ISLAMABAD - Participants at a seminar recognized that now more than ever the government needs to address the education crisis. With 25 million children out of school, we can't afford an increased adult population that is unable to read, write and compete in the global skill market.

Islamabad-based Center for Civic Education conducted a seminar on Budgeting for Rights: Examining Post Devolution Fiscal Spaces in conjunction with a national education campaign. Speakers at the seminar spoke about fiscal federalism and the need to focus on the fundamental rights, particularly the fundamental right to a free and compulsory education for all Pakistanis between five and 16 years of age, as articulated by Article 25-A.

Dr. Ishaq Baloch, Central Vice President of the National Party, MNA Shakir Awan of the PML-N, MNA Shafqat Mehmood of PTI, MNA Afzal Dhandla of PML-N, Mosharraf Zaidi of Alif Ailaan and Zafarullah Khan of CCE spoke at the event.

"Though article 25 A guarantees free and compulsory education to all, there is no formal national law governing this right. If Pakistan is to truly achieve education for all, we need a check and balance system to ensure valued-based allocation and implementation of the education budget so that resources are utilised not only to improve enrollment, student retention and quality of education but to also focus on areas of Pakistan that have previously received little or no attention," said Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director, CCE.

Speakers at the session appreciated the government for the recently announced education budget but emphasised that the state needs to do more to end Pakistan's Education Emergency. "Majority of our population can't afford to send their children to school.