The Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court to direct the Sindh Government to provide free education to the over four million out-of-school children in Sindh within the next five years. Free education for children up to the age 16 is a constitutional right under Article 25 A of the Constitution. The provincial government has failed over 50% children in Sindh who are presently not attending school at all. It is prayed that the Honorable Court should direct the Sind Government to
(i) provide sufficient funding to send all children to school
(ii) implement the Sindh Education Sector Plan within the stated timeline ending 2018
(iii) enhance the scope and funding of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), as this is a more economical mode of achieving 100% enrollment and literacy, than the traditional system of relying on the government to build and operat schools.
We have requested the court to direct the Sindh Government Education Department to share the financial, administrative and other progress under SESP and SEF with the Court and the public on a quarterly basis.
Under the SEF model, the private sector will be playing a leading role in the construction and running of schools. The Government’s role will be limited to providing the cost of education per child to low-cost private schools.
Under SEF, the government is presently paying Rs 500/- per child per month as fees to private schools for poor children, whereas in schools run by the government the cost per child per month is over Rs 3000/-.
The quality of education in these low-cost private schools is generally better than government schools. By allowing the private sector to build and operate low-cost private schools, the Government will be able to free up the budget that is presently allocated for the purpose of building new schools. These funds could then be redirected into upgrade the over twenty thousand existing government schools that presently lack safe buildings, boundary walls, clean drinking water, latrines, and electricity.