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Children are considered to be the symbol of hope and future. Their modest and pristine hearts aspire to live their lives to the fullest. What are the prospects of children in Pakistan to accomplish their potential?
As a developing country, Pakistan is suffering from various social and economic dilemmas. One of the continuous problems the country faces is ensuring that the right to education is granted to every child. According to the Annual Status of Education Report, 21% of school-age children and youth in Pakistan do not have access to school because of poverty and unequal distribution of resources on a provisional and regional level. The topical attacks on schoolchildren indicate an open threat to education. However, the actual picture is even more somber as 57% of the poor in Pakistan cannot educate their children due to financial difficulties. Likewise, 25.02 million children, with a gender disparity of 45% boys to 55% girls, are deprived of basic constitutional rights. This alarming figure shows that a high number of older children are out of school.
21% of school-age children and youth in Pakistan do not have access to school.
Consequently, in order to meet their livelihood needs, destitute people in Pakistan compel their children to work. Cleaning and repairing vehicles, selling eatables at street corners, begging, picking trash and working as domestic servants present clear cases of bonded child labour.
Child labour, which itself is a crime, is the factor that drags children into early delinquency. The future of adult delinquents, who can neither read nor write, vanishes in the darkness of crime. Identically, the likelihood of obtaining a bright future is endangered for 23 million children.
The present government of Pakistan is spending 2% of the GDP on financing education, which brings about almost no advancement in sending children to schools. Wajahat Ali, a district coordinator for the NGO Alif Ailaan, explains that almost half of these funds are not utilized every year. There is lack of resources for upgrading the education system, training teachers, and providing skill-based learning for poor children. National and international action to implement suitable measures is mandatory, but it is absent. The right to education in Pakistan has become questionable.
The government allocates 2% of GDP for education. However, almost half of these funds are not utilized every year.
Photo: © ILO/Tran Quoc Dung
On the whole, Pakistan’s economic development depends on the number of educated adults it produces. Equitable and affordable quality education can lessen the predicament. Pakistan cannot obviate the crisis unless or until it provides equal learning opportunities to all children.
[Head photo: © UN Photo/John Isaac]
Raeesa Javed is from Pakistan. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature. Since 2008 she has been actively engaged both voluntarily and professionally in welfare and development project related to health and education with USAID, hospitals, NGOs and schools. She is passionate to see development in societies and this leads her to work with advance strategies. She likes to visit new place and meet people with different cultures and values. She has been chosen as Education youth ambassador by idara taleem o aagahi and now she is working on training teachers to Teach English as a second language and student learning evaluation.