Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Rana Tanveer holds an online meeting with the representatives of ‘Education Cannot Wait Mission’ under UNICEF

Islamabad, March 13, 2023 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Rana Tanveer held an online meeting with the representatives of ‘Education Cannot Wait Mission’ under UNICEF led by Mr. Maarten Bartends, Chief Humanitarian Liaison, Mr. Robert Edward Dutton and Mr. Jihane Latrous, Gender Manager UNICEF today on 13th March, 2023.

Rana Tanveer said that education in Pakistan is facing multiple crises – deep-rooted long-term challenges and these emergencies interact to form a ‘poly-crisis’ in education in Pakistan. He emphasized on the severe impact of the 2022 floods on education in Pakistan. He said that over 34,000 public education institutions were damaged or destroyed. Furthermore, the floods have affected at least 2.6 million students in the country.

He said that almost 1 million children may drop out and not return to school as a result of the flood damage to education. Rana Tanveer said that Pakistan currently has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, recently overtaking Nigeria, with an estimated 22.8 million children out-of-school. The majority of these out-of-school children are girls, who particularly drop out at secondary school, and over 75% of these children are in rural areas.

The Covid-19 pandemic made these challenges much more difficult, with at least 500,000 more children dropping out during the pandemic. He said that another challenge is that the children in school are not learning well; In Pakistan, 3 in 4 children cannot read a simple sentence by aged 10.

Rana Tanveer said that the Government of Pakistan recognizes that historical spending on education in Pakistan has been low and is keen to change course. He highlighted that Pakistan has consistently spent between 1-3% of GDP on education through the years, as opposed to UNESCO’s recommended advice of 4-6% of GDP.

Minister said that the development partners have been very active in Pakistan for example the World Bank, ADB, UNESCO, UNICEF etc. However, in the current context of recent floods the total cost of loss and damage to education is estimated to be $ 780 million and the UN’s $40 million appeal for education in Pakistan as of February 2023 stands at being only 60% funded.

He urged that the commitments made to Pakistan in terms of financial support be immediately fulfilled as the country faces a grave crisis in the education sector. Rana Tanveer said that the Government of Pakistan has put high priority on addressing the challenges of the flood-affected areas, out of school children and the education of girls.

He highlighted the initiative of School on Wheels and said that the purpose of this initiative is to reach the students where there is lack of infrastructure or the students that do not have the financial ability to go to schools.

He said that this initiative in the future will be able to accommodate disaster affected population as well. He said that Pakistan requires unique solutions to the problems and the current government is fully utilizing its resources to address the issues of the public effectively and efficiently.

While concluding his remarks he said that we should focus on improving institutional governance, curriculum, access and quality, teaching and research practices, industry-academia linkages, and climate change adaptation. He urged greater cooperation and investment from development partners in Pakistan to address the current challenges.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk