Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Pakistan is ranked second in terms of children that are currently out of school with an estimated 23 million children out of 51 million currently out of school. In addition, it stands at an abysmally low global rank of 168 out of 188 countries in low primary and secondary school enrolment. The wrong with the present schooling system is that the system is centralized and bureaucratic burdened with extremely low quality teachers, use of the teachers for political purpose, nepotism, and no monitoring or accountability. Out of 150,000 government schools in the country, 45% lack basic facilities such as electricity, boundary wall, clean drinking water, toilet, and safe buildings. This was revealed at a press briefing jointly held by Thar Foundation, and The Education Committee of C100 Think Tank on the occasion of launching of ‘Strategy to Transform Basic Education System in Pakistan’.
The strategy paper distributed to the media recommends that firstly Charter of education to build consensus and support amongst all political parties to support education. Secondly to increase spending from 2% to 5% of GDP in five years. Thirdly Federal Ministries and Provincial Departments be converted into autonomous statutory Federal and Provincial Basic Education Organizations (BEOs). These BEOs are governed and managed by a board of directors comprising of educationist, professionals and bureaucrats, while the majority belongs the private sector. The BEOs will report administratively to the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers, respectively. These BEOs will develop education vision, five year targets, strategies, action plans, monitoring and accountability. High emphasis is placed on recruitment and retention of best quality teachers and administrators through training and monitoring. The salaries, promotions and rewards of the teachers should be linked directly to the performance of their schools.
And fourthly to make comprehensive plans with timeline to conform to the constitutional requirements and public reporting on the outcomes on quarterly basis.
The secret of the success behind the delivery of good quality education to all our students lies in the establishment of effective School Management Committees (SMCs), comprising of parents, community members with good reputation and the head teacher. The parents will be in the majority on the SMCs.
Additionally noteworthy is the MOU signed between the Education Committee and the Thar Foundation for Mutual Corporation to achieve SDG Goals in Islamkot district by 2030.
Former Captain of the Pakistan National Team, Shahid Afridi graced the event as the Chief Guest and pledged his support to the cause as the brand ambassador for the program.