PM calls for steps to restore educational activities

ISLAMABAD: In a move aimed at saving the education system from further disruption amid the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned on Thursday to thrash out a strategy to restore academic activities in the country in consultation with provincial governments.

“Formulate a joint strategy in collaboration with the provincial education ministers regarding the future teaching process,” the prime minister said during a meeting to assess the disruption caused to the education system by the pandemic.

The meeting also reviewed the progress made so far for implementation of the government’s plan to introduce a uniform curriculum in the country.null

All educational institutions were closed over three months ago after detection of the first Covid-19 case in the country. Although federal and provincial authorities have introduced online classes, the feedback shows people still have reservations about its success and utility.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Imran Khan was informed that around eight million students were benefiting from the tele-school initiative taken recently.

An e-Taleem portal will also be launched and the services of Radio Pakistan were being acquired to teach the students living in remote areas.

During the meeting the prime minister called for accelerating efforts to enforce a uniform curriculum in the country as it was the government’s priority to do away with “educational apartheid”.

It directed the authorities to work out a plan to address the financial difficulties being faced by educational institutions and the reservations of parents regarding the payment of fees amid the closure.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said problems confronting the managements of educational institutions should be addressed as well.

The meeting was atten­ded, among others, by Shafqat Mahmood, the Minister for Professional Education and Training, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Asim Saleem Bajwa, Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun and Higher Education Commis­sion Chairman Tariq Binouri.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2020