Education System of KPK requires immediate consideration: Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, Minister for Health, KPK.

Ilm-o-AgahiPeshawar – 24 March, 2014 – “The existing education system in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa requires immediate and earnest consideration of all those who are interested in the welfare of the people. Media should play an active role to mobilize all segments of society for education” This was stated by Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, Minister for Health, Khyber Pakthunkhwa at the ILM-o-AGAHI education journalism workshop held at Peshawar Press Club today.

“KPK education system is worst effected in the last ten years and new entrants in the field of journalism should therefore strive to sensitize the people on the importance of education, as education is the key to success for progress.”

The ILM-o-AGAHI, one day workshop was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program). More than thirty education reporters from all leading media entities, from print, television, radio and online journalism, were selected for the workshop.

There are 2.8 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 in Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) who are not in school which is 39 % of the total children in the province. As per the research undertaken by Alif Ailaan, on average there is 1 teacher for 43 students in the primary schools of Khyber Pakthunkhwa. 30 % schools of Peshawar are without satisfactory building conditions.

Nasir Hussain, President, Peshawar Press Club, spoke on the role of media in policy development in the education sector. He said, “Education is served as a service to the society, instead of pure business”. If our educationists maintain their level of teaching for the betterment of their communities, we surely can expect great results, and those results would be in the form of a more empowered and educated society.

Asif Farooqui, Program Manager, ILM-o-AGAHI, while discussing the salient features of the initiative said that, a learning platform for journalists on education would be developed as a ready reference for journalists working on education related issues. He further said, “Mishal is also introducing special categories on education journalism in the upcoming annual journalism “AGAHI Awards 2014” to promote education journalism in Pakistan.”

Afzal Shah, ASER Pakistan representative, discussed ASER’s findings on education with the Journalists during the session. She said according to the Annual Status of Education Report – ASER 2013 National Survey, that 9.6 % children have no access to school between the age of 5-16 years.

“Peshawar is considered one of the more promising areas in terms of the enrolment levels standing at 90.4% enrolment for 6-16 year old children and 9.6% children currently are out of school. Although gender gaps do exist the ratio of boys and girls in both government and private schools are 71% & 29% and 70% & 30% respectively.

Earlier, a workshop on education journalism was held in Islamabad, where journalists agreed to launch a Journalists for Education Forum in Islamabad. Through the ILM-o-AGAHI initiative, 18 education journalism workshops will be held across Pakistan for education reporters to increase their capacity and improve the coverage on education issues in media. In each workshop, more than 30 education reporters will be selected to enhance their capacity to report on identified educational challenges and issues to improve understanding and skills among journalists to capture community’s perspective and voice including children’s voice.

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.

Click HERE for Press Release in Urdu.

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