ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A delegation of World Bank led by the Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine met the Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain in Islamabad on Friday.
The Operations Manager Mr. Gailius Draugelis, Senior Economist Mr. Juan Baron, Ms. Inga Afasanieva, Senior Education Specialist Ms. Izza Farrakh and Operations Officer Ms. Elena Roseo were part of the delegation.
The meeting was attended by senior ministry officials as well.
Rana Tanveer welcomed the delegation and acknowledged the work being done by the World Bank in Pakistan.
The minister said that this work is noble and he appreciated the support and cooperation of the World Bank. He said that Pakistan faces steep challenges such as Out of School Children (OOSC), lack of accurate data and inadequate training of teachers. He said that critical projects are underway in collaboration with World Bank that needs to be expedited on emergency basis.
The federal minister said that the government of Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has put high importance on education which is reflected in the high budget allocation to Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Rana Tanveer said that the issue of Out of School Children is a top priority that needs urgent focus. He continued and said that the challenge of OOSC cannot be efficiently tackled unless we have accurate and relevant data.
Rana Tanveer said that we need in-depth data on OOSC in order to design effective and efficient strategies. He said that Pakistan also needs state of the art training institutes for teachers.
The minister emphasised the role of teachers in imparting high-quality education to students. Federal Minister said that distance learning should be embedded in the formal education system. He said that it should not be treated as an alternate in the COVID era but rather as a permanent system to allow students to gain education.
The minister said that it is a cost-effective way in comparison to the traditional system of schools and thus allows much greater reach.
The Country Director of World Bank Mr. Najy Benhassine acknowledged the role of Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in the implementation of the on-going World Bank funded projects such as Response, Recovery and Resilience in Education (RRREP), Actions to Strengthen Performance for Inclusive and Responsive Education Program (ASPIRE), Pandemic Response Effectiveness Project for COVID-19 (PREP), and Data and Research in Education (DARE).
Mr. Najy Benhassine thanked the minister for his relentless support and said that the priorities of World Bank and the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training align. He assured Rana Tanveer that the issues raised by him would be addressed on priority.
Rana Tanveer also assured the delegation of full cooperation and support. He said that it is imperative to work together to ensure progress.
The minister said that we should leverage the global knowledge base and experience of World Bank and use it to our advantage.
The minister said that youth is the future of Pakistan and a successful youth means successful Pakistan hence all of their issues should be addressed on top priority.