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> Prime Minister’s initiative to seek Youth Parliament input in the National Education Policy Hailed; Demonstrates his Commitment to Youth’s Potential and ability to lead an inclusive and participatory policy making process
   
 
PILDAT News
September 10, 2009
Islamabad

   

Islamabad, September 10: PILDAT as the secretariat of the Youth Parliament Pakistan has greatly appreciated the initiative of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, to seek the Youth Parliament’s input into the National Education Policy 2009 at the Federal Cabinet meeting held on September 09, 2009.

 
 

In the Federal Cabinet meeting held yesterday, two representatives of Youth Parliament Pakistan: Ms. Mariam Raza Zaidi, Shadow Prime Minister Youth Parliament and Dr. Umair Farrukh Raja, Chairperson Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Education, Health and Environment, participated on special invitation of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, to give the Youth Parliament’s input into the National Education Policy. The two representatives presented their review of the National Education Policy through a special presentation to the Prime Minister of Pakistan and his Federal Cabinet during the federal cabinet meeting held yesterday before the National Education Policy was approved by the Federal Cabinet. The well-researched perspectives of the Youth Parliament representatives were widely appreciated and commented on by the various federal ministers, including the Federal Minister for Education, Chairperson National Commission for Human Development, Federal Minister Planning Commission, Minister of State for Industries and Production and various provincial Chief Ministers present at the federal cabinet meeting.

 
 

It is indeed a great honour for the Youth Parliament Pakistan and its representatives to be a part of the highest political forum of the country: the Federal Cabinet, and present their policy input to the national policy. The recognition and respect to Youth’s perspective, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan through his initiative to invite Youth, speaks volumes about his belief in youth’s potential, his foresight and his ability to lead an inclusive and participatory policy making process.

 
 

The two representatives of Youth Parliament Pakistan gave their input on the National Education Policy 2009 highlighting aspects as the allocation of Education budget, infrastructure and administration, curriculum, parallel educational systems, key challenges for attaining Education for All, early childhood-Primary & Secondary education. They recommended to the Prime Minister and to his federal cabinet that the Education budget should be immediately increased to 4% of the GDP as per international requirements and the political parties’ own pledges ahead of February 2008 Elections, to attain Millennium Development Goals by 2015. They proposed that the education policy should pay more heed to infrastructural development and remove administrative faults. The Youth Parliament members emphasized that the age limit of Primary education should be widened from 6-10 in the draft Education Policy to 5-10 years to ensure smooth transition of a child from Early Childhood Education to primary Level. They said that maximum efforts should be made for the proper and efficient implementation of the National Education Policy drawing attention that whereas the draft policy sets goals, it does not provide action plan to achieve those. Need for properly trained teachers at both Primary and Secondary level was stressed upon. The clause of merging class XI and XII in the draft policy was discouraged upon grounds of impracticality and lack of facilities at the secondary level education in Pakistan. During their presentation to the Federal Cabinet, the Youth Parliament Pakistan representatives stressed upon the importance of taking on board the Parliament of Pakistan as well as the Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan before implementing the NEP 2009.

 
 

Ms. Mariam Zaidi and Dr. Umair Farrukh Raja spoke about the importance of homogenizing the parallel educational system and said that a Government governing body should overlook the curriculum and fee structure of the private institutions in Pakistan. Need to recognize the six core subjects (English, Urdu, Mathematics, Pak Studies, Science and Islamiyat) were also highlighted by them.

 
 

The Prime Minister of Pakistan commended the two Youth Parliament representatives and their input into the policy while the Federal Education Minister ensured consideration and inclusion of the proposals put forward by them.

 
 

The Youth Parliament Pakistan (www.youthparliament.pk) is a PILDAT ( www.pildat.org) initiative to inculcate the culture and values of democracy in youth of Pakistan and to prepare them for future leadership roles. The Youth Parliament Pakistan was launched in 45%7 and two of its batches have concluded their 1 year term each while the induction process for the third Youth Parliament Pakistan batch is under process.

 
 

The Youth Parliament is a mock Parliament patterned after the National Assembly of Pakistan, and consists of 64 young men and women who represent the four provinces, FATA, FANA, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad Capital Territory in proportion to the population of these units. The Youth Parliament follows its own two-Party System, an elected Leader of the House or Youth Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, a Youth Cabinet, a Shadow Cabinet and Standing Committees. President of Pakistan, Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan and various Federal Ministers and dignitaries have addressed the Youth Parliament including the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. David Miliband, MP.

 
 

The selection process and functioning of Youth Parliament is overseen by an independent Steering Committee which includes members such as Senator S. M. Zafar; Mr. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai, Former Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan; Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA, Deputy Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan; Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, MNA; Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA; Engr. Khuram Dastgir Khan, MNA, and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director PILDAT, etc.