Education crisis

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The prime minister’s declaration of an education emergency is undoubtedly a positive step but it cannot compensate for the harm inflicted on the education sector by Pakistani governments over the last three decades. The reality is that approximately 26 million children are out of school in the country and those with access to education are not receiving one consistent with modern standards. The government of Pakistan has deliberately neglected the education sector by prioritizing less essential matters, in my view. Education is crucial for the development of any nation and Article 25-A of our constitution also ensures “free and compulsory” education between the ages of five and 16 years.

Unfortunately, we have not fully complied with our constitution in this regard. This failure necessitates an education emergency. Adding to the grievances, we spend only around 1.7 per cent of our GDP on education as opposed to the minimum 5.0 per cent of GDP recommended by experts. Such a significant shortfall in education expenditure will inevitably lead the country into a crisis and will continue to do so unless addressed.

Abdul Jabbar Gola