ISLAMABAD - The first-ever children assembly of the Pakistan demanded to ensure free and quality education, enhancing educational budget to 4 per cent of GDP, special initiatives for education particularly for girl’s literacy and to establish help line for registering complaints regarding children.‘We Can End All Violence Against Women’ in collaboration with Oxfam GB organized a children assembly comprising of 200 children across the nation here on Saturday. The assembly presented policy recommendation ensuring free & compulsory education, advocating that children should be involved in decision-making process and consultation regarding issues that affect their future.The whole proceeding revolved around right- based approach, children demanding their right to free education for all. The debate in the assembly focused around five thematic areas which include Access to Free & Compulsory education, Quality Education, School Management Committee and Public-Private Partnership & Girls Education.General Secretary of ‘We Can’, Hajera Pasha said “children would know better about their issues, and this assembly has proven they surely have the ability to solve their problems”. Children assembly provided an opportunity to children of remote & deprived areas to present not only issues that concern their education, but also gave them the confidence of addressing their issues with key policy recommendations.Explaining the rationale & philosophy of the event, Mr. Muhammad Aashir (Program Manager We Can) said “the concept of children assembly rotated around inculcating leadership qualities within children and generating awareness among children about their rights and duty as responsible citizens”Attiya Malik, student of Govt. Primary School Jagatpur, Muzzafargarh said “I am so happy and confident now. I blacked-out once in the rehearsals but I was given the self confidence of addressing the assembly and making my voice heard”. Oxfam’s Associate Country Direction, Dr. Noreen Khalid said that girls education should be ensured and given due priority, women in Pakistan face extreme issues and only through education can they be empowered, having a lasting impact not only in their household domain but also at the larger society.The ceremony was attended by members of civil society organization, parliamentarians, government official and others. Addressing the assembly Saddique-Ul-Farooq of PML-N said that his parties manifesto is open to debate and flexible to changes. He appreciated the efforts of children and highlighted their recommendations as pragmatic in addressing micro-issues that plague education system in Pakistan. Girls would be provided easy and safe access to schools along with scholarships from class one.Committee on quality education emphasized accountability of school administration, surprise visits, introduction of new ideas and modern techniques in curriculum, teaching of Urdu as compulsory subject and utilization of information technology in learning system. Committee was of the views that government is responsible for declining standards in public education system, by befitting initiative standard of public school should be brought in par with private sector schools. highlighting the importance of special education they said that special children should be given learning opportunities in regular schools.The Committee reviving school management systems demanded right of transfer to other school for the students, inclusion of children in administrative decision making and encouraging co curricular activities. Fourth committee on public private partnership said that government schools would be brought at par with private sector institutions, and rehabilitation and renovation of old schools should be preferred over construction of new schools. Suggesting monitoring of school funds and training facilities for government school teachers they said that private school teachers should be sent to public schools.  The Committee on girls education recommended that every village housing 100 to 200 household must have a school and 40 student per teacher ratio and transport facilities for students particularly girls belonging to far flung areas must be ensured. The Committee on free and compulsory education while presenting its recommendations suggested that educational budget immediately enhanced to 4 per cent of GDP and would be supplemented by gradual increase. P

rovincial governments need to ensure proper building and provision of furniture, and other facilities. corporal punishment and education related fees like annual fee, examination fees, should be eliminated.