Zubair Qureshi

Friday, June 05, 2015 – Islamabad—A National Caucus on Education (NCE) was formed by lawmakers to promote the cause of education in Pakistan. The forum came into being after a cross-provincial meeting of MPAs and senators from the four provinces who had come together to share their experiences of working as Education Champions in their respective provinces, districts and constituencies to attend the forum here on Thursday.

The NCE envisions engaging with political actors and a rigorous follow-up by citizens on their political commitments. Members of the caucus selected Senator Mohsin Laghari as the first national convener of the NCE. The caucus vowed to worked collectively for making education a political priority and making augmented efforts for realization of Article 25-A/ Right to Quality Education.

Mr. Raza Bareech, Advisor to Chief Minister of Baluchistan suggested that the NCE should identify different education issues and contribute towards their rectification at the Provincial, District and Constituency levels, by ensuring affirmative political and administrative actions leading to better planning and delivery of education services.

Engr Raja Qamar-ul-Islam Chairman Standing Committee on Education vowed to work on access and quality and ensured to work on 25 A. ‘It is crucial to come together for the cause of education reforms looking beyond our political affiliations’, said Senator Mohsin Leghari who was selected as the Convener of the National Caucus on Education (NCE).

Dr Murad Rass from PTI highlighted educational issues from the Punjab province and suggested that the NCE will work proactively to restore public confidence in the public education system by helping improve access and quality of education.

‘For realistic and sustainable education reforms, it is imperative to create a political collective backed by technical support’, said AmnaSardar MPAPML N. She further said that the NCE will help develop and implement non-partisan strategies for the oversight and scrutiny of education budgets which must ensure sustained and sufficient funding and financial accountability for annual development programs.

The caucus is a living body which shall be a pivot for political action aligned with technical expertise by education experts. Legislators from Punjab have agreed to the host the next session of the caucus due to held in August so that the policy and constituency level engagements can be shared geared towards aggregating political voice for better results.The legislators appreciated Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) for facilitating and supporting this initiative whichshall be providing technical and secretarial support to the NCE in future.

The formation of National Caucus on Education (NCE) was followed by a lively and insightful policy dialogue and experience sharing event. The international community and local development partners working for education in Pakistan appreciated the formation of the NCE and rendered it as a right step forward. Muhammad Arif Khan and Mr. Khurshid Ahmad Junejo expressed solidarity and support for the NCE by sending recorded messages.