ISLAMABAD-Federal Ministry of Education urged United Nations Development Programme to extend its support to overcome the challenges of education sector in Pakistan, a statement said on Wednesday. The statement issued by federal ministry of education said that Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood was called on by Resident Representative of UNDP in Pakistan, Ignacio Artaza. The meeting was also attended by Federal Secretary Education Arshad Mirza.

The Education Minister welcomed the resident representative, UNDP and his delegation and said that Pakistan was currently facing various challenges in education sector and that the government was fully committed to resolve these challenges. “We would very much appreciate the support of the UNDP in this regard”, added the minister.

Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that there are various potential sectors in which Ministry of Education and UNDP could work together. Ministry of Education and Professional training is working on skill development and starting skill education from schools which is also an area of interest for UNDP. “The task force on Skill Development has finalized its recommendations and we are now moving into the implementation phase of this and would very much like the technical support of UNDP”, added Shafqat Mahmood.

Education Minister informed the resident representative of UNDP about Education Ministry initiatives in the field of education. Shafqat Mahmood said that Education Ministry is planning to introduce uniform education and curriculum system in order to inculcate and promote uniform national thought.

Education Minister said that National Curriculum Council is constituted and is looking at the broad policy aspects of Uniform Curriculum while the Technical subcommittee of the National Curriculum Council that comprise of eminent education experts from Public and Private sectors are looking at the Technical aspects of the Uniform Curriculum. “We want to design up to date uniform syllabus that is acceptable to everyone and we are taking all the provincial governments and other stakeholders on board”, added the Education Minister.

The education minister further said that we are reorganizing the education ministry and some of its attached departments to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and to avoid duplication and wastage of valuable resources. “We would very much appreciate the assistance of UNDP in this regard”, added the minister.  Resident Representative UNDP, Ignacio Artaza appreciated the steps taken by the Education Ministry for promotion of Education & Skill Development and offered UNDP support and said that we are looking forward to work closely with the government of Pakistan in the field of Education, Skill and youth development.

Artaza said that we are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning on various projects like Project of Institutional Reforms and SDGs and with the collaboration of Ministry of Planning can assist in the reorganization of the Education Ministry and its attached departments.

Both, the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Mr. Shafqat Mahmood and Resident Representative UNDP, Ignacio Artaza agreed on keeping regular coordination for increased cooperation in education sector in Pakistan.