Human resource greatest strength of S Asia
Islamabad: Participants of a policy discussion forum stated that the greatest strength of South Asia is its human resource — a young population — and innovative initiatives through partnerships can help utilise this workforce in overcoming deprivation and discrimination for substantive equity for all people.
They expressed these views at a policy discussion on ‘Right to Education in South Asia’ which was organised here by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA). The session was moderated by Ms. Balea Raza Jamil, Director Programmes ITA.
The key objectives of the discussion included taking stock of the RTE regimes and status at the regional level in the context of EFA goals and MDGs and highlighting the challenges and progress of South Asia particularly the participant countries on quality/learning and teacher challenges with reference to Post 2015 Development conversations.
Talking about the issue of access that is central to Right to Education (RTE), Prof. Muhammad Rafique Tahir, who represented Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), said that the federal government has taken steps like provision of free textbooks and free transportation to address this issue.
Saba Mushtaq, chief programme officer of Education and Literacy Department (E&LD) Sindh, briefed the participants about extensive enrolment drives in Sindh and initiatives focused on eliminating the huge drop out in the schools.
Ghulam Ali Baloch, Secretary Education Balochistan, said that 309 schools have recently been made functional in Balochistan and more female teachers are being recruited to retain female students.
Highlighting the progress in Punjab, Ali Ahmad Kumboh informed the participants about the plans of the Punjab government regarding increasing the number of schools to address the issue of access.
Talking about what is being done in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to resolve the issue of access, Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa informed that free textbooks and stipends are being given to students.
Ismat Riaz, a professor and renowned academic, recommended that national recruitment of teachers should be done using NTS and forward planning to induct teachers for implementation of Article 25-A.
Perspectives on Right to Education from South Asian countries were shared by Dr. Parth Shah-CCS India, Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, BRAC Bangladesh, Kamal Pokharel, Director Department of Education Nepal, Razia Stanikzai, Senior Manager pre-service at MoE Teacher General Education Directorate Afghanistan.