It has been over seven years since Article 25-A (pledging free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 5 to 16 years) was introduced in the constitution. However, to this day neither the federal government nor the provincial government has shown any willingness to ensure the implementation of this constitutional clause. It’s no wonder then that 22.8 million children across Pakistan remain out of school. The problem is all the more precarious in smaller provinces such as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the percentage of out-of-school children stands at 36 percent and 70 percent respectively.
It is also worth highlighting that the 53 percent of all out-of-school children in Pakistan are girls. It is imperative that we demand the right of free and compulsory education for our children from our political leaders. Political parties must pledge to ensure education for all Pakistani children, including girls till the higher secondary level. This is the least that the political elite can do to show its commitment to the future of Pakistani children. The only answer to Pakistan’s current crises is education. Only an educated nation is capable of understanding its rights and obligations for the betterment of its country.