By Ali Jibran Sadruddin
The constitution of the Islamic state of Pakistan states that: “The state of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period”. Yet in the Human Development report, Pakistan is ranked at 136th position of having a literacy rate of 49.9% which shows that a significant proportion of people in the 6th largest country of the world is unable to get their basic right. About 3.3 million children in Pakistan below the age of 14 are compelled to work for as low as PRs 50-100 a day.
This is violation of their human rights and astounding that the government does nothing. Public schools are deprived of necessities such as proper infrastructure, washrooms etc. The lack of technical education is the worst flaw in the educational policies of Pakistan. The funding given to public schools is quite low it is only around 1.5 to 2% GDP, the lowest in South Asia. The teachers in public schools are poorly trained and low paid. In my opinion teaching is the most important job in the world as teachers nurture the children and help them to be productive members of society.
Despite having as important job as medical doctors, it is surprising that teachers are underpaid. The financial struggle that most parents face in Pakistan can be contributed to why man children can’t go to school. Public schools are free but their quality is horrible and due to poverty parents can’t afford to send their children to private schools, the girls are the ones who suffer the most due to social and cultural taboos as the parents expect them to lend a helping hand at home. Education is the most economical way to defend one’s country but the down trodden state of Pakistan’s education bears testimony to the fact that Pakistan cannot defend itself.
The reason for me to write this article is to raise awareness that this is a major problem not only in Pakistan but also in the developing countries around the world such as India where children face the same problems. Children are the next generation and the future of a country and it is our responsibility to nurture the next generation and provide them with quality education. This will bring a bright future both for the children and for the country. As a student, I feel that no child should be deprived of his/her basic right, quality education.
(The writer is grade 8th student at Supernova School in Islamabad.)