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Education is free from class 1 to 10 in all government schools

Finances & Budgets, Primary Education, Secondary Education

The News (International)

26-11-2013

Islamabad

Education is free from class one to 10th in all government schools within the federal territory, said Director General Federal Directorate of Education Islamabad Dr Shahnaz Riaz.

She stated this while addressing the 4th annual convention titled ‘Education-Road to Sustainable Development and Peace’ organised by the Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) here on Monday.

She said, “By implementing the article 25-A of the constitution the ministry of CAD had directed all the public sector schools not to collect the monthly fee from the children from the next month.” While addressing the convention PCE National Coordinator Zehra Arshad demanded of the authorities concerned that they should immediately implement free and compulsory education for all.

She further said, “The PCE is taking important steps for implementation of Article 25-A and have set up a network in more than 65 districts of the country for that purpose.” “Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) introduced in 2012 as Right to Free and Compulsory Education and the Sindh government in February 2013 introduced ‘Sindh Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Bill’ but still rules of business have not been drafted for either,” she added.

“The representatives of the civil society, PCE have filed three Public Interest Litigation suits in the High Courts of Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar to demand the respective provincial governments to provide free and compulsory education to all children as promised in the Constitution — but the courts aren’t giving the cases the attention they deserve,” she resented.

Zehra cited that according to Unesco, the number of children out of school is 12.9 million (the second highest number in the world, after Nigeria) adding that only64% schools have drinking water, three percent of schools have electricity, 61 percent schools have latrines, 13,635 schools in Pakistan (11%) have no building.

According to the Unesco Global Monitoring Report 2012, Pakistani women with a high level of literacy earned 95 per cent more than women with no literacy skills, whereas the differential was only 33 percent among men.

The others speakers said that the survival rate till grade 5th (number of students who complete school till the fifth grade) is 56 (out of a 100). Only 35% of all primary school teachers in rural areas of Pakistan are female, which will continue to limit access to females, as many families don’t feel comfortable sending their daughters to school unless they have female teachers due to cultural norms prevalent in Pakistani society.

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