LAHORE, March 8: Punjab School Education Department Secretary Aslam Kamboh said on Friday the draft law for the implementation of “Article 25-A - Right to Education” under the 18th Amendment had been sent to the Punjab Assembly for legislation.

Mr Kamboh said the summary with regard to the draft law was signed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif a couple of days ago.

The school education department secretary was speaking at a policy dialogue on “Girl’s Education, Implementation for Right to Education (RTE) and Women Empowerment organised by Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi at school education department’s committee room on International Women’s Day on Friday.

Punjab government’s Compulsory and Free Education Commission headed by Justice (retired) Khalilur Rehman Khan had deliberated and met all stakeholders and submitted a draft law to the chief minister on Nov 21, 2012. Since then, the draft law has not been in sight despite the fact that Justice Khan has suggested that the draft be debated in public for fine tuning.

The secretary said since the commission had taken in put from stakeholders, there was no need to make the draft law public for public debate.

“Making a law and not observing it is a worst proposition than not making a law at all. We are facing implementation crisis in the province,” he said Mr Kamboh said the Punjab Examination Commission had been asked to publish its annual report indicating trends in education, diagnostic analysis of Class-V and VIII results and recommendations for the solution of all ills identified. He said the PEC would also start making its annual report public.

The secretary said PEC examinations results had reflected that students performance remained pathetic in mathematics followed by science. Now, he said, the department was looking for segregating disciplines in schools and ensuring only English, science and mathematics teachers would teach their subjects and the concept of general teachers would be abolished. “Teachers’ performance cannot only be improved by training. Teachers’ quality can only be ensured at their induction level,” he said.

He said the school education department had consolidated a number of schools for better utilisation.

Earlier, ITA’s Research Associate Huma Zia gave a multimedia presentation on Gender Inequality in Education based on survey results of Annual Status of Education Report 2012. She said that almost 32 per cent girls in Punjab were still out-of-school.

Quoting Global Monitoring Report, Ms Zia said poorest girls were the most disadvantaged in Punjab as more than half had never been enrolled in schools.

She said the ASER survey also reflected that the learning levels of boys were higher than girls in rural as well as urban areas across Pakistan. She said the gender gap had reduced in Punjab as compared to national rural.

ITA chairperson Dr Narmeen Hamid, School education department’s additional secretary (education reforms) Mukhtar Ahmad Noul, Ali Institute of Education’s Shahid Majeed, Jamil Najam, Imtiaz Nizami, Safyan Jabbar, Amjad Imtiaz and others also spoke.

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