PR No. 110 Ahsan directs to complete education reform projects by 2017 Islamabad

Federal Minister for Planning , Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that govt is committed to revolutionising the education system and  directed to complete all educational reforms projects by 2017.

He gave these instructions  while chairing a high level meeting with officials of  Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CADD) , Education and Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education( FBIS) . The minister was briefed about the progress of Vision 2025 education sector projects including Smart School System , Up gradation of ICT schools , Examination System reforms , National Curriculum Reform , Transformational Teacher Training Program and Mainstreaming of Madaris projects .

Federal Minister emphasized the need for speeding up the pace of work as these projects would bring a radical change in the education system of Pakistan .While giving his observations  on smart school project he said that next academic session in 2017 should start with smart schools .He said that Smart School project will revolutionize the education system and contribute to promote the creativity and innovation among students. Under this project 32 schools will be transformed into SMART school by employing blended learning. Out of 32 schools 24 will be chosen from ICT area and 8 will be chosen from the provinces.

While giving his observation on Modernization and Standardization of Examination System, Minister said that  there is a dire need to reform the whole system of examination like testing , evaluation  and compilation of results. He emphasized that all provinces should have standardized examination system and council of common interest must be taken on board for reforms in this area. He directed the officials of Federal Board of Islamabad to develop examination reform agenda with the consultations of provinces and make sure that this project should complete by 2017. The initial project of worth Rs 49.9 million aims to bring the examination and assessment system at par with international standards.

About National Curriculum Reforms project Ahsan Iqbal said that curriculum is the soul of the education system so its importance can never be undermined. He stressed to keep the private sector in the process of reform in the national curriculum. Minister said that ”we need to utilise the blended learning methods for students to inspire creativity in them”. He also directed authorities to include Art subject as compulsory to inspire creativity in students along with STEM subjects. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) subjects are critical for our future. The minister said the medium of instruction in primary schools must be revisited as majority of students are unable to develop proficiency in English and resort to rote learning without comprehending concepts. Teaching has to be conceptual and interactive. The quality of teaching in vast majority of schools in English language is very poor resulting in further marginalisation of students in rural and under developed areas. Therefore, a curriculum with mix of both Urdu and English languages, “Urdish” medium should be explored . ”We should go in early stages with description part in Urdu language and terminology part in English language to help students develop conceptual learning”, he added. He also suggested that use of national language as medium of education will increase the mobility of students. This project of worth Rs 100 million aims to facilitate NCC to make coordination among various federating units in development of minimum National Education Standards up to Higher Secondary level and National Curriculum Framework.

About Teacher Training project , Minister instructed to establish a state of art teacher training institute keeping in view the international standards of teachers. Federal Minister was also briefed about the mainstreaming Madaris project  by introducing primary education alongside the curricula of Deeni Madaris . The project of about Rs 50 million  aims to bring qualitative improvement in students of Madaris through provision of quality education .Ahsan Iqbal said that students of Madaris should be encouraged to get education in Maths , Sciences and English . He said Matric level education must be provided to Madrassah students to equip them to compete in the job market.