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Pakistan continues to perform poorly in education sector

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Islamabad: Federal Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada said, while addressing the ceremony of annual survey of education report (ASER) at planning commission, “ Pakistan continues to perform extremely poorly in education and we are seen to be off track in terms of meeting the education targets set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA).

Federal Minister said that according to UNESCO, we have the largest number of out-of-school children in South Asia with a majority being girls. Federal Minister said that the ASER 2011 data gives us district by district vital information on gender disaggregated data that can help us in planning and more importantly mobilizing resources on a need basis for education.

Federal Minister appreciated the South Asian Forum for Education(SAFED), National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Idara-eTaleem-o-Aagahi as well as the development partners, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) Pakistan and Oxfam Novib for supporting this extremely critical participatory initiative, enabling our citizens and state to become aware for action of the current status of education in Pakistan for the age group 3-16. Federal Minister told that after the passing of 18th amendment and article 25-A, Education has become a fundamental right for all children aged 5-16.

Therefore ASER 2011 has become a forum for accountability and citizen’s voice acting as a watchdog, reminding the citizens as well as the government to play their active role. Federal Minister said, “as we approach 2015 the target date for fulfilment of MDGs, EFA, ASER Pakistan is indeed a very persuasive tool to gauge challenges and progress in education annually. He said that the timing of release of the ASER Reports each January is very appropriate for informing the planning and budgeting processes.

Federal Minister said that he believes that ASER can be instrumental in acting as catalyst of change as volunteers knocks on doors making households change perceptions about the urgency of education and learning outcomes. Federal Minister said that ASER is developing a great repository of vital data for all of us in the government, research institutions and political parties to use for policy making and action.

Federal Minister Riaz Pirzada said, “As we step into the election year, I believe it is extremely necessary to make education as the highest priority in the electoral debates. It is that single most important sector that leads to significant gains in vital indicators of health, population, environment, gender empowerment, economic growth and democratic participation for sustainable societies.

Federal Minister said, “I believe, movement like ASER provide us with an excellent opportunity to make education a centrepiece for political debates, provide a sound rationale for raising resource allocations and expenditures for measureable improvement.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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