Islamabad - The National Caucus on Education (NCE) was formed as a Legislators Forum comprising members of parliament to promote the cause of education. This Forum came into being after a cross-provincial meeting of MPAs and senators from the four provinces who came together to share their experiences of working as education champions in their respective provinces, districts and constituencies.

The NCE envisions engaging with political actors and a rigorous follow-up by citizens on their political commitments. Senator Mohsin Laghari was made as first national convener of the NCE. The caucus vowed to work collectively for making education a political priority and making efforts for realisation of Article 25-A/ Right to Quality Education. “It is crucial to come together for the cause of education reforms looking beyond our political affiliations,” Mohsin Laghari said.

Raza Bareech, Advisor to Chief Minister of Balochistan, suggested that the NCE should identify different education issues and contribute towards their rectification at the provincial, district and constituency levels, by ensuring affirmative political and administrative actions leading to better planning and delivery of education services. Engineer Raja Qamar-ul-Islam, Chairman Standing Committee on Education, vowed to work on access and quality of education and also ensured to work on 25 A. 

Dr Murad Rass from PTI highlighted educational issues in Punjab and suggested that the NCE should work proactively to restore public confidence in the public education system. “For realistic and sustainable education reforms, it is imperative to create a political collective will backed by technical support,” said Amna Sardar MPA of PML-N.

She further said that the NCE would help develop and implement non-partisan strategies for the oversight and scrutiny of education budgets, which must ensure sustained and sufficient funding and financial accountability for annual development programs.

The Caucus is a living body, which shall be a pivot for political action aligned with technical expertise by education experts. Legislators from Punjab have agreed to host the next session of the caucus due to be held in August.

The legislators appreciated Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) for facilitating and supporting this initiative which shall be providing technical and secretarial support to the NCE in future.

The formation of National Caucus on Education (NCE) was followed by a very lively and insightful policy dialogue and experience-sharing event. The international community and local development partners working for education in Pakistan appreciated the formation of the NCE and rendered it as a right step forward.