Why education is ready to be #DisruptEd
Twenty-five million school-aged children are out of school in Pakistan. The country ranks second highest on a ranking of countries with children out of school. Three years ago Pakistan declared an ‘education emergency’ and passed a constitutional amendment to make education a fundamental right of each child between the age of five and 16. Since then a number of donors and non-profits have campaigned vigorously to get every child into school. Alif Ailaan – a DfiD funded educational campaign – has just completed a year of work with encouraging results. However, despite increased media visibility and some lip-service by politicians of all persuasions, the fundamental attitudes on the ground remain the same and they are deplorable. Nobody really cares whether Pakistan fails on its international commitments and commitment to its youngest citizens to give them a decent education. Will the status quo on education ever change?
Seminar calls for new ideas to solve education crisis
Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday said as many as 25 million children in Pakistan were out of school whereas about six million of them had never seen even classroom. The seminar ‘Ideas and Conversations for Disruptive Innovation in Education in Pakistan’ was organised by Alif Ailaan with the support of government, private and non-governmental organisations at Aiwan-i-Quaid, Fatima Jinnah Park. According to them, those who were enrolled dropped out within the first three years of their enrolment. Without introducing new ideas, education crisis in the country cannot be resolved, they said.
DisruptEd – a way forward for a prosperous Pakistan
Challenging the current ways through which the state is addressing the education emergency in the country, DisruptEd – ideas and conversations for disruptive innovation in Pakistan, organised by Alif Ailaan outlined the need for new approaches to fix the broken system. DisruptEd, a daylong multi-sessions initiative brought together leading thinkers, policy makers, civil society concerns and media professionals to discuss and debate the potential of innovation in the education sector.
Role of technology, imperative to enhance education in country: Ahsan Iqbal
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday said the role of technology and innovation in current scenario was imperative for the way of delivering education, not only to children but also to the society as a whole. He said that "we are living in the era of constant change and moving from industrial to knowledge based society."
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Wednesday 100 per cent school enrolment would be ensured across the province by May 31, 2016. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of Students Enrolment Campaign 2014. Earlier, he inaugurated the campaign by signing admission forms of several students. He said the enrolment campaign was a huge challenge and collective efforts were needed for its success. But, he also said a government that could construct the metro bus in 11 months could also meet the enrolment target.
KP CM for monitoring system to detect ‘ghost’ schools
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said on Wednesday that the introduction of a comprehensive monitoring system for pinpointing “ghost schools and proxy teachers” was needed to bring about positive changes in the education sector. He was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the establishment of Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) for schools on different matters including educational needs and attendance of staff and students in schools. Provincial Minister for Education Mohammad Atif Khan and Project Director IMU Ikramullah Khan also spoke on the occasion. The chief minister praised the Education Department and Department for International Development (DFID), UK, for making joint efforts to establish foolproof system for monitoring of schools.
National progress linked to education, research
Former chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Atta-ur-Rehman Tuesday said the prosperity of the country was linked to progress in education, calling upon the government to allocate resources to science and technology, research and innovation. He was addressing a symposium on Bioequivalence and Bioavailability Studies at the Punjab University here. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the session while International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences University of Karachi Director Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry, former Chairman Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association and Chief Executive Officer Schazoo Zaka Laboratories Muhammad Zaka-ur-Rehman, representative Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Dr Sheikh Akhter Hussain, Dr Muhammad Raza Shah, Dr Naghma Hashmi, Secretary Javed Sami, faculty members, delegates from various pharmaceutical companies and a large number of students were also present.
EDUCATION is the answer for Pakistan, everyone says, and indeed they may be right. At the same time, what counts as an education, which educational institutions deserve protection, and by whom, continue to be contested issues. In recent years, every variety of institution has been attacked, misused, targeted, burned, or bombed. If education, any and all types of it, is indeed a solution for Pakistan’s conundrums, the areas where it is imparted are in great peril.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1100108/education-guidelines
Hindu families have demanded that the provincial education ministry include the study of their religion in the curriculum for Hindu students in place of Islamiat or ethics. Ethics is a substitute subject for Islamiat that non-Muslim students are allowed to take. They complained that the problem persists from primary level, even at private schools, where Hindu children are mostly taught Islamiat as a compulsory subject.“I often cannot answer my children when they ask me who they are, Muslim or Hindus. Unfortunately we are treated as third-grade citizens of this country with no rights,” said Omparkash Bhatia, a member of the community, while talking to The Express Tribune.
The anti-corruption establishment (ACE) of Rawalpindi has booked 10 teachers for their alleged involvement in leaking a fifth grade English language paper, prepared by the Punjab Examination Commission (PEC). A spokesman for ACE said the paper was initially leaked through SMS, and later sold in the market. Three high school principals are among the suspects. According to the anti-graft body, certain teachers opened a sealed envelope containing the question papers, a day before the test was supposed to be held, on February 10. However, PEC managed to prepare a new paper the same day. The organisation later filed an application with ACE, calling for the arrest of those involved.
The meaning behind learning
There can be no doubt that we desperately need education. The situation is dismal, with literacy according to official figures standing at 57.7 percent overall, around 69 percent for men and 45 percent for women. Many would question these figures, with grade five students reported to be struggling at some schools with basic numeracy and the measures used to assess literacy questioned by experts.
But we need also to keep in mind the difference between literacy and education. We need both in our country, and being literate does not mean being educated. Last year the Federal Public Services Commission, which conducts the annual CSS examinations in the country for entry into the civil services, reported a deplorable decline in standards, even among the elite students who sit for them, propped up in most cases by hours of preparation. Skills in the English language and in general knowledge were identified as areas of key concern.
Free course books and schools finished: students directed to buy from market
Throughout the district the free books for students in public schools were finished due to which more than 50% of the students were unable to take the opportunity of free books. Books from class 1-5 were not even supplied.