CARETAKER Prime Minister (Retd) Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk has directed to prepare a comprehensive and robust mechanism to provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age of five to sixteen years. Chairing a briefing in Islamabad on Tuesday, he gave instructions to implement Article 25-A of the Constitution in letter and in spirit to ensure child’s right to education.
Education has remained major concern and focus of the successive governments in Pakistan because of its crucial role in socio-economic development of the country. However, despite slogans about universal education, free education, improving standard of education and allocating more resources for the sector, the situation remains almost the same all over the country except in Punjab where government schools are now excelling due to attention they received during the last five years. However, in case of Punjab too, qualified and highly qualified teachers have been inducted into education corps but rampant corruption in the department by clerical mafia is a major hurdle in bringing about a real transformation. The caretaker Prime Minister has rightly emphasised the need for fuller implementation of the constitutional provisions relating to free education up to Secondary School Certificate, as this would also encourage children from poor background to equip themselves with knowledge and become a productive citizen.
But for a tangible change and improvement, it is incumbent to introduce professional subjects and impart technical skills to students so that they are prepared to enter the job market with ease. We have also been emphasising that establishment of science and computer labs in all schools should be a priority and fundamental changes should be introduced in the system of imparting education and the conduct of examination with emphasis on more thinking and creativity. Curriculum should also be updated to keep pace with the fast-changing developments in the realm of knowledge and education.