All children in federal schools to acquire foundational learning skills by 2030

ISLAMABAD  -  The Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training (MoFEPT) on Monday launched the first-ever Federal Foundational Learning Policy 2024, aiming to ensure that all children in federal schools will acquire foundational learning skills by 2030. The event was led by Federal Secretary Mr. Mohyuddin Wani and attended by key development partners, university vice-chancellors, parliamentarians, and partner organizations working on education in Pakistan. The event was hosted by acclaimed author and social activist, Ms. Feryal Ali Gauhar.

On May 8, 2024, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared an education emergency. The government will address the out-of-school-children crisis, with 26.2 million children currently out of school, and the learning crisis, where 4 out of 5 children cannot read with comprehension by the age of 10. The Annual Status of Education Report 2023 indicated that only 13% of grade 3 children can do simple division, showing a lack of foundational skills. The Federal Foundational Learning Policy 2024 aims to ensure that by 2030, all children enrolled in schools under the federal territories will acquire foundational learning skills. The policy applies to all government schools, private schools, non-formal education centers, and Madaris in Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The responsible departments include the Federal Directorate of Education, School Education Department Gilgit Baltistan, and Elementary & Secondary Education Department Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Supporting the implementation are the MoFEPT’s Pakistan Foundational Learning Hub and other departments aiming to improve early grade literacy and numeracy nationwide. This policy is part of a national movement to improve basic reading and numeracy skills for Pakistan’s children, with provinces developing their own foundational learning policies. Civil society, academia, and international organizations are supporting this effort. At the launch, Mr. Salman Naveed Khan, CEO, Pak Alliance for Math’s and Science, gave an overview of the eight pillars of the Federal Foundational Learning Policy 2024. Mr. Sam Wilson, Project Director, Pakistan Foundational Learning Hub, emphasized the challenge of implementation. Ms. Rifat Jabeen, Director Academics, Federal Directorate of Education, praised the success of the Reading Hour program and the efforts to improve reading culture in schools. Ms. Inga Afanasieva, Senior Economist at the World Bank, highlighted low learning levels and teacher content knowledge issues. Ms. Saima Anwer, Senior Education Advisor at FCDO, stressed improving learning quality to increase retention and address the out-of-school children crisis. Secretary MoFEPT, Mr. Mohyuddin Wani, thanked partners and colleagues, highlighting the need to support teachers and nominating Ms. Feryal Ali Gauhar as the reading envoy to create a reading culture in federal areas. “Insha’Allah we will implement the policy in its true letter and spirit and engage all the stakeholders and customize it according to each area,” said Mr. Mohyuddin Wani, Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education.

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