Political Parties restate their Commitment to Education

ISLAMABAD: Heads of almost all major political parties pledged to go beyond political differences and proceed with a minimum national reform agenda for education.

The commitment was made here at a conference the they committed their support for the provision of quality education to all Pakistani children.

In a landmark education conference titled ‘Ailaan-e- Amal, where leadership from PML-N, PPP, PTI, National Party (NP), ANP, Jamat-e- Islami, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), PSP, MQM-P, PML-Q, JUI-F, PKMAP and BNP-M were in attendance.

The national education conference was hosted by education campaign Alif Ailaan.

Political representatives in the meeting included Punjab School Education Minister Rana Mashhood, KP Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan, ANP’s Afrasiab Khattak and Sardar Hussain Babak, PTI’s Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, PPP MNA Dr. Azra

Pechuho, MQM-P Convenor Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Faisal Subzwari, JUI-F MPA Noor Saleem Khan, BNP-M’s Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini, PkMap’s Senator Usman Kakar, PSP’s General Secretary Raza Haroon, QWP’s MPA Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli and Barrister Masroor, NP’s Senator Muhammad Akram, and PML’s Central VP Ajmal Wazir Khan.

In a unique gathering of political leadership, the national commitment to improving learning outcomes in schools and delivering on the State’s obligation to provide compulsory and free education for all children between ages of 5-16 was discussed.

The gathered political leadership discussed and pledged their support for a minimum reform agenda, which included a continual increase in provincial and federal education spending taking it to 4% of the GDP, supported by substantial governance reform to ensure that the allocated funds are spent effectively and transparently .

Besides, a national data regime that captures data on all children in all types of schools, which is shared openly and publicly to ensure transparency in reform.

They also pledged to ensure mandatory pre-service and in-service teacher training, with career progression based on performance and training as well as all Pakistan’s children to be tested at Class 3, Class 5, and Class 8, regardless of geographical location or schooling system they are enrolled in.

Moreover, ensure enrolment and retention of all children between the ages of 5-16 (in primary, middle and high schools, including madrassas) and bringing gender parity in graduation rates from primary to middle.

Designation of “education deprived areas” for Union Councils who are underperforming on gender parity, retention, provision of post primary schools and quality of infrastructure

The reform agenda was detailed in a Charter for Education, which was signed by all the present political leadership. All parties committed to ensuring that the agreed charter was adopted into their respective election manifestos.

They also committed to developing a plan of implementation within 100 days of the oath-taking of the future CMs after the upcoming elections.