The condition of education in Pakistan desperately calls for a sincere and in-depth conversation, and this seems to be the sole agenda of Meesaq-e-Ilm – co-drafted by representatives of teachers’ unions along with educationists – that aims to respond to the educational crisis in the country. According to the reports compiled by the MeI, around 25 million children in Pakistan do not attend school. A plethora of reasons have been mulled over for the past few years on the case of constantly dropping-out students; a lack of dedication shown by teachers themselves, political turbulence, dearth of funds, unsatisfactory response to the educational and social needs of students and more.

But it isn’t going to stay this way – at least according to Alif Ailaan. Teachers from all over the country have vowed to treat and impart education as the only viable way to attain progress in our society. The proposals at the Alif Ailaan conference among renowned activists and educationists are more than commendable – and for a nation that is inundated with promises left, right and center from politicians who roar a lot and deliver very little, these teachers act like a ray of hope. Not only have they committed to address the needs of their pupils, they have chosen not to mince their words when it comes to pointing out the various problems that exacerbate the educational crisis in Pakistan.

Of course, it won’t happen overnight but the impetus to do better for our students is evident in the people who have joined Alif Ailaan in its campaign to improve education nationally. They all have made their demands clear: An effective system that caters to the needs of students and society, the autonomy for teachers to design curriculum and textbooks along with education policy making. But the best part is, they’re not here to give up, like others have.