ONE MILLION SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN – Demand for Free and Compulsory Education
After the introduction of Article 25 A in the 18th constitutional amendment on April 19, 2010, education is a fundamental right and the responsibility of providing free and compulsory education to all children from 5-16 years lies primarily with the state.
Article 25 A states:
“The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law”
This long awaited article provides hope for all those deprived of access to educational opportunities, due to poverty, gender, ethnic and religious discrimination, or geographic immobility. As a first step, the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2011 has been passed by the Senate and National Assembly and signed by the President on December 19, 2012 for Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). While this is indeed a positive initiative, there is a need to review and analyze the Act for practical implementation through public debate especially in the formation of rules of this Act and all the provinces need to follow this precedence.
After the successful completion of One Million Signature Campaign Phase I, where one million signatures (90% children of 5-18 years) have been collected from March 6 to July 10, 2012 and presented to all major Political Party representatives across Pakistan, we now embark on the Phase II of this campaign to collect ONE MILLION SIGNATURES FROM OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN! (5 -16 years). This phase was launched on September 8, 2012 in Press Club Islamabad by Mrs. Rubia Qaimkhani, chairperson for Parliamentary Forum on Child Rights
For the implementation of Article 25 A, we demand that education is acknowledged as the HIGHEST PRIORITY and the state/provincial/federal governments, parliamentarians and political parties take the following steps on urgent basis:
- Analyze Legislation for Right to Education Act for the Federal Capital Islamabad and draft legislations for all provinces on urgent basis which shall positively address norms of access, quality and equity;
- Affirm that the legislation defines roles, responsibilities and the implementation process explicitly;
- Ensure that the drafting of the law undergoes a transparent process of province and nationwide debate and consultation;
- Allocate at least 4% of the GDP for education provision across Pakistan;
- Devise mechanisms for effective and timely utilization of resources allocated for education;
- Inclusion of Right to Education for Quality learning outcomes in the manifesto of all political parties.
Anyone can be a part of this campaign – download signature packs and start collecting signatures from out of school children today!
Send the signed sheets to out rte offices listed on our Contact Us page.
For more information please write to rte25Acampaign@itacec.org