What Is Education Emergency, The Plan Being Mulled By Pakistan PM? | World News

New Delhi: Pakistan, in a bid to tackle the alarming number of children dropping out of school, is anticipated to declare a four-year education emergency across the country. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is set to make this groundbreaking announcement in the coming days, according to Dawn. 

What Is An Education Emergency? 

An education emergency is a state of crisis within the educational system of a country. The crisis may involve challenges such as a high number of children out of school, low literacy rates, inadequate funding, a lack of essential facilities in schools, and other systemic issues. 

It signifies a critical situation that demands immediate and coordinated action from the government, stakeholders, and the community to address the underlying causes and improve access to quality education for all. 

Need Of Education Emergency In Pakistan 

A daunting 26.2 million children, which accounts for 39% of all children in the country, are currently not enrolled in school. Concurrently, the country also struggles with a concerning literacy rate of only 62%, indicating deep-rooted problems in the system that require immediate attention. On top of that, the government allocates a mere 1.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education. Recent statistics from Pakistan Education Statistics for the years 2021–22 highlight the urgency of the situation and the need for state intervention. 

The lack of essential facilities like proper sanitation, clean water, and secure boundaries within educational institutions worsens the difficulties faced by students, especially those from marginalised backgrounds. It’s crucial to address these shortcomings in order to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment. 

Pakistan’s National Conference on the Education Crisis 

Originally set for Tuesday, the National Conference on Education Crisis overseen by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to address the imminent education crisis had to be delayed due to prior commitments by the PM.

As per the report from Dawn, the planned Conference on Education Crisis aims to mobilise collective efforts from various stakeholders. With the participation of chief ministers, development partners, diplomats, and respected education experts, the conference aims to develop comprehensive strategies and programs to tackle the underlying causes of educational disparities. 

Recently, Pakistan Federal Education Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has strongly advocated for declaring a national education emergency. Last month, after being briefed on the high number of out-of-school children and other educational gaps, Siddiqui pledged to urge the Prime Minister and federal cabinet to declare an emergency.

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