President Asif Ali Zardari signed ‘The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2012’ into law. The bill, which sought to ensure all children between five to 1 6 years of age are provided free education. He urged provincial governments to promulgate similar legislations in their respective assemblies as well. He said the responsibility for providing free education rests with both federal and provincial governments, referring to article 25-A of the Constitution. The article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years.
The federal government will now provide free textbooks and uniform s to children and ensure schools have qualified teachers. Free pre-school education, early childhood care and free medical and dental inspection will also be provided to all citizens and no child will be subjected to corporal punishment “Under the law, private schools will be required to provide free education to disadvantaged students, who will comprise 10% of each class,” Zardari said, adding that school management committees will be established to persuade parents into sending their children to schools.
“We will honor our international commitments and achieve the targets set by the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals initiatives. National Educational Policy 2009 Under the 18th constitutional amendment control and management of the education sector has been devolved to the provinces. They are now responsible for the key areas of the education sector i. e. curriculum and syllabus, centers of excellence, standards of education up to intermediate level (Grade 12) and Islamic education.
Planning and policy and standards of education beyond Grade 12 are covered under Federal Legislative List. All the provinces have shown their commitment to the National Education Policy 2009. The National Educational Policy (NEP) 2009 is a milestone which aims to address a number of issues including: * Quality and quantity in schools and college education * Universal primary education * Improved Early Children Education (ECE) * Improved facilities in primary schools.
* Converting primary schools to elementary schools * Detaching classes XI-XII from college education * Adopting a comprehensive definition of ‘free ‘education * Achieving regional and gender parity especially at elementary level the share of resources for education in both public and private sectors Accordingto the latest Pakistan Social and Living StandardsMeasurement (PSLM) Survey 2010-11, the literacyrate for the population (10 years and above) is 58percent during 2010-11.
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