Dear Colleagues!  This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #681 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans welcome sharing of knowledge and wisdom by Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

Commitment to Education Programs and their Execution

The constitution of Pakistan mandates that “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law”. The federal government never committed to this clause of constitution and with 18th amendment, this responsibility was devolved to the provinces who were neither prepared nor committed to it.

Pakistan has also consistently committed to education initiatives launched internationally but has not fulfilled its responsibilities entirely.

  • In 1948, Pakistan was one of the 48 member states who voted for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 26 of this declaration stated that “everyone has the right to education, education shall be free at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory”.
  • In 1995, Pakistan became a signatory to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and committed to promote “people-centered sustainable development through the provision of basic education, lifelong education, literacy, and training for girls and women” under Article 27. Under Article 30, Pakistan must ensure “equal access to, and equal treatment of women and men in education.
  • In 1996, Pakistan acceded to the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women which was adopted by the UN general assembly in 1974. Gender disparity still prevails in education as indicated by enrollment at various levels, and literacy rates.
  • 1990 was the International Literacy Year. During March, delegates from 155 countries, including Pakistan, gathered in Thailand under the auspices of UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, and World Bank. The participants adopted the World Declaration on Education for All, and a Framework for Action: Meeting Basic Learning Needs.

The EFA goals focused on:

  • Early childhood care and education including pre-schooling
    • Universal primary education and secondary education to youth
    • Adult literacy with gender parity
    • Quality of education

Successive reports over the years have shown that Pakistan is lagging behind on target parameters despite repeated policy commitments.

  • During April 2000, 164 countries, including Pakistan, gathered in Dakar, Senegal, and reviewed the achievements against EFA targets adopted earlier, and reaffirmed commitment to goals established in EFA program. They adopted Dakar Framework: Education for All, which elaborated twenty-one action items, targeted to be achieved by 2015. Pakistan, and several other countries could not achieve these goals. The inclusion of article 25-A in the Constitution through 18th Amendment provided the required legal and institutional mechanism to sustain and accelerate the pace of progress towards EFA Goals.
  • To honor the commitments made in Dakar Framework; the federal government developed the National Action Plan – NPA covering fifteen years from 2001 to 2015. NPA particularly focused on the access to education for disadvantaged rural and urban population groups, girls and women, promotion of community participation, and improvement in relevance and quality of basic education.
  • To further enhance the progress of NPA, the government announced a National Education Policy in 2009. It was aimed at vitalizing the education system, and to enable Pakistan to fulfill its international commitments as well as MDGs – Millennium Development Goals.
  • Millennium Development Goals – MDGs were initiated at the turn of the new millennium and were spread across fifteen years till 2015. In all, eight goals were set up, two of which related to education.

MDG 2 – Achieve Universal Primary Education – UPE, and by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete primary education. The first step would be to ensure enrollment of all children into schools. By 2014, Punjab achieved enrollment of 62%, KPK 54%, Sindh 52%, and Balochistan 45%.

MDG 3 – Promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, at all levels of education by 2015. The ground situation is that literacy rate for men is 71%, and for women is 47% currently. This is the national figure; greater amount of disparity is seen from province to province.

  • Vision 2030 Pakistan says that Pakistan in 2030 will be middle-income country with per capita income of over 3,000 US dollars. The incidence of poverty will be around 10%, and income, gender, and regional disparities will be lowered by at least half of the current level. Human Development Index – HDI will rise. Pakistan will be transit hub, energy, and trade corridor for Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Western China. Pakistan will be a responsible member, and active participant in globalized economy, maximizing benefits for the majority of its people.

It is an ambitious vision and 2030 is not far. However, given the mayhem and chaos we are in for the last several years, this vision seems elusive.

To be Continued……

Disclaimer. Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.,leading%20to%20a%20Higher%20Secondary

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: