Minister admits loopholes in educational system

ISLAMABAD – “The education system of the country has many shortcomings and how these could be resolved is beyond my understanding. The report has worrying results, but it is the step in the right direction.” said State Minister for Education Balighur Rehman

He was addressing a seminar held to launch a report National Achievement Test (NAT)-2014 by National Education Assessment (NEA). The minister congratulated the team of NEAS, UNICEF and official of the ministry for launching the report.

The minister said, “We have seen disappointing figures in this report along with the improved ones, but we should not be too happy to ignore that there is always a room for improvement in everything we do.”

“This eye opening report came at a right time and we should start focusing our energies on the areas which were neglected in the past. The sample data was for this report was around 11,000 plus students from 450 plus schools across Pakistan, but we have guided them to increase their sample size to at least 30,000 in order to get comprehensive overview,” he emphasised.

This time the assessment was done for grade 4th and grade 8th and that also for three subjects only Mathematics, English and Urdu. It would be published in every two years and new report would be assessing on three different subjects, but after four years the same subject (English, Urdu, and Mathematics) will be assessed again in order to check the performance.

Baligh stated, “The NEAS and AEPAM (Academy of Education Planning and Management) were not working to their full potential when we took over about two years ago. We not only facilitated these institutes but worked on the capacity building of their employees as well; funds and required trainings were provided at the right time by our government. We are committed to the education and we would never back out on spending on this sector ever.

He articulated that even education has been devolved to the provinces; it is still the responsibility of the federal government to facilitate all the units in this regard. “When we talk about minimum national curriculum that does not mean we want to have one curriculum in the country, what we mean is to establish a minimum standard of curriculum which will be followed throughout the country with the consensus of all the provinces,” he elaborated.

“It is our collective responsibility to work for the betterment of the education instead of pointing fingers at each other’s work,” stressed the minister. He also talked about the recently held 6th inter Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEMC) and told the audience that a committee has already been formed on the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) before its formal launching this month, that shows ‘our seriousness towards education’.

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