It is unfortunate, since independence in 1947, Pakistan has witnessed 7 national educational policies, 85 year plans, about half a dozen other education schemes and nothing to show for it. One can conclude it as the failure of the successive governments. According to inclusion of article 25A in the Constitution (which calls on the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 5-16 years in such manner as may be determined by law), there has not been any progress on this provision and provinces have yet to frame legislation to implement it.

Pakistan is facing tremendous challenges in the education sector, with 24 million children not attending schools at all. Official record shows that this figure has remained mostly unchanged since 2005. But according to recent available data, though the number of out-of-school children has reduced from last year’s figure of 24 million to 22.6 million.

Stats shows a drastic picture of our educational system with more than 44% children of the age between 5 to 16 are out of schools and are forced to child labor. Baluchistan is home to the highest proportion of out-of-school children followed by Fata. Improving school enrollment lies at the forefront of Pakistan’s battle to improve education.

These bitter facts were revealed in the Pakistan Education Statistic 2015-16 launched by the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) – a subsidiary of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.

I therefore appeal to the government and responsible institutes calling for the imposition of real education emergency. Instead of focusing on infrastructural development, such as roads, the government should focus on health and education. Because nations can’t progress just on infrastructures, it is the education that make the change and it is the need of hour.

ALEEM UR REHMAN,

Islamabad, March 11.