Lahore, Dec 2, 2023: In a significant conference on “Implementing the constitutional promise of the right to education for all (Article 25-A),” independent education policy experts, civil society representatives, and politicians gathered to emphasize the urgent need for reforms to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education in Pakistan.
Organized jointly by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) and Peoples Commission for Minorities Rights (PCMR), the conference aimed to address the challenges faced by the education sector, particularly focusing on the deteriorating quality of public education and the need for serious accountability.
CSJ and PCMR’s Stance: Peter Jacob, representing CSJ, and Dr. A. H. Nayyar highlighted the responsibility of governments to provide free and compulsory education without discrimination. Dr. Nayyar stressed the importance of moving beyond wish lists in national education policies and implementing measures that genuinely support quality education.
Bipartisan Perspectives: Barrister Aamir Hassan (PPP) and Bushra Anjum Butt (PML-N) acknowledged the disparities in the current education system, with Hassan urging the development of an inclusive system promoting diversity. Sultan Ali Ranjha (PML-N) committed to realistic promises in the election manifesto to contribute to quality education.
Challenges in Education System: Saqib Jillani Advocate raised concerns about the violation of constitutional orders and the inclusion of religious content in compulsory subjects, while Dr. Riaz Ahmed Shaikh emphasized the drastic failure of the higher education sector.
Call for Inclusive Reforms: The panelists, including Taimur Bandey, Dr. Sara Rizvi Jafree, Saima Anwer, and Faaria Khan, called for comprehensive reforms addressing barriers faced by girls, involving educationists in decision-making, and combating curriculum biases.
Panel Discussion Moderation: Lubna Jerar and Shakeel Ahmad moderated the discussions, where panelists and politicians engaged in a dialogue on the crucial steps needed to reshape Pakistan’s education landscape.
The conference concluded with a consensus on the immediate need for bipartisan efforts, public-private partnerships, and inclusive reforms to uphold the right to education for all and ensure a brighter future for Pakistan’s youth.