ISLAMABAD – National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) has organised a national dialogue here at a local hotel to bring all stakeholders together to reiterate the commitments they have made to provide education that has become a fundamental right for all children of the ages 5-16 after the inclusion of Article 25-A in the Constitution through 18th amendment.

For this purpose NCHD invited all political party representatives, elected representatives as well as civil society on one platform. Chairperson NCHD MNA Dr Nafisa Shah addressed the participants by highlighting the importance of education. She said education is the route to enlightenment and prosperity for individuals as well as nations. She added that no society can dream of a development if substantial portion of its population is illiterate and considerable ratios of its children are not in school. Dr Nafisa Shah also highlighted the fruits this nation gets from the passage of 18th amendment and especially in education through Article 25-A, says a press release issued here on Friday.

Dr Nafisa Shah said that there are two steps that must be taken up for this Article to take shape on the ground. The first is legislation and the second is to allocate resources in order to ensure that the state is able to undertake this service. She added now it is a challenge for the State to fulfil their commitment by taking appropriate measures and passing the necessary legislation for implementation for the article to provide free and compulsory education to all the children between five and sixteen years of age.

This cannot be done by merely raising slogans but our commitment must be translated into actions and one of the major actions of the provincial governments will be to legislate in accordance with Article 25-A and to allocate adequate financial resources for education on priority basis.

Pir Mazhar-ul-haq Senior Minister Sindh recommended that the education should be first priority of government. Gender specific syllabus should be prepared and skilled based education should be introduced and strengthened said Pir Mazhar.

Pir said that the Government schools were used to provide Better education and my children and I myself have studied from government schools. He added that Policy should be made to instruct government officials to ensure that their children will get the education from Government schools which will bring change in the total educational system.

Representatives of all electoral parties including JI and JUI pledge to include 25-A implementation in their manifestos. The participants were Senator Haji Adeel from ANP, Dr Azra Fazal and Taj Haider from PPP, Senator Rozina from PMLN, Akram Zaki from PML Q, Mohammad Malik from the National Party, and besides

Senator Pukhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, Aasia Nasir from JUI and Major General Mohammad Tahir from the PTI.

Some very good points came in, politicians agreed on equality in education, they agreed on mother tongue as the medium of instruction, they agreed on increasing allocations, some even spoke on committing 7 per cent of GDP and they even spoke on the need to make curriculum pluralistic, and multi cultural. The problem of minorities in education also came up. It was an excellent discussion. The provincial education departments committed to draft law on 25-A and besides informed the people about the measure they had taken and some already in process. State Minister ShahJehan Yusuf and Provincial Education Minister Sindh Pir Mazhar gave concluding remarks.