Minister of State Engr Muhammad Bligh Ur Rehman attended the conference on PEACE through Education (A long Term Solution to PEACEBuilding) organized by Human Resource Development Network and International Rescue Committee today.
The conference was arranged in the context of successful implementation of “children education for Peace” model in FATA. It highlighted the current commitments of Government of Pakistan and all major donors regarding children education specially girls’ education in post conflict areas. This model successfully increased the rate of girls’ enrollment in extremely difficult areas.
Conference aimed to highlight the need for replication of such programs to promote sustainable peace. The Brookings centre for Universal Education USA has already documented the project and published a comprehensive policy brief on it which was shared with the conference’s participants.
Talking on the occasion, Minister of State congratulated the teams of HRDN and IRC for conducting this successful program with the main focus on girls’ education. I am happy to see 63% girls’ enrollment in an area like FATA through this program, it proves that nothing is impossible if we have a will to do it, stated the Minister. He said that our media don’t focus on good news but I must mention here again that things are getting better not only in education sector but in other sectors as well. Our total spending on education has been significantly increased in last three years, out of school children has been decreased, dropout rate has been decreased, budget of Higher education has been increased, and our literacy rate has been improved. We are better off than India in gender disparity regarding education, said the Minister. He further added that we have started remodeling our public schools in ICT which is a step in the right direction. These are the few mentions of the achievements of our government but again they are not enough we need to do more. Excess to schools is still difficult for many in our country so we need to build more schools for our children because every child is our responsibility regardless of which province or area he/she belongs to, emphasized the Minister. This year we are hoping to achieve approx 12% of tax to GDP ratio and education budget of 2.7% of GDP.
In the end, Minister of State said “I believe in what goes around comes around, so we should play our role in building the nation through education in order to reap the fruit in future.” Moreover he said our government is committed towards education and I request the donor partners to support the government in this regard because until and unless we increase our tax to GDP ratio, increase our funding and fiscal space, nothing can be done for the betterment of education till then.