ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has stated that the fund is committed to ensuring incorporating life skills-based education (LSBE) in Pakistani curriculum.

Estimating that 22.8 million children are out of school in the country, UNFPA Deputy Representative in Pakistan sought the support of education departments in this endeavour, hoping that the joint efforts would result in better educational opportunities in Pakistan.

UNFPA conducted a validation workshop for ‘Out Of School Adolescents and Young People in Pakistan’ at the Pakistan Institute of Education (PIE) in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The workshop had representation from all the provinces and regions from education, special education and social welfare departments.

The UN specialised agency has developed a comprehensive LSBE roadmap and advocacy outreach strategy in consultation with federal and provincial education departments. The validation workshop was conducted to ensure ownership and buy in terms of all aspects of LSBE strategy in Pakistan.

Special Secretary Education Mohyuddin Wani shared his views during the workshop and asked the departmental heads to adopt an assisting approach instead of bullying approach. He said the secretariat and directorates are there for support to the field teams of education department. They should be more supportive and give more powers to the school management including the principals and head teachers, he emphasized, suggesting low cost immediate interventions to overcome the educational challenges in the country.

UNFPA Progrmme Officer, Rabia Pasha pointed out LSBE as the one area that was missing from the curriculum. The workshop focused on the roadmap for applying life skills-based education (LSBE) in our schools.

Ms Pasha hoped that the strategy developed in consultation with all the stakeholders will help increase school retention as well as ensure new enrolments in Pakistan.

UNFPA Consultant Anzaira Roxas helped develop the roadmap for out-of-school children in Pakistan. She shared her views on strategies on how to implement LSBE curriculum on out-of-school children, discussed the future roadmap to ensure the success of the new strategy. The participants of the workshop discussed all the aspects of strategy amongst them to remove any obstacles.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2023

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