Seminar on education policies in Pakistan
The Department of Education organized a National Dialogue and Book-Launch Seminar, which was attended by deans, faculty members, representatives of the Higher Education Commission and the Punjab Higher Education Commission, the Chief Executive Officer of Education in Rawalpindi, and students from various fields of education.
The Department of Education, in partnership with Oxford University Press, held a seminar and book launch event at Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, called "Education Policies in Pakistan: Politics, Projections, and Practices."
The Department of Education organized a National Dialogue and Book-Launch Seminar, which was attended by deans, faculty members, representatives of the Higher Education Commission and the Punjab Higher Education Commission, the Chief Executive Officer of Education in Rawalpindi, and students from various fields of education. The seminar began with the recitation of the Quran and the playing of national and university anthems. In his opening remarks, Prof. Dr. Malik Ghulam Behlol, Dean of the Faculty of Education, discussed the major challenges facing educational policies in Pakistan from 1947-2022. The seminar included discussions on topics such as the single national curriculum, graduation and Ph.D. policies of the Higher Education Commission, literacy and primary education, madrassa education, language policy and medium of instruction, curricula, and textbooks, and the socio-political context of education policies and plans. Additionally, the seminar delved into issues such as the problem of massive borrowing without considering contextual realities, poor implementation mechanisms, insufficient funding for the education sector, lack of clarity in the vision and direction of education, the debate over the medium of instruction, and the absence of evidence-based decision making in education policy.
During the seminar, Dr. Syed Waqar Ali Kousar discussed how the education policies in Pakistan lack direction regarding the medium of instruction and the vision of Pakistan as a theoretical and liberal state. Professor Dr. Jumani, President of the International Islamic University Islamabad, stressed that the issue of a uniform curriculum cannot be solved by a single national curriculum without providing equal and sufficient resources throughout Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Nasir Mehmood, Acting Vice Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University, suggested that the Higher Education Commission should involve university faculty in the development of Ph.D. and graduation policies to promote institutional freedom and open dialogue among academia.
Dr. Naazir Mehmood, a prominent intellectual, emphasized that the government should prioritize education by fulfilling their financial allocation commitments instead of just paying lip service. Dr. Shahid Siddique, former Vice Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University and author of the book "Education Policies in Pakistan: Politics, Projections, and Practices," emphasized the importance of formulating policies based on reliable data, setting priorities, and building capacity and ownership among stakeholders. The participants asked questions from the speakers about various aspects and challenges of the educational system in Pakistan. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Saima Hamid, emphasized that the discussion should lead to conclusions and policy briefs for submission to the Higher Education Commission and the National Planning Commission of Pakistan to address the gaps in existing policy documents. She praised the efforts of the Department of Education for organizing the national dialogue, which was much needed. The dialogue was moderated by Dr. Salma Nazar Khan and administrative arrangements were handled by Dr. Frakhand Jabeen, Dr. Hajira, and Dr. Yasir. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Farhana Khurshid and a photo session.
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