All posts by Amir Jahangir

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Directors of the London School of Economics and Political Science Visit Aman Foundation

Directors of the London School of Economics and Political Science Visit Aman Foundation 

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Dr. Craig Calhoun (Director) and Dr. Mukulika Banerjee (Director o
f the South Asia Centre) from the world-renowned London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) visited the Aman Foundation Karachi campus this weekend as Guests of Honour. At this event, awards were presented to the ten finalists of the AmanClinics Accelerator Competition by the Chief Guest.
Dr. Calhoun and Dr. Banerjee visited Aman Tech, Pakistan’s premier vocational training institute, and met with the staff and students. They were also given briefings regarding Aman Health’s various initiatives.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Calhoun commended the efforts of the Aman Foundation and stressed on the importance of developing primary healthcare in Pakistan. “The AmanClinics Accelerator Program is an excellent platform to motivate individuals to come together as teams and work on sustainable business plans. It is heartening to see this development and I am confident it will reap great rewards for the society as a whole,” he added.
Dr. Banerjee, an expert in social anthropology, commented on the necessity of healthcare accessibility for the masses. “It is imperative that healthcare not be overlooked and Aman Foundation’s role in health and education is one that promises hope for positive change and development in the country.”
Aman Foundation held a Knowledge Accelerator ceremony at its premises in Karachi to announce ten finalists of the AmanClincs Accelerator Competition. (L-R):  Ahmad Jalal, CEO, Aman Foundation; Dr, Mukulika Banerjee, Director, South Asia Centre, London School of Economics;  Dr. Craig Calhoun, Director, London School of Economics; Fayeeza Naqvi, Co-founder & Chairman, Aman Foundation;  and Dr. Nilanjan Sarkar Deputy Director and Development Manager, South Asia Center, London School of Economics.

Aman Foundation held a Knowledge Accelerator ceremony at its premises in Karachi to announce ten finalists of the AmanClincs Accelerator Competition. (L-R):
Ahmad Jalal, CEO, Aman Foundation; Dr, Mukulika Banerjee, Director, South Asia Centre, London School of Economics; Dr. Craig Calhoun, Director, London School of Economics; Fayeeza Naqvi, Co-founder & Chairman, Aman Foundation and Dr. Nilanjan Sarkar Deputy Director and Development Manager, South Asia Center, London School of Economics. 

The ceremony was presided by Fayeeza Naqvi, Co-Founder and Chairman, Aman Foundation.  “We are honored to have exceptional individuals from the LSE faculty present at our ceremony today. We hope to motivate and encourage individuals to come together and work for the benefit of the community as a whole.” Mrs. Naqvi was also the recipient of the BNP Paribas prize for Individual Philanthropy in 2015 and the Global Humanitarian Award 2016 in Bali.
The AmanClinics Accelerator Competition aims to address Pakistan’s healthcare challenge by building a network of high-quality, low cost and sustainable startup clinics for primary healthcare across the country. The Aman Foundation, formed in 2008, is a local, not-for-profit trust, based and operating in Pakistan, born out of the belief that Pakistanis must take the lead in solving Pakistan’s problems. The Aman Foundation aims to champion dignity and choice for the undeserved, focusing on Health and Education through direct intervention.
Ilm-o-Agahi

2.8 million children between the age of 5 and 16 remain out of school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite Rs. 73,685 million budget.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Meeting
Education is the best tool to ensure long term ‘rule of law’ in Pakistan, conclude participants at the
education governance roundtable.

Peshawar, PK – January 22, 2015 - “The PTI led coalition provincial government has worked hard to ensure transparency of education governance through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013″, said Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Minister for Information, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,  while chairing the Education Governance Roundtable at the Peshawar Press Club. “We declared education emergency in the province, started an education campaign and brought 0.35 million students back to school”, he further said.

“The Right to Information Act passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial assembly in 2013, has further strengthened the constitutional rights of citizens, empowering them to hold government officials accountable”, said, Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, while facilitating the group discussion. Education is the key to cultivate peace and rule of law in society, she added.

The Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened in Peshawar today to discuss the current state of education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The roundtable discussion took place among key stakeholders from the education sector, the dialogue aimed to highlight the importance of government and media partnership in enhancing accountability. The provincial meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).

The objective of ILM-o-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging stakeholders, including media and policy makers.

The ruling party in the Khyber PakthunkhwaPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto advocates budget allocation of 5% of GDP for education. The Economic Survey of Pakistan (2013-2014) states that the enrollment rate has improved to 91% in the year 2012 to 2013 as compared to 89% in 2011 to 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Zahir Shah, Senior Journalist, while moderating the discussion highlighted that in past, said that the education institutional structure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has suffered a lot due to the regional conflicts, further worsening educational indicators in the province and adjoining areas. The way forward to the province is to address the community needs and upgrade the standards of the lost infrastructure along with the capacity building of the teachers and other human resources.

Media and government both have ignored education; we should design a curriculum that will unite the entire nation, said Nasir Hussain, former president Peshawar press club.

The participants also argued about the government’s methodology to engage the same development partners in education sector reforms and curricular development, who have failed to deliver for the past several years.

Curriculum definitely requires due attention but meanwhile the government has improved enrollment and has focused on merit based selection of teachers, said, Azam Khan, District Education Officer, Peshawar. He stressed on the importance of education to improve the collective consciousness of the society. He further said that the government has made education a priority and is working towards improving the quality standards at the primary and the secondary level.

Asif Malik, Assistant Registrar COMSATS University Islamabad, said that education is like linchpin in the development of nations, without which the house of cards falls. In a country like Pakistan, the house has already fallen due to lack of seriousness towards most pressing issues of Pakistan.

Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Information Minister to Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Arif, Deputy Director Elementary and Secondary Education, Azam Khan, District Education Officer Peshawar, Zahir Shah, senior journalist Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Nasir Hussain, former president press club and representatives of the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education. Agahi Awards, an annual series of journalism awards in Pakistan, is an initiative of Mishal Pakistan and AGAHI, developed under the umbrella of the Credibility Lab creating an appreciation methodology for ethical and quality content. The theme of this year’s Agahi awards is also going to be ‘Education’.

Ilm-o-Agahi

40,000 Ghost Teachers and 5,200 Ghost Schools remain unaddressed in Sindh despite Rs. 145 Billion budget.

60% schools remain without drinking water facility, 40% without electricity, and 35% without any boundary walls. Over 40,000 ghost teachers and 5,229 ghost schools loiter unaddressed in Sindh despite allocation of Rs. 145.02 billion budget for education.
The Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened in Karachi today to discuss the current state of education in Sindh. The roundtable discussion took place among the key stakeholders of in the education sector. The participants highlighted the importance of government and media partnership to enhance accountability. The meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).
The objective of ILM-o-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging stakeholders, including media and policy makers.
Fazlullah Pechuho, Secretary Education to the Government of Sindh, Aamir Latif, President Press Club Karachi, and representatives of the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.
Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, facilitating the group discussion said that, “education is a neglected theme in Pakistan, while the government has not given education sector a priority, media has also failed to safeguard the rights of the citizen to universal education”. Education reporting lacks the accountability perspective, she further said.
‘During Pervez Musharraf’s tenure schools used to be constructed without any need assessment, this has resulted in an uneven distribution of institutions across the province’, said Dr. Fazlullah Pechehu, Secretary Education, Government of Sindh. He also stressed on the importance of constructive role of journalism in monitoring government’s work in the education sector. He further added that the system of accountability is there but it is defective. He also said that the merit-based recruitment of teachers is essential to improve the education sector. He also informed that his department has got the approval of the cabinet for public and private partnership for schools in Sindh.
Aamir Latif, senior journalist, while moderating the discussion highlighted that in past, the most incompetent individuals used to join police department or the teaching sector, which has led to the current state of education in Sindh.
Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education. Agahi Awards, an annual series of awards for journalism in Pakistan, is another initiative of Mishal Pakistan, developed under the umbrella of the Credibility Lab at Mishal for creating an appreciation methodology for ethical and quality content. The theme of this year’s Agahi awards is also going to be ‘Education’.

Quality Education Still a Challenge in Punjab

A public school, just a few kilometers away from Prime Minister’s Model Town Home remains in deteriorating condition since 1973, Education Governance Roundtable, Punjab.

Lahore, PK – January 15, 2015 – Provincial Meeting on Education Governance convened today in Lahore, to discuss the importance of Government and Media Partnership to Enhance Accountability. The meeting aimed at generating a discussion among major education stakeholders about the current state of education governance in the province. The ILM-o-AGAHI Education Governance Roundtable was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).

The objective of the ILM-O-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging various stakeholders, including media and policy makers.

Qaiser Rashid, Deputy Secretary Education (Schools), Engineer Qamar-ul-Islam, Chairman Standing Committee on Education and Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, Former Dean Faculty Education Punjab University along with representatives from the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, facilitating the group discussion said, While the authenticity of data and information are essential to policy development, the use of technology can not only ensure accountability but also assess the performance of the provincial education departments in Pakistan.

“The government plans to ensure sustainability and allocate more funds in education sector in coming years”, said Qaiser Rashid, Deputy Secretary Education (Schools). He also said that the teachers and students’ attendance is highest in the region but quality remains a challenge for the Punjab government. The government is also spending Rs. 4 billion on free textbooks in Punjab and is giving a stipend of Rs. 2000 every month to every female student on 80% attendance.

Engineer Qamar-ul-Islam, Chairman Standing Committee on Education, Punjab Assembly,  said that teachers’ attendance in Punjab is 90% and even the 10% absents are informed in advance. Education budget shouldn’t include teachers’ salaries in non-developmental budget. Qamar-ul-Islam further states that in future 10% disadvantaged kids will be admitted to all the schools including private schools by law. To ensure 100% attendance, Chairman Standing Committee on Education said that parents who will not send their kids to school would not be allowed to benefit from any community service initiative like Benazir Income Support etc. Chairman Standing Committee on Education then asked journalists to give input on the state of education and said that despite sending formal invitations to journalists in 2014 the department did not received anything from the journalists community.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, former Dean of the education faculty of the Punjab University said, “building a sustainable system of accountability is the most critical factor for improving the education standards in Punjab”. He further said that the Punjab Government is only paying attention to the initiatives that can be counted and showed to public, however the quality of education remains unaddressed.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in the media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance Models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.

Poor data, lack of resources, & capacity; major constraints in implementing an effective Education Policy

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Quetta, PK – January 12, 2015 – Provincial Meeting on Education Governance held at Quetta Press Club; underscored the importance of Government and Media Partnership to Enhance Accountability. The meeting aimed at bringing major education stakeholders on the same platform to discuss the current state of education governance in the province. The meeting was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas.

The objective of ILM-O-AGAHI initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging various stakeholders, including media and policy makers. Sardar Raza Bareech, Education Advisor to the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Abdullah Jan Balochistan Information Secretary, Raza Rehman President Quetta Press Club, representatives from the non-governmental organizations and the journalist community attended the roundtable dialogue.

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Abdullah Jan Secretary Information Balochistan, said that the journalists should develop a culture and set precedence by seeking public information through the use of the Freedom of Information Act. He elaborated that the utility of funds within the education sector needs a watchdog; that can assess the impact of the contribution made by the Government of Balochistan in improving the state of education in the province.

Negative criticism will be counter-productive which does not contribute towards good governance, said Sardar Bareech, Education Advisor to Chief Minister of Balochistan. He further added that the Government of Balochistan will introduce new technology in the education sector which will code students and teachers, an effective and efficient monitoring tool which will enable the Government to scrutinize performance, creating space for introspection.

Ali Shah, Bureau Chief DawnNews TV, moderating the discussion raised a pertinent challenge for the journalist community covering events rather than issues. He highlighted the need for independent initiatives; giving more voices to the community.

Mishal Pakistan with academicians and researchers produced a literature review in 2014 assessing an overarching complexity and trivial underlying causes that has subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in the media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible Educational Governance Models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.

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