Huma Zia Talks About Curriculum & Parent’s Desire for Quality Education on EP2 of Let’s Talk Education

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In the second episode of the newly launched podcast, Let’s Talk Education, Huma Zia Faran, Program Lead at Pak Alliance for Maths and Science spoke about the challenges that Pakistan’s education sector has faced during and before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of out-of-school children remains stagnant despite rigorous enrollment campaigns

Nearly five years ago, Pakistan was tagged as a country with the second-highest number of out-of-school children, after Nigeria. The situation seemed extremely dismal to those in the education sector. Hence, the government and donors came together to work towards finding a solution to the problem. As a result, the education ministry started rigorous enrollment campaigns to reduce the number of out-of-school children. Five years later, even now, the number is still the same. The situation, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to change for the better.

The enrollment campaigns alone won’t keep the system running. There’s a need to work out the quality of education to reduce the dropout rates in the country. Also, the parents need to be motivated in a manner that they know it’s worth sending their kids to school.

Revising curriculums and facing challenges during COVID-19

“It has been decades since we’ve been educating students with outdated syllabus and teaching methods, and there has been no update for so long. It is high time we work on changing that and improving our kids’ soft and critical learning skills,” said Huma Zia Faran on the Let’s Talk Education Podcast.

Read: Let’s Talk Education: Guests Speak Their Heart Out On Education, COVID & Reforms

Speaking on the issue of out-of-school children, Ms. Faran said that the pandemic has affected both male and female students, however, it has severely impacted girls more than boys. According to a study conducted by Malala Fund, the pandemic has affected families in multiple ways. As a result of that, the onus of responsibility of managing household tasks has increased on girls. Therefore, after the outbreak of COVID-19, more girls left schools than boys.

Patents and their desire to give their children quality education

Every parent, according to Ms. Faran, is aware of what’s best for their child. They, however, don’t have access to platforms that can enlighten them about ways to get quality education for their kids. Nevertheless, they still want the best for their children. Even with a little increment in their salaries, they prefer to send their kids to a better school and cut down on other expenses. They want their kids to get good education, so we can’t say it’s the parents who are stopping their kids in any way.

Data and policy reforms

In order to bring policy reforms to the education sector, there’s a need to have sufficient data. We need to know the on-ground situation in different provinces to be able to take important measures to fix the loopholes. And, in the coming years, the data has drastically improved, but there’s still a gap, so to consolidate the steps, we need to regularly collect data and update it too.

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