Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Thursday met a delegation led by World Bank President David Malpass to discuss possible ways about how Pakistan’s learning poverty could be addressed.

The purpose of the meeting was to consider solutions that could help Pakistan achieve it goal of ensuring that every child is able to read by the age of 10 years. The meeting took stock of critical actions needed by the government to help Pakistan come out of its ‘learning poverty’.

All attendants agreed that utilising maximum technical and financial resources was essential to helping children achieve their full learning potential.

During the meeting, Shafqat said quality education was key to building human capital. “The government is ensuring the equality of opportunities geographically and across various streams of education,” he told the World Bank delegation.

The minister explained the key initiatives the education ministry was undertaking to reform the education system in Pakistan, especially with regards to implementing a uniform curriculum in the county.

Shafqat informed the delegates that plans were underway to reorganise the ministry and establish a policy and research unit to analyse critical information on students learning outcomes, school data and education financing from across the country to devise better policies, and improve decision making.

Besides the minister, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Tariq Banuri and provincial ministers for education were also present in the dialogue.

The minster for planning and the provincial ministers also shed light on the various measures being taken at the federal and provincial levels to improve learning outcomes of Pakistani children.

The World Bank recently launched its ‘Learning Target’ across the globe in annual meetings held throughout October.

WB President Malpass stressed on the need for political, financial and management coordination to ensure that countries could bring students back to schools and improve learning outcomes to enhance productivity and economic growth.

“The World Bank will continue its support and keen to work with Pakistan on the programs discussed in the meeting,” he added.

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Shafqat, WB Team Take Up Pakistan’s Learning Poverty