Islamabad - Federal Minister for Education said on Wednesday that government is committed to address the challenges of providing quality education and ending discrimination in the education system.  Minister Shafqat Mehmood said this in a meeting held with Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Xiaohong Yang. He said that that Pakistan is currently facing various challenges in the educational sector and the government is fully committed to resolve these challenges. He said the various challenges included different streams or systems of education that are Private Schools, Government Schools and then Religious Schools or Madrassahs.

He said there is also the challenge of providing quality education and removing discrimination in the education system. “We are working on making a comprehensive education policy that will address these challenges, will ensure quality education and will provide level playing field and equal opportunities to everyone”, added the federal minister. He further said that the ministry’s main focus will also be on the Skill development and human development. “Vocational and Technical training is a must and we are in the process of setting up Skill Universities and we are in close liaison with all the chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in this regard”, the minister added. The Minister also suggested that the Asian Development Bank should work on Skill Development in Pakistan.

Country Director ADB, Xiaohong Yang reiterated ADB’s commitment to support Pakistan to improve its economy, reduce poverty and achieve development goals. She appreciated the steps that the Government of Pakistan intends to take for promotion of education and offered ADB’s help and support in this regard and said that we are looking forward to work closely with the government of Pakistan for the progress and prosperity of the People of Pakistan. Later, the Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training & National History and Literacy heritage Division Shafqat Mahmood was called on by Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Yurdakul.

The Turkish ambassador congratulated the new Federal Minister. Matters of bilateral interest were discussed in the meeting. Separately, Federal Minister for National Health Services said that improving the nutritional status of mothers, adolescent girls and children was the top priority of the government. The minister said this in a meeting held with a high level UNICEF delegation led by Shahida Azfar. A wide range of areas were discussed in the meeting including improving nutrition, enhancing coverage of Expanded Program on Immunization and  polio eradication, combating pneumonia, diarrhoea among children and provision of safe drinking water.   

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director appreciated the strong commitment of the Prime Minister of Pakistan towards health and need of making Pakistan Polio free, improving EPI coverage and to improve the nutritional status of mothers and children. The minister thanked UNICEF delegation for their support and assured full commitment of the government towards improving the health status of the population.