Marriyum says no politics on religion, health, education

  • Information minister suggests some time for local govt system to evolve, move up to overcome its deficiencies

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is a convener of the Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on Tuesday stressed that the parliament should set principles to avoid politics on religion, health and education.

Speaking in the meeting of the task force here, she said that provincial task forces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been working pro-actively in health and education sectors and prevention of fatal diseases. After the 18th amendment, the SDGs Secretariat and provincial task forces were best forums for highlighting social issues, she said.

The minister said that there was a need to give time to the local government system to evolve and graduate to overcome its deficiencies. “If the system is allowed to work without interruption, it would become strong and this process of evolution was called democracy,” she said. Appreciating the role of partners for the provision of data on education and water and sanitation issues, she said that the secretariat and partners have been providing data for legislation on relevant subjects.

STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOLS: Marriyum said that the secretariat provided relevant data on a social sector to members of the parliament who embarked on foreign visits. During the briefing, it was informed that there was a need to take concerted measures to bring drop out students back to schools. Measures were also suggested for the removal of the factors creating hurdles in the promotion of equal education facilities.

The meeting was also given detailed briefings on the education financing with equity lens, water and sanitation issues. The meeting was informed that creation of the Punjab Education Authorities was a good initiative and other provinces should also follow suit. Nafeesa Inayatullah, a member of the task force, said that transfer of teachers to far off areas creates some problems, which should be addressed.

Zeb Jaffar stressed the need for collection of genuine data on drop out children due to malnutrition, and stunting. Aysha Syed said that in her constituency of Kalam and Bahrain, all closed schools have been reopened as the provincial government has adopted the policy of recruitment of teachers at the union council level and introduced bio-metric system of attendance which has helped improve the standard of education.

Shehryar Afridi said that the objective of the task force was to promote Pakistaniat and all should join hands to overcome the challenges being faced by the motherland. He proposed that the task force should have its own budget so that it can organise surprise visits to various parts of the country to ensure implementation of the targets. Musarrat Zeb said that Rs 100 million operation theater was being built in a hospital in Swat from SDGs funds and its ground breaking would be done next week.

The task force meeting adopted a unanimous resolution to strongly condemn the attack on Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal. The meeting was attended by MNAs Tahira Aurangzeb, Zeb Jaffar, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak, Musarrat Ahmed Zeb, Shehryar Afridi, Romina Khursheed Alam and Samina Mohiuddin Jamali.