Parliamentary caucus formed to address bottlenecks in edu sector
ISLAMABAD – Noting with concern, several challenging areas in the current education system across the country, parliamentarians and civil society have jointly launched an Education Parliamentary Caucus (EPC) in order to address key bottlenecks as well as table suggestions to decision makers for improvements. The key focus of the efforts would be to make sure that educational policies and plans can bridge the implementation gaps and effectively cater to the diverse needs of children, adolescents and adults for quality education in Pakistan.
The initiative was taken at a virtual gathering of a number of parliamentarians and representatives of civil society to celebrate the International Day of Education 2022. The EPC theme coincides with the International Day of Education ‘Changing Course, Transforming Education’.
Parliamentarians from all political parties are represented in the EPC including Wajiha Qammar, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Education and Professional Training, Dr Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Ministry of National Health Services and MPAs from Punjab Aisha Nawaz Chaudhary, Tahir Khalil Sindhu and Abbas Ali Shah, MPAs from Sindh including Tanzeela Qambarani, Marvi Rashdi, MPAs from Balochistan including Bushra Rind, Ahmed Umar Khan Kalat, Senator Sana Jamali and MPA Shagufta Malik from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
EPC to pursue parliament for constitutional provisions’ enactment including Article 25A for quality education
Emphasising the importance of EPC, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) CEO Baela Raza Jamil said, “Education in Pakistan has been in a state of acute crisis in terms of access, quality, equity and governance with inability to reach milestones set repeatedly in policies and plans since 1947 with the 2.4 percent population growth rate”. She acknowledged that the idea of EPC was floated by parliamentarians and has been realised with the support of multiple active partners including CSOs, EdTech industry, experts, INGOs and development organisations.
It was highlighted that, EPC will play the role of a focal point for coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders to create pressure on parliament for the enactment of all relevant constitutional provisions and policies particularly Article 25A and SDG-4. EPC will also push the agenda of appropriate resource allocations for improving the quality of education for all children in true spirit.
In her remarks on the occasion, MPA Aisha Nawaz said, “The call for action is for a new inclusive social contract that recognises the fundamental principle that investment in human resources and especially girls and women is everyone’s business both for the state and society.”
She further said that this would not have been possible without the support of partner organisations including Sight savers, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Affairs, KKAF, Teach for Pakistan, Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood, Pakistan Coalition for Education, Save the Children, VSO, Care International, UNICEF, Pakistan Taleemabad/Orenda, Centre for Social Justice and EdLab Pakistan.
The formal in-person launch of EPC will be next month where all EPC members will join hands in solidarity. The EPC will be working concurrently at provincial and national levels to vigorously mobilize required resources and ensure effective implementation of education policies and sector plans.