ISLAMABAD (ENNS) Punjab Legislatures expressed their disappointment on delays in promulgation of Punjab Free & Compulsory Education Act 2014. Punjab Assembly has passed the said Act unanimously with great majority in November 2014 however neither the law is notified nor its rules of business are formed for its implementation in letter & spirit even after six years. Parliamentarians condemned the usual bureaucratic hurdles towards the appropriate implementation of this law for assurance of constitutional right to education under article 25-A. Legislatures Core Group on Education comprised of 28 elected Parliamentarians of all political parties attended the two day’s workshop dated October 2-3, 2020 at Islamabad on girls right to quality secondary education under the aegis of AwazCDS-Pakistan’s Umang Program. Federal and provincial stakeholders and experts on education governance and financing including Parliamentarians shared their thoughts during the workshop and demanded immediate enactment of Punjab free and compulsory education Act 2014 in letter and spirit.
In his welcome address to the Participants Chief Executive of AwazCDS-Pakistan Zia ur Rehman said, Education is a fundamental human right and almost 22.8 million children including 12 million girls are deprived of their right to quality secondary education up to the age of 16 years. Pakistan has made commitment with United Nation’s under its 2030 agenda on sustainable development specifically under SDG 4 (quality education for all) that Pakistan would achieve 100% enrolment of all children up to the primary level by 2030. However this is estimated that Pakistan needs 12 trillion rupees in next ten years to make sure every child in schools and complete secondary level school education.
Riaz Fatyana, Member Federal Public Accounts Committee and Convener Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs stressed that post legislative scrutiny process need to be initiated and strengthened to ensure and track the timely progress as well as full and timely promulgation of legislation pertaining to fundamental rights like education.
Mian Muhammad Shafee, Convener Provincial Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs shared that there are certain lacunas in the Punjab Free & Compulsory Education Act 2014 therefore its timely enactment was delayed. He said that Punjab Legislatures Core Group on Education would soon submit the private members amendment bill for promulgation of Punjab Free & Compulsory Education Act 2014 at once.
Zafaruallah Khan Convener, Parliamentary Research Group suggested the gradual implementation of free & compulsory education acts across the country would be a good option considering the resource constraints and quality.
Muhammad Rafique Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor, Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training shared the details of Single National Curriculum (SNC) with Parliamentarians. He said that SNC will be implemented in three phases Primary School Education Curriculum is ready to be launched by April 1st 2021 whereas middle and secondary classes curriculum shall be launched by March 2022 and March 2023 respectively. The new curriculum would address the biases related to gender, cast class, religion and would promote respect of diversity by all means. The new curriculum would also promote life skills based education to empower our children against abuse and harassment. The participants of the workshop hailed federal government efforts on Single National Curriculum (SNC).
Director General Punjab Assembly, Inayatullah Lak appreciated the efforts of civil society specially AwazCDS-Pakistan for engagement with Parliamentarians to strengthen their capacity and role towards pro-people law making and tracking the progress on legislative measures.
Towards the end of the workshop the legislatures showed their commitment for taking special measures to ensure girls right to quality secondary education all over Punjab.