Political society

Civil society and legislators lend support to parliamentary caucus on education

Zubair Qureshi

Some 20 parliamentarians from all Pakistan’s provinces and political parties and civil society organizations have lent their support to the new Parliamentary Education Caucus.

The EPC was formed to address major bottlenecks in the country’s current education system and offer suggestions for improvement to decision makers. The main focus of efforts w

This would be to ensure that education policies and plans can address implementation gaps and effectively address the diverse real needs of children, adolescents and adults for quality education in Pakistan.

Senate Speaker Sadiq Sanjrani endorsed the initiative and gave his support to ensure quality education for all children in Pakistan as provided for in Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali also joined the virtual launch of EPC. Addressing the meeting, he said it was the responsibility of parliamentarians to take this initiative; we should have done it a long time ago. “The only way forward for Pakistan is education and skilled education for girls and boys,” he added.

Other parliamentarians represented at the EPC include Wajiha Qammar, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Education and Skills Training; Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Ministry of National Health Services and Punjab MPAs Aisha Nawaz Chaudhary, Tahir Khalil Sandhu and Abbas Ali Shah; Sindh MPAs Tanzeela Qambarani, Syeda Marvi Rashdi; Balochistan MPAs Bushra Rind, Ahmed Umar Khan Kalat, Senator Sana Jamali; and MPA Shagufta Malik of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking about the EPC, MPA Chaudhary said, “Education is above all of us, it is the right of our children and the duty of the state. The EPC is a great cross-party initiative across the province, and it’s very important to engage stakeholders everywhere.

Lawmakers in Balochistan have particularly stepped forward to contribute to the EPC. Senator Sana Jamali commended civil society and parliamentarians for taking the much-needed initiative to form a parliamentary caucus for education. She assured that the Balochistan Assembly will give maximum support to the cause.

A letter was also written to policymakers to take urgent evidence-based action for education in Pakistan. Addressing Pakistan’s President, Prime Minister, Parliamentarians, Ministers and Secretaries of Education and Literacy, the letter requested support from EPC and also made six recommendations for making transformative decisions with impact. on millions of children, young people and teachers.

Sharing evidence from ASER Pakistan’s recently launched report on learning losses, the letter said children in junior primary or grade 3 needed urgent attention, just like other grades. There is an urgent need to revamp school timetables and pedagogy and focus on engaging stigma-free remedial learning and light assessments to assess the level of child learning.

Girls’ education and learning must be a priority with support in schools. The urgent need for second chance programs with life skills and EdTech skills was highlighted, supported with resources and with better links with Waseela-e-Taleem/BISP for girls at risk or OOS.