is considered as a mechanism for classification of the qualifications on the basis of the learning outcomes i.e. skill, competence, knowledge, stated Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Chairman HEC. It is levels based and outcomes focused. It sets out the levels on which a qualification can be recognized in Pakistan. National Qualifications Framework (NQF) encompasses a comprehensive list of all quality assured qualifications in Pakistan. Each accredited qualification offered in Pakistan has been assigned a level. The PQF consists of Entry level 1 to level 8, describing the difficulty of qualifications at each level.

Talking about its benefits chairman HEC said that it would the students to make informed decisions about the qualification required along with the employers to assess what a qualification candidate has achieved. It would be an ultimate link between the industry and the education system.

In the end Minister of State thanked the participants for their valuable suggestions and said that they would try to accommodate these suggestions and would deliberate upon it further. Talking about the suggestions he said that he would see what can be done about the services rule, time scale promotions, and academic calendar as suggested by the house. Moreover he said that there is always room for improvement and we would like to incorporate all of your suggestions to make ourselves better in the education sector. He admired the German Public Education system where free books given are very well taken care of. Further he added that he would like to reinstate the NCC training, which is an important aspect of academics, but unfortunately has been abandoned in institutions now.

Conference was attended by the Governor Balochistan as a chief guest, Provincial Education Minister AJK, Provincial Education Minister Gilgit Baltistan, Education Advisor to CM Balochistan, Secretary Federal Education, Additional secretary Federal Education, Chairman HEC, Joint Education Advisor Federal Education, educationists, secretaries and representatives of provincial education ministries, and representatives of NGOs.

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