Public Forum for Right to Education and Role of Teachers for EFA, Global Action Week 2013

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April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013

In a joint collaboration, UNESCO and UNICEF organized a Public Forum for Right to Education and Role of teachers in celebration of the Education for All (EFA), Global Action Week (GAWeek) on 25th April, 2013.  This event highlighted the significance of teachers in terms of a vessel for learning and eventually for the socio-economic development of the country. This discussion brought forth the current issues related to teachers and students and school environments.  Vital topics such as teacher attendance, qualification and methods of teaching need to be revised and looked into.

Additionally, ITA brought forth the completion of the one million signature (OMS) campaign in celebration of the GAWeek. Through the campaign title “right to education” (RTE), that has been inspired and fueled by evidence from ASER Pakistan 2010-2012 as well as article 25-A, ITA presented the one million signatures mobilized in Pakistan from out of school children. This event took place on April, 19th 2013 on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the 18th amendment, when article 25-A was inserted in the constitution of Pakistan. The location of presenting these signatures was the learning for all ministerial meeting in Washington D.C. These signatures were presented to UN Secretary General, global envoy for education, Mr. Gordon Brown and the Pakistani ambassador, Ms. Sherry Rehman, by Baela Reza Jamil, Trustee/Advisor ITA, spearheading the Citizens Movement for Quality Education (CMQE). These one million signatures of out of school children were collected during a span of thirteen months extending from March 2012-April 2013,  by members of the youth, civil society organizations, schools and colleges across Pakistan.

During Mr. Gordon Brown’s previous visit to Pakistan in 2012, civil society activists presented one million signatures of in school children and adults to the entire education sector. This campaign was initiated to endorse the right of free and compulsory education  to all children between the ages of 5-16 years. This event was organized by UNESCO and UNICEF and the same signatures were presented on Malala Day, November, 10th 2012. Three days later the first RTE bill was passed by the National Assemble and ratified in December 2012 by the President of Pakistan in Islamabad Capital Territory.

With less than 1000 days to go for MDGs and EFA targets to be achieved, these signatures need a practical response by all stakeholders and the new government to be elected in the country in the upcoming elections, May 2013. This campaign needs to be led forward to ensure that the 23% out of school children between the ages of 5-16 years are granted the fundamental right to education on an emergency basis. Children cannot wait and must have teachers to support enrollment, retention and learning. This effort must be applauded and taken forward by all members of the civil society, government organization and so forth.