SHIKARPUR - The right to free and compulsory education is an internationally acknowledged right. It has been recognised in a number of international conventions, covenants and declarations.

The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 also acknowledges the right to free and compulsory education in Part-II, Chapter 2, on Principles of Policy. 

The State shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory Secondary Education within minimum possible period.” Article 37 (b), Part II, Chapter 2, Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973.

In April 2010, the parliament passed the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment, which made the right to education justifiable, by virtue of insertion of Article 25-A, which obligates the state to provide free and compulsory education to all children between 5 to 16 years of age in such a manner as may be determined by law. After the 18th Amendment, the subject of education has been devolved to the provincial governments, and it has become the responsibility of the Parliament as well as the provincial assemblies to legislate for the provision of compulsory education in their respective jurisdictions.

At the federal level, the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act was enacted on December 24, 2012 for the Islamabad capital territory. Similarly Sindh Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act was enacted on February 13 in 2013.

Quality of schooling, especially in the public sector in general, is indeed pathetic.

There are around 45,447 public schools and 11,521 private schools in Sindh. We still have too few schools compared to the number we need to educate every child for the next 10 years.

Even if we allow middle/high schools to be larger than primary schools, can all children who go to 45447 schools will be accommodated in these smaller number of schools? We still need major injections of additional money into the public sector to educate all.

The provincial government and the private sector both should be working hard to improve the standard of education in Sindh.

Moreover, the mass media should also play a pivotal role for advocacy of Article 25-A, and uplifting the standards of education.

     Asia’s first bridge in

dilapidated condition

The structure of Sukk-Pull [bridge] in Shikarpur, which has the distinction of Asia’s first bridge, has been undergoing lot of wear and tear for quite some time now, which is a matter of concern for the people as it is situated in a congested area near Stuart Ganj.

A delegation of Shikarpur Bachayo Tehreek visited the area on Tuesday and expressed its reservations over the poor condition of the bridge. It termed it a great loss to the local heritage. While speaking to the media persons Ali Asghar Pahore, Shikarpur Bachayo Tehreek chairman, said that the dilapidated condition of the bridge was a worrying sign because if it collapsed, it could cause loss of lives given the congested area it was located in as well as the girls high school located near it. “The bridge should be repaired immediately in order to avert any unfortunate incident,” he demanded.

Members of the delegation also expressed their great concern over blockade of the Sukk-Pull’s stairs.

Zafar Alvi, Zahid Bhanbhro, Waheed Qureshi and other notables were included in the delegation.