Poor Data, Lack of Resources and Capacity; Major Constraints in Implementing an Effective Education Policy
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.
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.
Puruesh Chaudhary, Director Mishal Pakistan, facilitating the group discussion said, Post 18th Amendment, it is increasingly important for the Provincial Governments to become highly collaborative and decentralized to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery. It also remains pertinent for the journalist community to hold public officials accountable for the promises that they’ve made to their constituencies.
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.