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Experts call for increase in education budget

Experts call for increase in education budget

ISLAMABAD: Experts at a seminar on Thursday urged the federal and provincial governments to increase the education budget and introduce stringent accountability mechanism in the sector.

The seminar, “Finance more to educate more”, was organised by Idara Taleem-o-Aagahi in collaboration with Oxfam GB to commemorate the International Literacy Day.

Speaking on the occasion, AJK education minister Mian Abdul Waheed said time had come to change the perception regarding needs and requirements for the distribution of resources for education. He said the education sector should be given a priority.

The common citizens and voters should compel their leaders to work on their basic rights such as education, he said.

Sadaf Taimur, an educationist, said: “It is our own responsibility to contribute to society. If we don’t stand up, little will change.”

Dr Vardah Malik, the World Bank consultant and education public-private partnership specialist, said: “The private sector was not previously so concerned about education but now the education sector is also being looked at by them. This is a positive sign of development for communities as partnerships are a way forward.”

The speakers expressed concerns over the current situation in the education sector and suggested that there should be a process to improve the curriculum and formal teaching methods in accordance with the international standards.

The speakers also called for designing the curriculum with achievable goals and outcomes with a focus on the labour market. They also stressed the inclusion of third-party representatives such as the media and the private sector for the accountability of funds in the education sector.

Sultan Mehmood, additional director KP elementary and secondary department, said: “It is important to have skill development to meet the demand and supply market for employment. In order to have a positive outlook towards education, it is also important to give awards to teachers.”

Qadeer Baig, the country representative of Rutgers WPF, said: “The common mindset is that women stay at home and hence do not need education.” However, women lead generations, he said, adding focusing on gender equity was important for the development of the country.

Alam Thaheem, director literacy and non-formal education Sindh, added: “Priority should be given to girls in such a way that their journey to gain education should be incentivised in a safe and secure environment.”

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2015

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