Islamabad - The journalists on Tuesday boycotted a joint press briefing of federal and provincial education ministers over inordinate delay and mismanagement.

Earlier, journalists were informed through emails and text messages that Minister of State for Federal Education & Professional Training Engineer Baligh-Ur-Rehman along with provincial education ministers would hold a press briefing at 3:30pm after the concluding ceremony of the 6th Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC). After a wait of half an hour, the journalists were told that “press conference has been delayed a little due to unforeseen circumstances. It would be held at 4:30pm now.”

The conference ended but the ministers and secretaries went to a separate room to discuss some policy issues further and draw a consensus to give a policy statement before the media. At 5:00pm the reporters started discussing with one another that the event was getting too late and they should leave then. Majority of the reporters, both from electronic and print media, left the five-star hotel where the conference was being held.

It was the 6th meeting of Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference held to discuss policy agendas regarding education. However, this meeting too has failed to bring about anything substantive to change the sorry state of educational affairs.

Interestingly, the second most populated province, Sindh, is not the member of the conference but attending it as an observer due to its reservations over its constitution after the enactment of the 18th Amendment that had devolved the subject of education.

The minister accepted in a statement issued, later on, that unfortunately Pakistan has not been able to achieve Millennium Development Goals, and now Sustainable Development Goals have been developed for 2030 to be achieved. “We have made a committee for Sustainable Development Goals which will start working from today (Tuesday),” stated the minister.

He also said that the differences in public-private education as well as difference in education standards among provinces were also discussed in the conference. All participants have agreed on basic uniform standards of curriculum across the country.

“Special attention was given to the ICT policy, and all educational institutes will be having the uniform ICT standards very soon.” The minister of state along with other provincial education ministers decided to formulate a committee on it. Moreover, he said that minimum working days for educational institutions would also be finalised very soon.

It was also informed that the first ever draft of technical and vocational education policy has also been prepared that will be finalised and presented in the parliament for the approval in the next 30 days.