Pakistan passes RTE Bill –does a piecemeal job copy-pasting bad legislation from its neighbour
|- Abhishek Bhattacharya, Associate, Advocacy
Centre for Civil Society
On Nov 12, 2012, Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the historic Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2012 paving the way to give effect to Article 25A of the Constitution of Pakistan which states, ”The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.” The bill was introduced in the Senate by Yasmeen Rehman as a private member’s bill. In comparison to India where Education is under the Concurrent List indicating concurrent responsibility and powers to enact legislations, Pakistan has totally devolved Education to the Provinces. Therefore, each province has to promulgate such a legislation to give effect to the 18th amendment. Consequently, the RTE Act in Indiaextends to the whole of India except J&K which has a special status where education comes under the State List. However, the slated education law in Pakistan extends to only Islamabad Capital Territory (one of the two territories controlled by the Federal Govt.) and would be applicable to all schools run by the Federal and Local Govt.
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