Islamabad, November 07, 2012 (PPI-OT): Civil society, foreign donors, political parties, and the media debated on the issues and requirements of a sustainable education sector for the future of Pakistan hosted by the Pakistan Coalition for Education during the Third Annual Convention held here on Islamabad.
The first day held two sessions, first on the effectiveness of donor aid provided for education sector development, and the second a discussion on education agendas of the various political parties in Pakistan.
More than 200 civil society representatives from 40 different districts gathered today to discuss and formulate collective actions to improve the status of education in Pakistan. The panel of speakers that participated today included Ms. Razina Alam (PML-N), Chaudhry Manzoor (PPP), Syed Waqas Jafri (Jamat-e-Islami), Mr. Sadqat Abbasi (PTI), and Dr. Farooq Sattar (MQM). There were also representative speakers from JICA, DFID, CARE International, FOSI, and WPF-Rutgers.
The panel agreed upon specific issues that need to be addressed by the education sector. Demands included that the donor agencies and the Government work to bridge the gap between donor practices and Government policies. It was stated that accountability and suitable use of disbursement of funds would lead to greater effectiveness.
The quality of infrastructure provided by the aid agencies should be such that forms a sustainable project rather than fulfilling short term goals. Political instability and weak civic structure causes instable foreign funding. All donors must have a strong exit strategy that leaves the projects self-sustainable and be independent on fluctuating political scenarios.
The political parties called for a uniform education system that focuses on quality and across the board medium of instruction on a regional level. A single national education policy that sets the minimal standard of education should be implemented prior to regional standard implementation. All political parties accepted that the GDP budget should be increased to 5-7%.
The sessions for tomorrow include the following topics for debate: expanding horizons for universal education – media as an agent of change and spaces for civil society; policy engagement on education.
For more information, Contact:
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE)
Sarfraz Ali Kandhir
Media Liaison Officer