The National Assembly has finally passed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2012 unanimously, which is related to free and compulsory education for all children from the age of five to sixteen as a fundamental right and its provision is a responsibility of the state but after 39 years our NA passed the bill and that is only applicable to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). One can raise the question that other areas of the country don’t come under the Parliament? The bill provides education for all children aged 5-16 in schools established by the federal government and local government in (ICT). Another good news for capital dwellers is that no school, other than a school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate government, after the commencement of this Act, be established or function, without obtaining a certificate of registration from the prescribed authority.

Any person who establishes or runs a school without obtaining certificate of registration or continues to run a school after withdrawal of registration shall be liable to a fine. This step should be applicable to all the schools in the country, but at least this is a beginning. At least 4.5 percent of total GDP should be allocated for the education sector. Under the bill, private education institutions would also be bound to reserve 10 per cent quota for poor children.

MUHAMMAD ARSHAD NADEEM,

Wah Cantt, November 15.