PR No.57 Islamabad: December 7, 2015
Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal said federal government is committed prioritizing to SDGs. We have to work closely with the provinces for achieving the targets in the social sector. Federal government envisages human development its first pillar in its development agenda. Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation of World Health Organization (WHO), which called on him at Planning Commission here today. Federal Minister pointed out that country had to pay heavy economic and social price due to neglect of social sector in the past. He informed the delegation that federal government has set up SDG unit in Planning Commission and now is working on establishing SDG centers at provincial and district level to achieve the goals. He stated,”18th constitutional amendment devolved health and education subjects to provinces. We have responsibility for coordinating efforts of provincial governments so that there is positive synergy in these areas. He said that federal government through its interventions has co-opted the provinces in Polio campaign and made significant gains. Because of these interventions, for the first time Pakistan can hopefully eradicate this disease. With the improvement in security situation, the spread and coverage of drive against Polio has also increased manifold. Ahsan Iqbal listed Hepatitis as another challenge, which is causing huge economical and social cost for the country. Government is taking concrete steps in this regard. Nutrition is of paramount importance, on which federal government is focusing to address this issue on emergency basis. Ahsan Iqbal noted that devolution of service delivery in health sector to agencies would yield visible results with the provinces playing the oversight role.
Meanwhile chairing a meeting on education sector Ahsan Iqbal said present government is working on curriculum revision, examination system reform and teachers training to create a transformational change in the educational system of the country. We need to engage private sector and civil society in these initiatives. There is a need to synchronize three to create a new paradigm in the educational system. The curriculum is the most critical, which needs to be revised to inculcate critical thinking, innovation and problem solving skills in students. Curriculum revision is an important part of our vision, which will be completed in next two years. Minister urged that public sector education system should be reformed and developed to bring it at par with private sector to create uniform education system in the country. Ahsan Iqbal also called for standardization and certification of all the boards of country, which would bring in uniformity in the examination system throughout Pakistan. Provinces should be taken on board for reform in examination system. About Teacher Training, he stated, “it was included in PSDP of current fiscal year. We need to work pro-actively for making it success. He called for standardization of teachers training initiative by synchronizing teachers training schemes at provincial levels with the federal one.