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“9.5 Million Children are out of school today” -Justice (R) Khalil ur Rehman

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November 27, 2012

November 27th, 2012 LAHORE: A legal consultation was arranged by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi at PC Hotel to discuss the legal implications of Article 25-A. This was a follow up discussion after a similar consultation held at the ITA office Islamabad on the 24th October, 2012.

The discussion included prominent Lawyers, members of the civil society and government representatives including Justice(R) Khalil ul Rehman Khan; Chairman Punjab Education Commission, Chaudary Zulfiqar; President Lahore Bar, Azher Siddique, Usman Raza Jamil, Tanveer Jehan, Qudsia Majid and others. After an introductory presentation by Dr. Baela Raza Jamil, Trustee/Advisor Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi on the legal issues and complications of the Right To Education, the floor was open to assemble recommendations for potential steps to be taken for the successful implementation of the Right To Education.

Participants agreed that the recently passed Right to free and compulsory Education Bill by the National Assembly for ICT needs comprehensive analysis and revision because of various ambiguities. Mr. Azhar Siddique stressed that enforcements of fundamental rights is the duty of the courts. The concern of implementation of RTE should also be presented to the Judiciary for further action. Usman Raza Jamil stressed that courts are already overburdened and it is the responsibility of civil society to draft the rules and solutions for the Act and to present them to the courts in an approvable form.

Justice (R) Khalil ur Rehman with the help of various figures and facts highlighted that the Punjab Education Commission has achieved one of the major objectives by finalizing the draft report, laws and submitting them to the government recently. Although this is a landmark achievement as various earlier ambiguities in the draft bill have been addressed in consultation with the stake holders but the approval and implementation is still in the hands of government, he added. Moreover a consensus was reached that a formal resolution and letter should be written to the government authorities on urgent basis to make the proposed RTE bill public and open for debate to address the shortcomings before it is implemented.

The participants agreed that the landmark cases and operations of Education Law Centers around the world should be thoroughly analyzed. This step will serve as foundation of the formation of Education Law Centre in Pakistan. Lawyer’s community reassured their commitment for the Right To Education campaign and the formation of Education Law Centre.

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