Islamabad-The National Education Foundation (NEF) and private schools of FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan yesterday signed an agreement to start vocational training under the public-private partnership.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NEF and schools officials of FATA and G-B region in a ceremony held in Islamabad. Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Baligh-ur-Rehman was chief guest in the ceremony.

As per MoU, the department of NEF will establish laboratories, pay stipend and books to the students with low academic performance and deserving students in neglected areas.

The vocational training on primary level will be provided while at secondary level the students will be allowed to take admission in Technical Training Institutes working under NAVTTAC, a department offering 190 courses in technical and professional education.

The objective of initiating this project is to keep the students in schools who, for domestic or unsatisfactory academic performance, are compelled to discontinue their education at school level.

Lessening the formal education burden on such category students, vocational training courses would be introduced for them. And separate learning courses would be taught to boys and girls.

Federal Minister for Education Baligh-ur-Rehman said there is a dire need to promote vocational education in the country. “Vocational Education ratio in world is 16 per cent and Pakistan in this category is providing less than 1 per cent education,” he said.

The minister stated that according to 2015 statistics, more than 20 million children are out of school from primary to intermediate level, meanwhile Pakistan has also signed sustainable development goal.

“We have to work hard to achieve our goal now,” said minister.

Baligh-ur-Rehman said that around 06 million students of primary level students are not in schools because of poverty reason or lowest academic performance.

He said the idea of vocational secondary education was conceived in 2015 on the model of German Education system.

“In initial three years, no intense formal education will be given to students and in last two years vocational training will be provided,” he said.

The minister stated that at this stage internship is not included in the pilot phase. And schools have been given free hand in choosing the field of vocational education according to their area needs.

“Vocational Education ratio in schools of the country must be raised up to 10 per cent,” said the minister.

He said the project in G-B will also help in boosting tourism in the area as the hospitality courses professionally taught to students will contribute positively.

The minister also said that federal will also try to sell this model to provinces.

On this occasion, Managing Director (MD) NEF Qasim Malik said that this project will cost no infrastructure expense, however the government will pay 50 per cent on training workshops.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 01-Dec-2016 here.