Free education for children in the light of the constitution

Free education for children in the light of the constitution
Free education for children in the light of the constitution

According to section 25A of the 1973 Constitution the state will be responsible to provide free compulsory education to all the children. It further dictates that children from age 5 to 16 will have the right to free education as perv the state policy. This Article was added to the constitution as a result of the famous 18th Amendment which got passed in 2010.

However, despite being a good step taken into right direction, the implementation still leaves us in doubts regarding the improvement of education at public sector. A report published by UNESCO in 2016 revealed the public schools comprising 75% of total primary education system across Pakistan.

With private schools consisting of 10%, the religious seminaries, usually known as madrassas,comprise the remaining 15%. Although the figures seem promising yet, taking stock of nature the numbers become worrying. The major reason flows from the element that children of those responsible for enforcing this Article come from upper social strata with their children studying at elite private schools afforded only by the rich.

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Therefore, they lack incentive to advance quality of education at public sector institutions. This could be called “the bureaucratic inertia”which halts the improvement of situation in public sector schools. Another problem is lack of demographic research regarding where and how much schools we need.

Schools built at the directives of ministers are generally located at far off places and hence out of reach of the students. Thus, the number of enrollments at public sector remains alarming at some places. Among political reasons one is the doling out of the money meant for hiring teachers at hiring political workers by political forces. The situation is not going to be better unless the political forces start showing keen interest in improving the condition of public schools.

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