According to the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, after the 18th amendment, under Article 25(A) provides free and compulsory secondary education as a fundamental right for Pakistanis and responsibility of the state (Tahira 2015). But the state failed to provide access to education to over 22.84 children in the country. This population is out of school. (Kashif Abbasi).In this ICT era, where the current generation is known to be a digital generation and education takes place through different modes of technology.in such condition 22.86m children of our country do not access to schools. Xari Jalil &Tooba Massod shared the same statistics, taken from the report of the Academy of Education Planning and Management (AEPAM) 2016-17. This is a very critical issue, which needs to work on because it is more serious then Panama and more urgent then PSL. I am not against these two Ps but being a citizen of this country, I believe that if timely action will be not taken, it will adversely impact the country in the coming future. It is crystal clear that the state is responsible to provide free education from age of 5-16 but the situation is different at the grassroots level. If this young population will not be prepared for the future then it will adversely affect our country. Being a teacher and student of education I think this needs enough consideration. We see a little emphasis on such issues in news reports, such as in their report X&T looked into the issues from the girls’ perspective and suggested some reasons. While K. Abasi report is without more elaboration on causes and effects. Only reporting the issue with the statistic is not enough, it needs more doable recommendations. Media needs to play a vital role in educating the public and sensitize government department to work on this. Because media can influence individuals thinking and lives of individuals greater extent. Therefore, their active role is very important. In Kashif Abbasi’s report, it is mentioned that the number of out of school children has decreased to from 3.1m to 22.86m in the last five years. What effort has been done by government, NGOs, media and the society in this regard that is missing in the report? If, there are any best practices it needs to be replicated. We cannot link this issue with a single reason but the government has a huge responsibility to at least ensure access to education. I think, in our country education has become a very boring occupation. In school, students face a pathetic environment, rude people, and prejudice (Xari and Taboo). This repulse anyone from the school. New initiation with creating an attractive and conducive school environment can attract a large population to school. As the findings of Human Right Watch (HRW) shared by Xari and Tooba reflect that government’s negligence in fulfilling its obligation. This shows that the current government has to do a lot of efforts for education. In the Xari and Tooba’s article, the girls have given focused because the majority of the out of school children are girls. They have mentioned some external factors that are barriers for girls to come to school. Such as gender discrimination, child marriage, sexual harassment, insecurity and attack on education. Despite this, somewhere there is not any government school at all, Kashif Abasi reported that 26pc schools are operating by a single teacher, 18pc schools have a single classroom, 22pc without washroom and he further mentioned the data of AEPAM presented that 7pc School does not have a building at all. In such condition who will send their children to school or understand education as a way of personal and social change. The second major reason is poverty. If all the family members cannot produce some economic activity in today’s Pakistan then survival will become very difficult. So it automatically births child laboring which stops children from attending School., Such debates and deliberation every stakeholder in very important to sensitize the government and society. I believe that collective effort will bring a sustainable solution to this issue.
Reported by: Aziz Karim Student of Master of Education at Aga Khan University – Institute of Educational Development) Published in Passu Times Web Media Network