DisruptEd – a way forward for a prosperous Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Challenging the current ways through which the state is addressing the education emergency in the country, DisruptEd – ideas and conversations for disruptive innovation in Pakistan, organised by Alif Ailaan outlined the need for new approaches to fix the broken system. 
DisruptEd, a daylong multi-sessions initiative, brought together leading thinkers, policy makers, civil society concerns and media professionals to discuss and debate the potential of innovation in the education sector.
Despite 25 million children being out of school, the country has not been successful in marshalling its resources for reform or change, nor does the state or society or the polity treat education like the crisis or emergency that we claim it is.
Speaking at the closing session, Minister for Planning Ahasan Iqbal said that ours is a society characters by great disparities in income, education and opportunity. Nearly half of our country’s children are not in schools and getting them there is a Herculean challenge. He further said, the role of technology and innovation in such a scenario is imperative to the way we deliver education not only to children but also to the society as a whole. 
Twenty-five million children in Pakistan remains out of school, of which about six million have never ever seen the inside of a classroom. The rest have enrolled at one point or another, only to drop out, most likely within the first three years of enrolling at the age of five. An out of school Pakistani child is more likely to be a girl, as over 15 million of the 25 million out of school kids are girls.
On the quality of education, the government data doesn’t capture quality, at any level, in any province. Our entire conception of education quality is based on the Annual Status of Education Report survey (ASER), a civil society initiative. ASER tells us that of the kids in school, only 50% at the Class 5 level can read a Class 2 level passage in Urdu or their native language (for rural Pakistan, this number increases to 55% for urban Pakistan). 
Based on the theme of disruptive innovation in education, the event highlighted that new avenues to deal with education problem must be explored and implemented to change how the crisis is perceived and addressed by the state and other stakeholders. 

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