Unleashing Pakistan's Education Potential - Shahid Kardar
March for education in Pakistan, Daily Times, March 9, 2011
Pakistan Education Task Force (PEFT) has issued its report titled ‘the Education Emergency Pakistan Booklet’ as part of its March for Education campaign to improve education in Pakistan. Here are the excerpts:
TODAY, Pakistan is crippled by an education emergency that threatens tens of millions of children. No country can thrive in the modern world without educated citizens.
But the emergency has disastrous human, social and economic consequences, and threatens the security of the country. 2011 is Pakistan’s Year of Education. It’s time to think again about Pakistan’s most pressing long-term challenge.
The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan received Presidential assent on 19 April 2010. For the first time, education is no longer a privilege, but a fundamental right for all children: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.
Along with the rest of the world, Pakistan has also pledged to meet the Millennium Development Goal for education, promising that, by 2015: Children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education.
Today, Pakistan is far from meeting its international education obligations. At least, seven million children are not in primary school. That’s around as many people as live in the city of Lahore. Three million will never see the inside of a classroom at all.
Imagine a city full of children – the size of Faisalabad – where every child is deprived of the opportunity even to start his or her education. This is a challenge of global dimensions. Roughly one in ten of the world’s primary-age children who are not in school live, in Pakistan, placing Pakistan second in the global ranking of out-of-school children.
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