IT has been five years since the bill ensuring the right to free and compulsory education was passed unanimously by the National Assembly. Article 25-A of the Constitution says: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years…”.
In these five years, since Article 25-A came into action, a few noteworthy initiatives have been taken by the federal and provincial governments to ensure that this promise to Pakistani children is fulfilled. Despite this constitutional obligation as well as many official statements by senior government officials, much more needs to be done to make this commitment a reality. Policy reforms and quality implementation need to be urgently amplified and expanded to tackle the education emergency in Pakistan, especially in Sindh.
Lack of infrastructure and facilities in government schools is a basic critique of the education system in Sindh. This was recently highlighted in a report to the Sindh chief minister, after which immediate action was ordered to be taken in 4,000 primary schools and 524 middle and secondary schools. The initiative involves improvement and rehabilitation of schools focusing on the provision of electricity, washrooms, boundary walls, drinking water, and furniture. However, there is a long way to go before basic facilities can be ensured in all Sindh’s government schools. There is an urgent need for not only improving the basic infrastructure but also achieving parity between primary to middle and high school ratios in the province. These enhancements can only be mobilised by timely and effective utilisation of the education budget.
More needs to be done to reform education in Sindh.
To Read the full story by Saad Amanullah Khan – President PILAP click here…