Consultative Meeting Organized by PIE “Data on Special Education” May 26th, 2023

The Pakistan Institute of Education (PIE) held an orientation consultative meeting under the chairmanship of Director General, PIE on 26th May, 2023 to discuss the accessibility, collection and utilization of data on special education. This initial meeting was aimed to brainstorm on available data and resources with NEMIS; PIE & interact with stakeholders for resource sharing  with focus on statistics pursuing differently abled children/persons,  discuss strengths; limitations and potential gaps in the available data, stakeholders' engagement and exploring collaborative opportunities for potential research parameters & opportunities to produce a quality flagship report in future. The meeting took place at the committee room of PIE, Islamabad partnered by representatives from leading public institutes like Special Education department, AIOU, National Commission on Rights of Child and CSOs such as Sightsavers, DEWA etc. working on disability rights & inclusive education.


            The Director General, PIE highlighted the importance of data collection for evidence-based educational practice and emphasized the need to establish a repository of special education for data-driven policy research. Multiple data sets on special education were discussed while all consented on development of integrated information pool mechanism. Meanwhile thorough contemplation amongst the participants continued on various inadequacies including deficiency of reliable statistics on disability, lack of awareness and understanding of  a number of disabilities, challenges in data collection on diverse abilities, and issues related to training, cultural sensitivity and coordination among stakeholders. The outcome of the meeting was quite fruitful as all participants underlined the significance of a working platform by engaging more government agencies like M/o Human Rights, Special Education departments, NCHD, NADRA and other Civil Society Organizations similar to a strategy group for more focused apprehension. The question sets developed by Washington Group on disability statistics was unanimously agreed to be a powerful tool for data collection, together with appropriate training sessions for field operatives before appraisals. It was also reflected that it will improve accessibility, promote inclusivity, involve people with disabilities and develop standardized protocols for data compilation. Action points regarding revision of tools as per WG format along with exploring funding resources were also thoughtfully analyzed. Such round of meetings will help PIE to discover potential thematic areas for collaborative future policy research. The meeting concluded with a commitment to expedite the unfinished work.