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Business Recorder

Published Date: Jul 10, 2012

SDPI ORGANISES SEMINAR ON SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN EDUCATION

Quality rese-arch on education is important for an organised civil society effort along with media and is vital to engage national leadership in political ownership of education, said Shahnaz Wazir Ali, MNA-PPP and Co-Chair, Pakistan Education Task Force (PETF) while chairing the seminar on “Social accountability in education and launch of Citizens Report Card (CRC)” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

She said that quality education is the only way to bring improvement in institutional capability of Pakistan and to hold public and political officials accountable. Zehra Arshad, National Co-ordinator, Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and Fayyaz Yaseen of SDPI also spoke on the occasion. Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Research Fellow and Head, Economic Growth Unit said that accountability by public is a must because government’s accountability mechanism has failed to deliver, adding that social accountability can address a range of issues in education including identification of ghost schools, teachers’ absence and dilapidated infrastructure.

Shahnaz Wazir Ali said that only educated and informed youth can ensure positive transformation of Pakistan into a stable progressive society. She said, findings of this study confirmed the poor state of education in Pakistan including the federal capital and added that a watch dog group of civil society should actively work with political parties to make the education sector political agenda of their election manifestos.

She said uniformed school system, improvement in public schools structure, increase in education budget as well as its appropriate utilisation, school-based budgeting, and creating a federal mechanism on article 25-A of the constitutions are some of the necessary steps to improve the state of education in the country. Fayyaz Yaseen said that the study used CRC, as one of the social accountability tools to assess users’ satisfaction on provision of quality education in public schools in the target areas of two slums in federal capital. He was of the view that increased people’s participation can push governments in setting their policies right and improve education service in public schools.