Education policy proposed draft proposals
Islamabad, July 21: The national education policy is likely to be presented in the next cabinet meeting for final approval, as all federating units have submitted their inputs after thorough consideration over the proposed draft proposals, sources said here Monday.
According to the draft of the upcoming education policy provided to this correspondent, the requirement for teaching at elementary level is Bachelors degree with BEd, while for secondary and higher secondary levels, it is Masters degree with BEd that would be ensured by 2018. Moreover, PTC and CT would be gradually phased out by encouraging the current set of teachers to improve their qualifications.
The proposed draft document revealed that a separate cadre of specialised teacher trainers would be developed, and recruitment of teachers along with conducting teachers training programmes would be done at the district level.
As a precautionary measure to avoid criticism from various circles, textbook boards would seek a 'no-objection certificate' from the Education Ministry and the Curriculum Wing. The private sector schools would be free to use from amongst the books authorised by the respective textbook board.
An Inter-Provincial Standing Committee on Textbook Policy would also be established to regulate operational and procedural issues, and to monitor and coordinate further implementation process. The Curriculum Wing would serve as the Committee's secretariat and would be strengthened for expanded tasks. The curriculum development and review process shall be standardised and institutionalised within the framework of the Federal Supervision of Curricula, Textbooks & Maintenance of Standards of Education Act 1976.
The draft document stated that steps would be taken to raise enrolment in the higher education sector from the existing 3.7 per cent to 10 per cent by 2015 and to 15 per cent by 2020. Investment would be increased to 18 per cent of the education budget on the assumption that the total education budget grows to five per cent of GDP by 2010 and seven per cent by 2015. Universities would consider introducing four-year Bachelor degree programmes, while PhD degrees would have a minimum of four years, and universities would develop quality assurance programmes that would include peer evaluation including foreign expertise.
The environmental education would be made an integral part of early education and the curriculum would include health education including awareness of fatal diseases such as HIV/AIDS, prevention of harmful practises, and detection and prevention of child abuse.
The draft showed that various other steps would also be taken such as the upgradation of teachers' salaries as part of establishing a separate teaching cadre and teaching career, teachers' professional development, and a reward system based on performance measures.
A quality cycle management would link the various systems of assessment and institutions involved in assessment (examinations, NEAS/PEAC, continuous assessment) to provide feedback for curriculum development, textbook development, and teacher education and professional development. The draft also makes it mandatory for all schools to establish a school mission that assists students in achieving their learning potential and personality development as the key goals.
The forum of the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers' Conference (IPEM) would be the highest body to oversee and guide educational development in the country.
Before the finalisation of the education policy draft, a series of 23 green papers were prepared on different topics by the National Education Policy Review (NEPR) team that were widely disseminated to stimulate discussion and get feedback. The process included field visits to 31 representative districts, one national and seven provincial/area education conferences, 10 issue-based focused group discussions and extensive consultations with educationists from all over the country.
The document has been classified into 11 chapters, focusing on the layout of the current state of the education sector, description overarching challenges and responses, identification of fundamental causes that lie behind the deficiencies in performance, charting out ways of improving performance at sector or system level, preparation of outline reforms and policy actions to be taken at sub-sector level, financing of education and a framework for Implementation Action Plan.
A senior official of the Education Ministry said that there were two main reasons that prompted the ministry to launch the review in 2005, well before the time horizon of the existing policy framework (1998 2010) had approached. He said the policy framework has not served as a satisfactory guide, as policies pursued under it have not produced the desired educational results and performance of the education sector has been deficient in several key aspects, adding, "That's why we have done a lot of spadework to prepare the draft of the education policy keeping in view the emerging challenges."
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54% want no quota system in educational institutions
Islamabad: More than half of Pakistani citizens want no quota system in educational institutions, revealed a survey.
According to Gallup Survey conducted by Gilani Foundation, 54 per cent people believe that merit should be the only criteria for entry in all types of educational institutes and all reserved seats should be abolished, as it deprives those who are well-deserving but perhaps belong to poor or less influential families.
However, 24 per cent respondents favour such quota system in educational institutes, while 22 per cent were unsure. The data reveals that in the country as a whole, a proportionately higher percentage of urbanites (29 per cent) as compared to ruralites (21 per cent) are in the favour of quota system. However, rural Sindh is an exception where a comparatively higher percentage of respondents (36 per cent) believe the quota system is justified and should be implemented in educational institutions.
Quota system for admission in public sector educational institutes was introduced to create opportunities for students from rural areas or other left behind groups to catch up with the rest. However, some have accused that the system is misused by the more influential people of Pakistani society, while others are still supportive of it.
A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked, "Some people believe that quota system in educational institutions should be abolished, as it deprives intelligent students of good education, whereas others think that quota system is justified and correct." The latest survey was carried out among a sample of 2,577 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country during July this year. The NewsYour Comments
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