ISLAMABAD:May 16: Speakers at a consultation on “Education for All: the Role of Media” urged the provincial governments to initiate legislation for implementation of Article 25-A, ensuring access of children to free education.
The consultation was arranged by the Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and the Intermedia Pakistan on Tuesday.
According to Article 25-A of the constitution, it is the responsibility of the state to provide free education to the children aged between 5-16 years.
The government must arrange the required resources and all the provinces have to take the responsibility to implement this article, they stressed.
The speakers said the overall education budget must be consistently increased each year to meet the target of seven percent of the GDP by 2015 as committed in the National Education Policy.
They said the government must take steps to raise revenues through an effective, progress and fair taxation. All the tax exemptions given to the privileged sectors must be done away with; while the tax evaders must be brought to the tax net without any discrimination.
The speakers recommended to enhance tax to the GDP ratio with a commitment to spend on infrastructure development and social sector like education.
They suggested that the government must not provide grants to elite private schools at the cost of the children belonging to poor sections of society.
Speaking on the occasion, education expert Javed Hasan Aly said that education played a pivotal role in the progress of any nation.
He emphasised on paying special attention to promotion of research and practical knowledge and ending discrimination in provision of educational facilities.
There were only 100 madrassas at time of creation of Pakistan and their number had now increased to 13,000, providing low cost education and facilities, he said.
Another education expert, Zaigham Khan, stressed on enhancing the budgetary allocations for the education sector.
The country must focus on human development by providing facilities in education and health sectors, he observed.
The consultation was arranged to create close coordination between development practitioners and journalists to facilitate improved reporting on education and advocate for the right to education for all.
A number of officials, media representatives and people from different walks of life attended the event. app.