Government aims for a uniform education system under new policy framework.

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training on Tuesday launched the National Education Policy Framework 2018 under the government’s first 100-day plan.

The education ministry in its framework has identified four key areas it shall be focusing on: improving the quality of education, enrolment of out of school children, introducing a uniform education system, and skill development of the youth.

The framework was formally launched by Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood in a ceremony held in Islamabad.

The minister vowed to resolve the above-mentioned challenges over the course of the next five years and revealed that a National Task Force had been established to identify key areas for the development of education.

“We consulted with donors, NGOs, and experts in the formulation of the framework,” he said, adding that an Inter-Provincial Ministers Conference was also arranged during which the education policy was discussed with representatives of the different provinces.

The minister said that the government was all set to bring back into the fold more than 20 million out of school boys and girls.

Currently, he said, there are three kinds of educational systems existing in the country: madressah system, public school system and English-medium or private school system. Under the new education policy, a uniform education system will be introduced with a uniform syllabus “to bring unity among the nation”.

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He also laid emphasis on the government’s efforts in bringing improvements to the quality of education, adding that a market-oriented education would be provided to students so that they can find jobs easily. In the same vein, the minister underlined the need for skills development saying that it was the only way for the socioeconomic development of the country.

He said that the country faces a shortfall of middle schools due to which students are unable to continue their studies after having completed primary education. To counter this, middle-school classes will be held following primary school class timings so that the need for middle schools can be met, he explained.

To tackle the growing need for teachers, the government also plans on launching a Smart Schools System under which online lectures will be delivered in schools facing a lack of teaching staff, said Minister Mahmood.

Smart classrooms will be established in every school of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), he said adding that the use of technology was the need of the hour.

An Educational Volunteer Programme would also be initiated to fulfill the demand for teachers, he said, and added that under this programme the educated youth will be given the opportunity to extend their services voluntarily to teach children.

The education minister said that the government will also increase the number of non-formal schools to achieve the task of maximum enrolment.

He said a dialogue had been initiated to create consensus among the different educational systems.

Later, the minister also launched an out of school children campaign in the federal capital. By signing the admission documents, he enrolled six students of the federal capital into schools established near their residences.