Journalists should develop culture, set precedence, meeting told
QUETTA: A provincial meeting, titled “Education Governance”, was held at the Quetta Press Club on Monday which underscored the importance of government and Media Partnership to Enhance Accountability.
The meeting aimed at bringing major education stakeholders on the same platform to discuss the current state of education governance in the province. The meeting was organised by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with ILM Ideas.
The objective of Ilm-o-Agahi initiative is to improve accountability and media coverage of priority education issues and build consensus on education policies by engaging various stakeholders, including media and policy makers. Balochistan Information Secretary Abdullah Jan said that the journalists should develop a culture and set precedence by seeking public information through the use of the Freedom of Information Act.
He elaborated that the utility of funds within the education sector needed a watchdog that can assess the impact of the contribution made by the provincial government in improving the state of education in the province.
“Negative criticism will be counter-productive which does not contribute towards good governance, Adviser on Education to the Provincial Chief Minister Sardar Bareech said. He further said that the provincial government would introduce new technology in the education sector which will code students and teachers, an effective and efficient monitoring tool enabling the government to scrutinise performance, creating space for introspection.
Mishal Pakistan Director Puruesh Chaudhary, facilitating the group discussion said, “Post 18th Amendment, it is increasingly important for the provincial governments to become highly collaborative and decentralised in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in public-service delivery. It also remains pertinent for the journalist community to hold public officials accountable for the promises that they’ve made to their constituencies.”
Dawn News TV Bureau Chief Ali Shah, moderating the discussion, raised a pertinent challenge for the journalist community covering events rather than issues.
He highlighted the need for independent initiatives; giving more voices to the community.
Mishal Pakistan, with academicians and researchers, produced a literature review in 2014 that assessed an overarching complexity and trivial and underlined causes that have subjugated the communities to an idealistic narrative on education. The study witnesses “Education Governance and Accountability” as the most underreported area in the media. While the literature reviewed does speak volume of increasing public spending on education little does it discuss the possible educational governance models. This underreporting further positions the growing need for a dialogue to essentially build mechanisms that streamlines the transparency and utility of existing budgetary allocation for primary and secondary education.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Centre 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 the country’s competitiveness challenges, including primary health and higher education.