Published Date: Mar 13, 2012
RIGHT TO EDUCATION AND SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY: EXPERTS CALL FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 25-A
Speakers at a seminar urged people to make respective provincial governments accountable for legislation on ensuring quality education for all as promised in the constitution through article 25-A of 18th amendment.
They also stressed on firm implementation of legislation, increased educational budget and also its efficient spending.
The seminar ‘right to education and social accountability’ jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Idara Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA), was first in series of activities under campaign for advocating right
to education in Pakistan.
Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director, Centre for Civic Education, Pakistan chaired the proceedings and maintained that right to education promised in constitution must be translated into actions such as increased education allocations,
ensuring quality and equal access to education for all. He was of the view that in absence of firm implementation, this constitutional amendment would become one another useless constitutional article and referred to compulsory primary education act passed by Balochistan way back in 1962. He also lamented over long list of various parallel education system currently running in Pakistan.
Rafeel Wasif, Research Associate, Idara Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA) said that there is no legislation on Article 25-A even after lapse of almost two years of the 18th Amendment. There was some progress on a draft law for Islamabad in 2011 and one for Punjab in 2012 but unfortunately, both these have been unrealistic in terms of practical implementation, he went on to add. He emphasized on increasing the education budget to at least 4 percent of the GDP and deliberated that basic learning outcomes must be specified, measured and reported annually by the government for devising of more implementable policies.
Earlier, he shared findings of study ‘Annual Status of Education Report 2011‘, which focuses on aspects of inequality, quality and exclusions in education sector. The reports highlights that 20 percent of children in Pakistan are still out of schools. The report further reveals dismal level of learning in schools, saying that’ more than half of all children may complete primary school without learning to fluently read sentence of grade II level’.
Fayyaz Yaseen of SDPI spoke on social accountability in education and added that inefficient service delivery in education is fueled by lack of accountability by public and proper feedback mechanism. He said that increased participation of people can push governments in setting their policies right and that can result in true implementation of right to education ensuring access to quality education regardless of gender and rural-urban gaps in Pakistan. He also shared results of recently conducted activity of citizen report card on education in two slums in Islamabad which reveals that about 40 percent of students and parents in these localities are not satisfied with the quality of education.
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani, Coordinator Policy Outreach, SDPI said that both, SDPI and Idara Taleem-o-Agahi, have now decided to collaborate and carryout a national-level advocacy campaign on education to engage the policy-makers and
stakeholders to contribute in real progress on this very important subject ’It is the poor context of state of education in Pakistan and post-18th amendment context which have created a realization and urge between the two organization to work together to facilitate positive change in the state of education in Pakistan’ he added.