Islamabad: Despite the lack of progress in introducing an education policy since 2009, the education ministry has commenced efforts to finalize a policy framework.
The ministry acknowledges that education is a devolved subject, preventing the formulation of a national education policy. However, it can develop a national education policy framework.
“We are currently in the process of finalizing the national education policy framework, which will be presented for approval at the upcoming Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC),” stated Education Secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry.
Mr. Chaudhry explained to Dawn that previously, the education ministry would finalize the national education policy. However, since the subject was devolved to the provinces, it became the responsibility of the respective provinces. “As the federal education ministry, we can still establish a framework for the policy, which we have already begun working on. This framework will then be shared with the provinces,” Mr. Chaudhry added. He also mentioned that the IPEMC meeting is expected to take place soon, where the framework will be presented for approval. The ministry has previously prepared the National Education Policy 2009, draft national education policy 2016, and national education policy framework 2018.
In recent years, attempts were made to finalize a new policy; however, these efforts were unsuccessful due to objections from one of the provinces, citing the devolution of the subject.
The existing 2009 policy has become outdated and contains several inconsistencies, such as the budget allocation, which was set at 7% of the GDP while the country only allocated 3% of the GDP for education.
According to the Economic Survey of 2021-22, the country spent 1.7% of the GDP on education in the recorded year. Additionally, there is a need to establish targets in the policy related to achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), implementing information technology, e-learning, etc.
During the tenure of the PML-N government, efforts were made to develop a new policy, and a draft was prepared in 2016, which included the addition of nine new chapters. However, the policy was not introduced. Similarly, when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came to power, it also announced the introduction of a new policy but failed to do so. Nevertheless, in 2018, the government managed to introduce an education framework that sought public feedback before finalizing the education policy for 2021.
Reference: Abbasi, K. (2023, May 22). Ministry focusing on education framework instead of policy. DAWN.COM. https://www.dawn.com/news/1754886