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Right to Education

What’s at Stake

Article 25A of the Constitution requires the state to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of five and sixteen. The reality is far different: the current state of education is in shambles. According to UNICEF, 22.8 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 are currently out of school across the country. There is a severe dearth of trained teachers, or any teachers for that matter. The capital city alone has a 35 percent deficit of teaching staff at public schools. Furthermore, there is a shortage of buildings, furniture, even washrooms and walls. Following the 18th Constitutional amendment, the Sindh Provincial Government enacted the Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2013 which encapsulates the provisions of Article 25A and places the requirement for provision of free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 5 and 16 on the Provincial Government. Despite the passing of this Act and the fundamental right to education safeguarded by Article 25A, the Government of Sindh spends a pitiful amount on education—1.6 percent of total GDP. A lack of quality education, or any education for that matter, is a main contributing factor behind the country’s low development standards.

Current Status

PILAP has filed a Writ Petition before the Sindh High Court requiring the Sindh Provincial Government to implement Article 25A of the Constitution in letter and spirit. The Honourable Court has ordered the Sindh Government to work with PILAP for the enrollment of out-of-school children at private schools. PILAP is currently part of a Court-appointed Commission tasked with drafting a Provincial education plan.

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