Education is the biggest agent of change in any society. The importance of education can be gauged from the fact that under the charter of United Nations it is declared a universal right. The Constitution of Pakistan, too, makes it the duty of the state to facilitate its citizens in getting education. Article 25A of the Constitution states, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.”
Nonetheless, it is clear that the state is not doing its duty. The concerned department does not follow the rules and protocols of ensuring quality education for the people. Two separate stories in newspapers on the public sector education show a very ugly picture of corrupt practices and substandard quality in the field of education. In a joint survey carried out by the Balochistan government and UNICEF for tracking down ghost schools across the province, over 1500 schools were identified as only existing on paper. The survey also revealed that 25 schools were without buildings. There are over 2000 shelter-less schools. In KP, the Awami National Party (ANP), on Monday, submitted an adjournment motion in the provincial assembly for having a debate over the poor performance of the public sector schools after the recently declared results of matriculation exams.
Governments in both the provinces have declared an emergency in the field of education once they entered office. They have made tall claims in improving the facilities and quality of education. However, the recently held survey in Balochistan and results of matriculation boards’ examination in KP expose the poor performance of the provincial governments. After considering the performance of both the governments in the field of education, it would not be wrong to assume that the claims made served the purpose of advertisement for the parties in power.
Education is a provincial subject, and it follows that the provincial governments are to blame in large part for the oversight. It is almost the fourth year that these governments are in power. Not finding the right direction is shameful.