Home Latest News SIFC Education Summit to Recommend Enhanced Financing from Provinces

SIFC Education Summit to Recommend Enhanced Financing from Provinces

Forum stresses on need to address the challenge posed by an estimated 26 million out-of-school children nationwide

by Staff Report

File Photo. Hasham Ahmed—AFP

The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) on Thursday hosted a meeting co-chaired by Education Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain to address the issue of out-of-school children in Pakistan.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, the Summit for Innovation in Education and Skill Development was briefed by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training; the HRD secretary; the executive director of the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTCC); and other stakeholders.

During the meeting, per the statement, participants learnt an estimated 26 million children are out of school across Pakistan, requiring a comprehensive national framework and strategy to address the challenge. National Coordination Lt. Gen. Safaraz stressed that “without addressing education and skill development challenges, efforts to attract investment in Pakistan would falter.”

The meeting’s participants pledged several key agreements, including a commitment to enhance education financing at both federal and provincial levels while ensuring increased efficiency and transparency. Additionally, the forum also recognized the importance of innovative financing mechanisms to attract foreign and private investment in skill-based education.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the participants agreed that the federal ministry of education, with support from the SIFC, would work separately to improve educational financing in these regions. It was also agreed that the national skill voucher scheme would be piloted to provide greater access to skill development opportunities.

The education minister stressed on the necessity of high-impact I.T. training to equip students with relevant skills for the future job market. The meeting’s participants agreed to recommend to the apex committee to direct all governments to enhance financing in education. The meeting also declared the SIFC a permanent forum, adding progress on education initiatives would be reviewed monthly.

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