PR No.65 Islamabad: April 7, 2016

Minister of State Engr Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman attended Signing Ceremony between PARWAN E9 Centre and ILM IDEAS 2 as a chief guest at AEPAM today.

Minister of State congratulated Parwan and ILM IDEAS 2 to initiate the Early Childhood Education Development Program. He said there was a dire need of early childhood education especially in public schools. This program is the successful example of Public-Private partnership program. Further he added that early childhood education is very important, education in primitive years develops the personality of a child, so giving a quality education in early childhood is very much essential. Focusing on early childhood education helps prepare children for schools, thereby increasing their chances of continuing with their education.

Minister of state emphasized upon the importance of sustainability, he said that it is better to start a program on a smaller scale for a longer term than starting an over ambitious program for a shorter period of time. ECED is a pilot project for a period of three years, targeting 72000 children (aged 3-5yeras) and training of 6000 social entrepreneurs for starting ECED Centers all over Pakistan.  It’s just the first phase I hope to see more and more children to be enrolled in this program and continue with their studies after getting early childhood education, said the minister.

Talking about the role of AEPAM (Academy of Education and planning and management), State Minister said that education planning should be done in this academy and this institute should be become a role model for all the educational planning academies in the country. Talking about the recent achievements of AEPAM, he said that I am happy that authenticated data report of education indicators has been published by AEPAM recently after several years. I expect more work and better reports in future from NEMIS (National Education Management information System) and NEAS (National Education Assessment System) as well, which are housed in AEPAM.

Instead of reinventing the wheel and working separately, all education stakeholders should work in close collaboration to improve and upgrade the existing education system in Pakistan. Education is our collective responsibility these 25 million children who are out of schools at the moment, are our own children so we have some responsibility towards them. Although we have seen improvement in dropout rates, provincial education budgets and missing facilities over the period of two years, yet we need to work more to overcome all these issues of education. He added that according to a report 45% of schools in Pakistan lacked washroom facilities in past year which has been reduced to 35% this year, an improvement of 10% has been witnessed. Moreover provincial education budgets have been increased. Rs. 600 Billion is spent on education annually in Pakistan, 90% come from government funding and rest come from private sector and donor partners, said the minister. There is no dearth of fundings we just have to work in synergy and with patience to achieve SDGs 4.

Ceremony was also attended by the Director General AEPAM, Head ILM IDEAS 2 and chairperson Parwan.