Pakistan, UNESCO agree to establish joint excellence centre
Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training held a bilateral meeting with Ms. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education UNESCO on the sidelines of II World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Ms. Giannini was previously Senator and Minister for Education, Universities and Research, Italy. Federal Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain informed about Pakistan’s resolute commitment to overcome the major challenges in education sector and mainly in the areas of Out of School Children, Girls Education, urgent actions required to mitigate learning losses, Quality of Education referring to (pedagogy skills, faculty development & governance issues), introducing & embedding Skills learning in mainstream Education as well as use of technology & STEM to assist the conventional mode of education.
He also emphasized on the damage caused by the recent unprecedented floods with recovery cost in education sector around USD918 million. Mr. Tanveer urged that various interventions were made in partnership with UNESCO, however, the focus shall be on major challenges with one or two high impact targeted interventions instead of low impact scattered collaborations in different areas.
The Minister ensured that Pakistan will make all out efforts to ensure inclusive and equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities as in light of SDG-4 as well as commitments made in Bangkok declaration and recently held Transforming Education Summit at UN HQs. While considering the importance of teachers training and STEAM education, he proposed for Pak-UNESCO Joint Centre of Excellence (CoE) in teachers training and STEAM learning at Islamabad, which will be established with the support of UNESCO. The said Centre will mainly focus of early childhood & primary education.
Ms. Stefania Giannini informed that UNESCO has been doing its best to support Pakistan’s education sector along with its other partners (UNICEF, WFP, WHO etc) in emergencies. She appreciated Pakistan’s commitment to address the educational challenges faced by the country. She also assured for mobilizing the global partners to provide all possible assistance to Pakistan’s education sector. Ms. Stefania Giannini welcomed the proposal of Pakistan’s Education Minister for establishment of Pak-UNESCO CoE. The Director of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education informed that the said proposal/project will be covered under the component of learning recovery and education for all of the Bangkok declaration, for which Pakistan will submit its formal proposal.
Both sides decided to further engage on the level of technical teams for working out the modalities regarding the principally agreed establishment of Pak-UNESCO Joint Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Teachers Training and STEAM learning at Islamabad. It was also agreed that UNESCO will enhance its efforts for capacity building of the officials of Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO (PNCU), whereas Pakistan’s Education Ministry will ensure adequate workforce at PNCU. Both sides also agreed to engage on possibility of holding an International Conference in Pakistan in a mutually agreed area in line with SDG-4.