Home / Blog / What is the status of Article 25-A (Right to Education)

What is the status of Article 25-A (Right to Education)

By Sadaf Taimur

In April 2010, Article 25A was inserted via the 18th Amendment in the Pakistani Constitution, making education a Fundamental Right. Which makes Pakistan, a state which has 52 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 who are guaranteed free education by the Constitution.

Yet up till now, the number of out of school children in the same age group is 25 million, making Pakistan the country with the second highest population of out of school children. The latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2015 revealed that almost half of the 10 year old students have only achieved the linguistic competence of a 6 year old in either their mother tongue or in Urdu, the national Language. The competency levels for English are abysmal. Only half of 10 year old could be tested to be competent in arithmetic expected of a seven year old. The other half, not even that! Again, according to ASER report, 42% of government primary schools in the rural areas don’t have electricity. 40% don’t have access to clean drinking water. 49% do not have functioning toilets.

Where is the implementation? The Question is why is Pakistan not taking its own constitution seriously – both the state and the citizens? If the citizens were aware of what a ‘fundamental right’ means there would have been 1000s of citizens’ initiated cases against the state for not being serious and violating its own position on a constitutional fundamental right. To date, the number of public interest litigation’s is only a handful. After the incorporation of the right to education as a fundamental right under Article 25A of the Constitution, there was a period of dormancy during which no primary legislation was introduced to deliver the newly created fundamental right. However, after a series of constitutional petitions of the judicial review made in the public interest before the High Courts of the country, most governments introduced legislation through Ordinances, and later through Acts. At the time of writing, the Islamabad Capital Territory and the provinces of Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh had legislation providing for the right to education but rules to complete the legislation were finalized for Sindh Only. For rest of them, rules need to be formulated. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government publicly committed to introducing a right to education bill in the Provincial Assembly at that time. The government of KPK passed the bill for right to education, last week, which has gaps and it is passed with the condition of implementation, in specific areas, through notification by the education department, which reflects that certain areas of the province will be excluded Again. While fundamental rights are not justifiable by the Pakistani constitutional courts in the context of FATA, and the citizens of GilgitBaltistan have recourse to their own courts, and laws passed by the national and Provincial Assemblies do not automatically apply to these areas, the same rights of education should, nevertheless, also be extended to these areas in recognition of their status as citizens of Pakistan in accordance with the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Al-Jehad Trust case.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir is not discussed here as it does not constitute a part of Pakistan constitutionally and its citizens are not citizens of Pakistan under the law. It has been 7 years since “Right to Education” was included in the legislation, yet, it is not clear how the right to education will be fully realised in line with the requirements laid down in international covenants and human rights instruments in the absence of weak monitoring mechanisms. There are six critical factors, involved in successful implementation of the right to education: political will, financial commitment, the central role of the public sector, equity in public finance, reducing the cost of education to households and the integration of education into wider human development goals. none of these six critical elements is visible in any integrated way in our education policy. And the possibility of coherently aligning them in order to implement the right to education seems slim despite some signs of stimulated political will in many initiatives. Yet getting the other five key factors in place will remain an arduous task thanks to the low financial allocation for education and the deteriorating role of the public sector leading to the mushrooming of private schools.
The writer is the Executive Member of  Youth General Assembly and Manager of Idara-eTaleem-o-Aagahi.

Email: Sadaftaimur28@gmail.com

Comment Using Facebook

By Sadaf Taimur

In April 2010, Article 25A was inserted via the 18th Amendment in the Pakistani Constitution, making education a Fundamental Right. Which makes Pakistan, a state which has 52 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 who are guaranteed free education by the Constitution.

Yet up till now, the number of out of school children in the same age group is 25 million, making Pakistan the country with the second highest population of out of school children. The latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2015 revealed that almost half of the 10 year old students have only achieved the linguistic competence of a 6 year old in either their mother tongue or in Urdu, the national Language. The competency levels for English are abysmal. Only half of 10 year old could be tested to be competent in arithmetic expected of a seven year old. The other half, not even that! Again, according to ASER report, 42% of government primary schools in the rural areas don’t have electricity. 40% don’t have access to clean drinking water. 49% do not have functioning toilets.

Where is the implementation? The Question is why is Pakistan not taking its own constitution seriously – both the state and the citizens? If the citizens were aware of what a ‘fundamental right’ means there would have been 1000s of citizens’ initiated cases against the state for not being serious and violating its own position on a constitutional fundamental right. To date, the number of public interest litigation’s is only a handful. After the incorporation of the right to education as a fundamental right under Article 25A of the Constitution, there was a period of dormancy during which no primary legislation was introduced to deliver the newly created fundamental right. However, after a series of constitutional petitions of the judicial review made in the public interest before the High Courts of the country, most governments introduced legislation through Ordinances, and later through Acts. At the time of writing, the Islamabad Capital Territory and the provinces of Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh had legislation providing for the right to education but rules to complete the legislation were finalized for Sindh Only. For rest of them, rules need to be formulated. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government publicly committed to introducing a right to education bill in the Provincial Assembly at that time. The government of KPK passed the bill for right to education, last week, which has gaps and it is passed with the condition of implementation, in specific areas, through notification by the education department, which reflects that certain areas of the province will be excluded Again. While fundamental rights are not justifiable by the Pakistani constitutional courts in the context of FATA, and the citizens of GilgitBaltistan have recourse to their own courts, and laws passed by the national and Provincial Assemblies do not automatically apply to these areas, the same rights of education should, nevertheless, also be extended to these areas in recognition of their status as citizens of Pakistan in accordance with the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Al-Jehad Trust case.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir is not discussed here as it does not constitute a part of Pakistan constitutionally and its citizens are not citizens of Pakistan under the law. It has been 7 years since “Right to Education” was included in the legislation, yet, it is not clear how the right to education will be fully realised in line with the requirements laid down in international covenants and human rights instruments in the absence of weak monitoring mechanisms. There are six critical factors, involved in successful implementation of the right to education: political will, financial commitment, the central role of the public sector, equity in public finance, reducing the cost of education to households and the integration of education into wider human development goals. none of these six critical elements is visible in any integrated way in our education policy. And the possibility of coherently aligning them in order to implement the right to education seems slim despite some signs of stimulated political will in many initiatives. Yet getting the other five key factors in place will remain an arduous task thanks to the low financial allocation for education and the deteriorating role of the public sector leading to the mushrooming of private schools.
The writer is the Executive Member of  Youth General Assembly and Manager of Idara-eTaleem-o-Aagahi.

Email: Sadaftaimur28@gmail.com

Comment Using Facebook

Check Also

Rouge London Committed for Society’s Wellbeing and SDG’s

People are at the foundation of every business and we are concerned about the society …

2,516 comments

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  2. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It actually used to be a leisure account
    it. Glance complicated to more added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we be in contact?

  3. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few
    simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please
    let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

  4. I’m very pleased to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you book marked to check out new stuff in your site.

  5. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.

    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  6. You ought to take part in a contest for one of the
    best websites on the web. I will highly recommend this site!

  7. Excellent weblog right here! Additionally your site quite a
    bit up very fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host?
    I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  8. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet visitors, its really really pleasant
    piece of writing on building up new website.

  9. Hello, after reading this awesome post i am as well happy to
    share my experience here with friends.

  10. I’m really loving the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  11. Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!

  12. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate
    a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the
    same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  13. I delight in, result in I found just what I was taking a
    look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  14. At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming again to
    read more news.

  15. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply to SamuelExIva Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.