Achieving SDG Target 4.2: Investing in Early Childhood Education & Development
3:00 PM to 05:00pm
AEPAM Auditorium, Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Islamabad
The target 4.2 of Sustainable Development Goals requires by 2030 to “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”. Though, this target is undoubtedly important to attain, yet there are certain constraints which require careful consideration and thorough deliberation to achieve the target.
Research indicates that investing in early year’s education and development is estimated to have high benefit-cost ratios and rates of return. In this regard, Pakistan being the signatory of UN SGDs is mandated to take all possible measures to ensure that SDG target 4.2 is achieved in time so that all children be provided with equitable care, nutrition and learning opportunities from birth to six years as envisioned by Parwaan.
The present government has committed to increase the public expenditure on education to reach 4% of GDP by 2018 as expounded in government’s “Pakistan Vision 2025” and on various other occasions, however no commitment has been made to allocate any finances for the neglected yet pivotal domain of Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED).
The Article 25-A of Pakistan’s constitution signifies that only children of age group 5-16 will be provided free and compulsory education by the state which leaves the crucially important 3-5 years age group in the hands of private sector and household domain. Therefore, despite significantly increasing the education budget, the early year’s age group still remains un-catered on account of this structural discrepancy.
In the backdrop of forthcoming federal budget for fiscal year 2016-17, Parwaan National Center of Excellence on ECED in collaboration with the SDPI anticipates a robust roundtable discussion followed by policy recommendations for achieving SDG target 4.2 and recommending a way forward to include the early years education in states domain, subsequently presenting the recommendations to the Federal Ministry of Finance for its consideration prior to the announcement of upcoming budget.
List of Tentative Speakers/ Panelists:
Questions for Deliberation:
- What budgetary measures can be taken to achieve SDG target 4.2 by 2030 in order to honour Pakistan’s international commitment on ECED?
- If Pakistan is unable to fulfil the obligations under article 25-A with the current budget, how will it commit for 3-5 years children? Innovations and cost share with private sector?
- What are the long-term (economic) returns for investing in ECED?
- How ECED specific budgetary allocations could be made in the upcoming (FY 2016-17) budget?
- What government’s patronage and dedicated ECED financing could imply for 3-5 years children of Pakistan?
- Situation Analysis: Status of ECED in Pakistan
- Article 25-A and crucially important 3-5 years group
- Pakistan’s commitment to achieve SDGs
- SDG Target 4.2 – Where Pakistan stands on its commitments
- Significance of ECED: Investing in early years education
- Long term economic benefits of investing in ECED
- Budgetary allocation for ECED in FY 2016-17
List of Tentative Speakers/ Panelists:
- Mr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman ( Minister of State for Federal Education, Professional Training)
- Ms. Mehnaz Aziz (Founding Director and CE Children’s Global Network and President Parwaan)
- Dr. Abid Suleri (Executive Director, SDPI)
- Mr. Sakib Sherani (Economist)
- Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui (Vice Chancellor, AIOU)
- Dr. Talat Anwar (Senior Research Fellow, COMSATS)
- Dr. Nadeem uz Zafar (Planning Commission)
- Ms. Maryam Aurangzeb (Member of Parliament)
- Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha (Punjab Provincial Finance Minister)
- Dr. Sania Nishtar (Founder and President Heartfile)
- Mr. Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan (Parliamentary Secretary Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics & Privatization)
- Ms. Nafisa Shah (MNA)