Alif Ailaan has released a five year report on the education reforms by Punjab Government.  

In press statement Alif Ailaan announces that Government of Punjab has invested in the most complex and ambitious set of education reforms around human resource management, school infrastructure and overall education sector governance that have produced positive outcomes over the past 5 years. However, significant challenges in actualizing reform ambitions continue to persist. This was highlighted in “2013-2018 Five years of education reform: Punjab Wins, losses and challenges for the future 2018-2023”.

The Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme (PESRP) and School Education Reforms Roadmap provided a holistic strategy for achieving systemic sectorial improvements over the last five years. These reforms put a special emphasis on higher enrolment and retention, improved learning outcomes and quality of education, and a better managed, monitored and administered education sector.

Some of the flagship efforts under the programme include developing improved monitoring systems, improving the provision and quality of teaching, restructuring of governance systems through District Education Authorities (DEA), a robust public-private partnership programme through Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), and the development of interventions that strengthen incentives and accountability for service delivery performance.

The last five years witnessed a substantial level of political and financial investment backed by unprecedented technical innovation in tackling the education crisis in Punjab, but the gains of the reforms enacted are still fragile. Enrolment, retention, learning outcomes, public financial management, school infrastructure, discrepancies in the data regime and centralisation of all these efforts continue to pose substantial challenges to the provincial authorities.

Dr Mariam Chugtai spoke about the issues that stop children from gaining education. She was of the view that no matter how many schools were made, “If a child is earning for a family they won’t agree on sending their children as they are an earning hand. While the girls also stay back at home because they believe that they would get married in the end so why waste money on them.”

Ateed Riaz, the Co-Founder of The Citizens Foundation said, “Till such times we don’t set our priorities right, the education system of Pakistan would keep suffering. We need to give education the same importance as our nuclear bomb was given, only then things would change for the better.”  

Speaking at the launch of the report, Rana Mashood said ‘‘Punjab Government has started Chief Minister’s Stocktake Initiative and worked towards Public-Private Partnerships that have helped not only with accountability but also policy-making ensuring effective and timely solutions.’’

The launch of the report was attended by Minister School Education Rana Mashood Ahmad, Secretary School Education Dr. Allah Baksh Malik, Ateed Riaz (Co-founder, The Citizens Foundation), Dr Mariam Chughtai (Associate Dean, LUMS School of Education), Dr Baela Raza Jamil (CEO, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi), Dr Faisal Bari (Senior Research Fellow at IDEAS), and Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan (Spokesperson, Government of Punjab).

The event was also attended by prominent lawmakers from across the country, including Sardar Hussain Babak, Faisal Subzwari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Raza Haroon, Usman Kakar, Samia Raheel Qazi, Ahmad Iqbal Chaudhry, Amna Sardar, Barrister Masood, Nusrat Seher Abbasi, Noor Saleem Khan, and Waqas Jafri.