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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is spending around two percent of the GDP on education, while others are spending more than 10 percent.

This was observed by the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training meeting held here on Wednesday with Irfanul Haq Siddiqui in the chair. The committee was given a detailed briefing on various departments of the ministry.

The chairman committee reprimanded the concerned authorities for providing incomplete details and directed for ensuring appearance before the committee with full readiness.

The chairman of the committee said that the education system in the country is deteriorating and have been deceiving ourselves in education for years.

It is very unfortunate that our education budget is still only two percent of the GDP.

Countries are spending 10 percent more of their budgets on education.

The committee also recommended the government to start summer vacations in the federal educational institutes from July 1, as decided by the Punjab government.

The federal secretary for education assured that the committee’s recommendations would be followed.

The education secretary told the committee that providing education in remote areas is a major challenge. The Ministry of Education officials said a uniform curriculum across the country would begin in the new academic year.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed asked why the 18-year educational requirement for admission to PhD was abolished.

Setting a standard of 16 years for admission to PhD would definitely affect the quality of research.

Senator Falak Naz said that internet supply in Chitral and adjoining areas is a big problem.

Students are unable to participate in the online teaching process started due to the Covid pandemic.

Due to which the students there are far behind in the field of education.

The committee noted that there was a lot of overlap in many of the ministry’s subsidiaries and that many agencies were doing the same thing.

In this regard, not only valuable national capital is being wasted but also no useful results are emerging.

In this regard, the chairman committee constituted a three-member sub-committee to review the funds received and their performance and compile a report on which institutions can be merged to reduce the undue burden on the national exchequer.

The committee members expressed no confidence in the performance of the HEC, and directed the HEC officials to present the details of the funds released to all the universities at the next committee meeting.

The chairman Committee also expressed his concerns over the government ordinance regarding HEC and said that this ordinance has been brought to remove only one person from office.

The committee members questioned the commencement of summer vacations in Punjab and the federation on different dates, and directed the ministry officials to inform the concerned minister about the committee’s concerns on the issue and refer to the vacations in the federal educational institutions.

They said that Punjab-style summer vacations should be conducted in federal educational institutions from July 1.

The members of the committee said that they should make efforts from this forum to increase the budget for education and bring the issue of uniform curriculum in the parliament. There should be a regular discussion on this.

Talking about private educational institutes in Islamabad, the committee members asked what steps have been taken by the government to control unjustified increase in fees by the private educational institutes.

Expressing displeasure, they said that there was no one to supervise the private educational institutes.

The committee members sought a detailed report on the matter from the concerned authorities at the next meeting.

The committee also decided that apart from the Ministry of Education, religious seminary organisations would also be given ample opportunity to present their views on uniform curriculum and other related issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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