As the Punjab government has made a law for free and compulsory education across the province, stakeholders, while welcoming this long-due legislation towards improving the literacy rate, has urged the government to take practical measures to ensure the law is implemented without any delay and targets of sustainable development goals in the education sector are achieved.
Last week, the provincial government approved The Punjab Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2022, after a rigorous initiative of stakeholders, especially educationists, civil society organizations, teachers, and parents led by AwazCDS-Pakistan to make free education compulsory across the province.
“The passage of this law is a great achievement on the part of both government and all stakeholders as it would contribute a lot towards popularizing free and compulsory secondary education across the province,” remarked Chief Executive Awaz CDS Pakistan Zia ur Rehman while reacting to the government’s major step towards promoting education.
Towards achieving the desired goals of this law, he, however, said the government needs to ensure quick and across-the-board implementation of this law by taking along all stakeholders through sustainable collaboration.
It is to be mentioned here that the Punjab Education Department has instructed all private schools in the province to provide free education to ten per cent of poor and deserving students, which the stakeholders appreciate.
However, Zia ur Rehman urged the government to ensure that all private schools implement this clause immediately and without discrimination, so that poor but talented students can get quality education at these institutions for a better future. He further urged immediate preparations of Rules of Business for the said law. He also appreciated the role of Legislatures Core Group Members on Education, especially MIAN Muhammad Shafee, Ayesha IQBAL, Aisha NAWAZ, Kanwal Liaqat, Uswa Aftab, Shamim Aftab, Seemabia TAHIR and Rahila Khadim Hussian among many others for their regular efforts to ensure the implementation.
Giving her input on the subject, Marium Amjad Khan, Program Manager-Awaz CDS-Pakistan, welcomed the law and suggested the government establish more schools to encourage student enrolment ratio.
She mentioned that accessibility, low budget, teachers’ improper training and people’s socio-economic conditions are affecting the literacy rate in the province. However, she stressed the need for extensive efforts from both government and stakeholders to sensitize more and more people to education.