The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has proposed budgetary proposals amounting to around Rs 11.8 billion for 16 development projects under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the upcoming budget-2018-19.
The proposals were presented before the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training met with Nuzhat Sadiq in the chair on Monday.
The Ministry proposed Rs 6.45 billion for 11 ongoing schemes and Rs 5.38 billion for 5 new schemes. The parliamentary panel recommended to increase the development budget of the education sector.
National Skills University
The committee approved the National Skills University Islamabad bill 2017 moved by Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education and Training.
The Prime Minister had directed that Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training should immediately consider the feasibility of setting up a National Skills University in Islamabad to address the shortage of skilled human resource at all levels.
The concept was to establish the first ever National Skills University, Islamabad through upgradation of National Institute of Science & Technical Education (NISTE), Islamabad.
On 13th April, 2016, a summary was moved for the Prime Minister’s approval. The Prime Minister, while approving the establishment of proposed NSU, had desired that the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training should hold a strategic session with HEC and NISTE before September, 2016 and a clear road-map for upgradation of NISTE into a University, with HEC as a lead organization, had to be submitted for approval of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister, while approving the proposed road-map, wanted the Ministry to “Remain engaged with the process, monitor the implementation and ensure that the proposed road-map and timelines are strictly adhered”.
The Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases, on 6th February 2017, approved the Ordinance to set up the NSU.
The Cabinet ratified the decision of CCLC on 7th February, 2017. On 24.3.2017, Prime Minister’s Office conveyed that the Prime Minister has desired that the National Skills University Bill 2017 may be placed before the Parliament for passage in accordance with regular legislative business. Soon after, the National Assembly approved the bill.
HEC informed that National Skills University Islamabad Bill, 2017 has been evaluated in light of Provisions of Model Federal Universities Ordinance Bill, 2017. HEC endorsement on the said Bill has been communicated to the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training via a letter dated February 06, 2018.
National Civic Education
The committee also approved the National Civic Education Commission Bill, 2018 moved by Senator Sehar Kamran.
The Civic Education Bill 2017 was thoroughly reviewed by Higher Education Commission (HEC). It was stated,
By virtue of the powers conferred upon HEC, the Curriculum Division undertakes periodic development/review of the uniform curricula of Basic, Social and Applied Sciences at undergraduate & graduate levels for all Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions of Pakistan.
HEC is already implementing the themes of “Democratic Civic Education” while revising curricula of social sciences disciplines especially Islamic Studies/Ethics, Political Science, Pakistan Studies, and Sociology etc.
Academic Division has developed and finalized a compulsory course “Citizenship Education and Community Engagement” to be offered at Bachelors level. To implement PM’s directive, Academic Division added Constitutionalism and Pluralism in curriculum, by developing a supplementary reading material through experts, which is to be added in the curricula of English, Urdu and Pakistan Studies.
The contents of the bill regarding introduction of Civic Education at school level are encouraged. However, the implementation of this bill pertains to the school education which is mandate of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) for Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training through National Curriculum Council (NCC).
NCC and CADD are already implementing Article 25-A of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan which enforces free and compulsory education up to the age of 16 years.
In case, some additional and focused activities are required, the same may be implemented through the existing mechanisms.