Conference of education ministers to evolve an understanding to introduce a uniform system of education summoned

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): A Conference of Education Ministers has been convened next week to evolve an understanding to introduce a uniform system of education and syllabus in the country.

This was stated by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal while launching Annual Status of Education Report 2013 and talking to newsmen in Islamabad on Thursday.

He said under 18th amendment the subject of education has been devolved to the provinces but experts fear that this could lead towards greater inequalities among different provinces in the education sector as every province is following its own standards. He apprehended that a stage might come when degree issued by one province might not be recognized in another.

The Minister said comprehensive reforms are required in education system to make it responsive to the present day needs. He particularly pointed out towards the prevalent curriculum which is just aimed at memorization and does not produce creative and innovative minds.

Ahsan Iqbal said knowledge economy plays important role in the development of any country and with this in view the Government is also focusing on higher education.

The Minister said he is heading the Committee constituted by the Prime Minister for selection of the new Chairman Higher Education Commission, which would be appointed through a transparent and merit based procedure. He asked all Pakistanis especially Overseas Pakistanis to help find the best possible person for the task as it is the Higher Education Commission that would determine the course of education in coming years. 

He regretted that Pakistan spent very little on education and said the present Government is committed to increase spending on education from the existing two to four percent of the GDP in five years. He said education will receive highest priority in the next five year plan and the Vision-2025.

Replying to a question he said there is a proposal to establish District Education Authorities in every district of Punjab to help improve standard of education and performance of educational institutions.  The management of these authorities would be professional and hired on market salary.

To another question he said it was PML(N) Government which conducted previous National Census and the Prime Minister has given directions for the fresh one so as to get latest and reliable data for social and economic planning.

Meanwhile, the Report paints a dreary picture of the educational outcomes of the public sector schools in the country. It indicates that in rural areas, only 29% of class-1 children can recognize numbers and only 22% of them can read small letters. 

It says that Punjab is far ahead of other provinces in provision of school facilities and training of teachers.

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