By: Hina Kanwal
Smooth running of any nation relies heavily on how much importance it gives to education. But in Pakistan, it is being observed that policy makers always make promises and commitments before elections but unfortunately after elections every issue becomes target of corruption.
Education is a fundamental and constitutional right of every citizen to obtain. The constitution of Pakistan clearly state in article 37-B that “State shall be responsible for eradication of illiteracy and provision of free and compulsory education up to secondary level, within minimum possible time”. But the fact is, even after almost 67 years since independence, efforts to increase enrolment and literacy in Pakistan have not been surfaced.
According to the report, Education for All Global Monitoring, 2012 there are 49.5 million illiterate in Pakistan, of which a huge proportion of one third is women. There has been seen no significant rise in education budget during last many decades. Standing at 113th position out of 120 countries, Pakistan is far lagging behind in South Asian countries that spend very least proportions of GDP on education sector which is around 1.8 percent of total outlay of Gross Domestic Produce followed by China 11.4 percent, India 3.2 percent and Bangladesh 2.2 percent.
Beginning with national education conference in 1947, seven national education policies, eight five year plans and many other schemes, seminars, workshops have been prepared and launched. Unfortunately, the vital role and importance of education system is largely mistreated in Pakistan.
During past five years of democratic government Pakistan People’s Party must be given credit of making education free and compulsory for all under Article 25-A. Furthermore, it is the first law in Pakistan that recognizes education as a fundamental right for every person but unfortunately that law has not been implemented successfully.
It is commendable that before election almost all major political parties had aimed to increase the GDP from 2 percent to 4 or 5 percent and had set ambitious goals to provide quality education to the people. Political parties on one hand committed to bring reforms and advancements in education as part of their manifestos and on the other hand curriculum reforms, teachers training, technical education, uniform system of education, making of new schools and universities, madrassa reforms, were their determined goals.
At this time the crucial period of Pakistan is going on and People of Pakistan had opted for their favourite party. However, every new government comes with a sense of optimism to turn things around and wished the new government to bring positive developments for the country which they had defined in their manifestoes.
Now it is about time that PMLN let majority government show some progress for what they promise for and must measure up to the expectations of people. Because people of Pakistan fade up with fake promises and they wanted to know about the implementation strategies for the policies which almost all political parties promised.
The writer is program secretary in Centre for Capacity Building at Sustainable Development Policy Institute Islamabad.
Note: The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the author of the Blog.