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Low enrolment rate, poor quality, lack of accountability are the key problems of education.



Media should play an active role in promoting education: ILM-O-AGAHI Workshop

Multan – 07 April, 2014 – “Low enrollment rate, poor quality, lack of accountability and total absence of discourse are the key problems of education sector of Pakistan and can’t be solved without the active participation of all segments of society including media. Pakistan’s media should play an active role in promoting education for the marginalized segments of the society as it can help to eliminate economic disparity through the introduction of quality education. This will broaden the vision and horizon of the students to excel in life.” This was the consensus at the ILM-o-AGAHI education journalism workshop held in Multan today.

The ILM-o-AGAHI, one day workshop was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with  Ilm Ideas (a 3 year UKaid funded program).More than thirty education reporters from all leading media entities, from print, television, radio and online journalism, were selected for the workshop.

According to Annual Status of Education Report 2013, the girl’s enrollment ratio in Multan is very worst and only 38% girls between the ages of 6 to 16 years are enrolled in government schools. The report stated that only 62% children of class 5 in government schools can read an Urdu story and it seems that the quality of education is also another big issue in Multan

Senior journalist, Rao Shamim Asghar while sharing his views about the major problems in education sector in Southern Punjab said that the most effective way to achieve development and long term improvement in public health is to educate girls. “Through the powerful voice of media, journalists should make accountable to legislators, policy makers and education officials for the betterment of education service delivery in Pakistan” he added.

Senior Award Winning journalist Mubashar Zaidi Education sector is one of the most neglecting areas in reporting in media. Journalists often find it boring to report or securitize the education sector. “Lack of stakeholder’s interest and commitment to the education sector makes it different for reporters to do follow up on education policy or scrutinize education budget allocation” he added.

Asif Farooqui, Program Manager, ILM-o-AGAHI, while discussing the salient features of the initiative said that, a learning platform for journalists on education would be developed as a ready reference for journalists working on education related issues. He further said, “Mishal is also introducing special categories on education journalism in the upcoming annual journalism “AGAHI Awards 2014” to promote education journalism in Pakistan.”

Sajjad Haider, ASER Pakistan representative, discussed ASER’s findings on education with the Journalists during the session. She said according to the Annual Status of Education Report – ASER 2013 National Survey, that 20.1 % children have no access to school between the ages of 5-16 years.

Social Media Expert Ahsan Mukhtar disusing on the topic “The Art of Story Telling in Digital Age” briefly define the importance of social media and concept of Old and New Journalism. He tells that   online presence for stories have also enhanced the access and credibility of journalists also.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Center for International Media Ethics and the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks of the World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges including primary health & education and higher education.

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