ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Education and Professional Training, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman on Wednesday said Pakistan has ensured free compulsory education and established centers for research to demonstrate effective practices.
However, a lot more needs to be done, he said this while addressing a Conference on Early Childhood Development and Sustainable Development Goals held in Beijing (SDGs).
The main objectives of the Conference were to engage policy makers to develop strategies and policies for effective implementation of suitable development goal by 2030, share knowledge and noteworthy practices on child friendly environment, strengthen partnerships for ECD among various stakeholders.
These will ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
The participants of the Conference were guest of Honor UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, Director of the Earth Institute, Jeffery D. Sachs, Chair of the Board of Directors, Global partnership for Education (Ex PM of Australia), Julia Gillard, Ministers, Parliamentarians of Pakistan, China, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“Today, we live in a rapidly changing world. A world full of opportunities as well as new and complex challenges of poverty, climatic changes, extremism and intolerance,” the Minister said and added achieving SDGs as a whole would not be possible unless we provide equitable opportunities to all children globally.
According to a message received here, the Minister said this would take a lot more than just providing good healthcare and education.
“To achieve the ambitious human centric SDG goals, we will have to come closer, we will have to start cooperating with each other in an unprecedented manner, allow more restraint and tolerance, increase the level of understanding each other's point of views. Let us all pledge here that we will make this world a better place and will achieve SDGs,” Baligh-ur-Rehman said.
The Minister thanked Madam Liu Yandong (Vice Premier of People's Republic of China) for her presence, an emblematic of the great importance that China is attaching to human development and poverty reduction.
He also thanked China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) and Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) for providing an opportunity for very important conference on poverty reduction and child development in China, an exceptional learning experience for all.
While SDGs have been adopted just recently, it is the right time to learn from each other's best practices to maximize opportunities and respond to challenges and to shape up and refine our vision, our strategies and plans, said the Minister.
Madam Vice Premier's vision on ECED provides us all with new vigor to focus on these goals with absolute clarity.
China has done an incredible job in lifting people out of poverty in great numbers and improving human conditions.