Right to Education
Right to education (RTE) has made a long journey since it’s inclusion as a principle of policy to its recognition as a fundamental human right in the Constitution of Pakistan as Article 25-A. Free & quality compulsory education for all is a crucial but unfulfilled promise for over 50% of 5-16 year old children in the country. Having the lowest spending on education in South Asia (UNESCO GEM Report 2017), Pakistan is currently ranked at 152 out of 189 countries in UN’s Human Development Index and stands at 148 out of 149 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index.
Charter of Demands
We, the citizens, call upon both the National and Provincial governments to;
1- Meet the political promises and international commitments by increasing the budget allocation for education to
- Ensure equitable resource allocation for inclusive education.
- Improve systems for efficient and effective utilisation of the development budget at all levels by developing a planning and implemention framework at local level that includes local goverments, education managers and Schools Management Committee.
- Rationalize the budget according to specific needs of each individual school, with special focus on schools in far flung areas and the ones lagging behind in gender parity and inclusivity.
- Per child cost must be calculated and budget should be allocated accordingly with an emphasis on gender budgeting, taking account of facilities required by adolescent girls.
- Increase both the development and non-salaried budget significantly to ensure more middle and high schools with better infrastructure and facilities.
- Prioritize allocation towards public education, specifically for marginalized groups, in the tax reforms.
2 - Undertake immediate measures to enroll 22.6 million out-of-school children in schools, with a priority to the 12.6 million out of school girls.
- Implement the policies on alternate learning pathways by bolstering the literacy units at Departments of Education, and allocating budget specifically for alternate and adult literacy initiatives.
- Review budget proposals and dedicate specific budget lines to build more, safe schools, especially at the middle and high level.
- Provide basic amenities like boundary walls, functional separate toilets etc. to ensure enrollment and retention of students, especially beyond primary levels.
- Provide technical and vocational skills that can improve future job prospects.
3 - Make amendment to Article 25-A of the Constitution to extend mandatory schooling to 12 years and ensure it’s implementation in letter and spirit.
- Realign the existing legislation in line with SDG-4 which mandates the state to provide minimum 12 years of education.
- Update laws and policies to include ECE with funding provisions, independently of primary schooling.
- Develop and implement rules of businesses for implementation of RTE at national and provincial/area level.
4- Adopt appropriate framework to regulate Private Education System
- Ensure that the private sector does their part to make right to education more equitable and inclusive, instead of capitalizing on socio-economic disparities.
- Create a learning focused regulatory framework for education providers ensuring it is fair and supportive for all stakeholders including the parents, private providers and teachers. Strategy for mitigating and reducing the negative impacts of commercialization of education should be developed.
- Include private schools in the existing government management information system at all levels by including them in annual census and other systems.
5- Improve the quality of education in the public school system.
- Hire qualified subject specialist teachers. Teachers’ career progression should be based on children’s improved learning outcomes.
- Introduce new methods of pre-service and in-service trainings to upgrade teachers’ capacity.
- Incorporate civic education, climate change, environment in schools’ and teachers’ curricula and textbooks. Promote critical thinking abilities through research based activities to create a responsible and just society.
- Update textbooks and curriculum according to new advancements in science and technology and inculcate life skills & vocational skills among pupils. Provide learning aids and ensure an inclusive class room environment especially for girls and children with disabilities.
- Standardize the teaching to non-teaching staff as per international requirements.
6- Move towards evidence-based and informed planning, policy and decision making with Right to Information as a core principle.
- Make accurate data on education readily available on the official government websites.
- Ensure accurate and timely collection & publication of credible data for all indicators of education.
- Ensure the data is used by the education managers for policy and planning purposes that reflects the status of education on national, provincial and district level.
- Improve the robustness of the data regimes that collect data on quality of education and ensure the analysis are fed into the teaching methods and curriculum.
7- Ensure opportunities for citizen participation in the policy making process
- Engage all key stakeholders including parents, experts, academia, media, youth and civil society organizations in sector planning, implementation and budgeting for customized approaches to specific concerns. Ensure all documentation are available to public.
- Form a girl’s education task force that looks into the matters of discrimination, equity and inclusivity within the education system.
© 2020 Pakistan Coalition for Education