Revised education policy soon: Edu Minister

ISLAMABAD, May 28(Dawn): Federal Education Minister Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Kazi said on Saturday that the draft of the revised education policy had been finalised and was being submitted to the federal cabinet for final approval.

The minister said: "The revised education policy is ready for implementation". He said that the policy was first firmed up in 1998 and needed drastic revision for incorporating many new things including the curriculum.

He said that the draft of the revised education policy had been finalised after incorporating comments and inputs from all the four provinces, educationists and intellectuals with a view to avoid criticism.

He said a special coordination committee of the ministry of education had been involved in finalising the revised education policy, especially with a view to ensure international standard. He said: "It took us about two years to finalise the draft."

Responding to a question, he said while the revised education policy was being finalised, reform process was continued to have broad improvements in the education sector. He said the government had been spending substantial funds for implementing reforms in the education sector.

Talking about the current literacy rate, the minister said that according to the last population census conducted in 1998, 48 percent people were considered literate in the country. However, he referred to the latest household survey conducted by the Statistics Division which kept the literacy rate at 58 percent.

He said the literacy rate was 44 percent in 1998 which included 55 percent in male and 32 percent in female which now was 65 percent and 40 percent respectively.

He said: "our target is to have 85 percent literacy rate by 2010."In reply to a question, he said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had promised to increase the education allocation from the existing 2.7 percent of the GDP to 4 percent of the GDP in the budget of 2007-08 fiscal year.

He said the main objectives of the revised policy included universal access to primary education by increasing the net enrolment and higher rate of survival of children till grade 5, increase in the adult literacy rate and to attain gender equality at all levels.

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