Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussian said on Wednesday that legislation for free and compulsory education to all children of ages 5 to 16 years was in the offing and would be tabled in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Addressing a forum of parliamentarians on Right to Education organized by pehawar University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) in collaboration with UNESCO, the minister said that after the legislation depriving children from education would be considered a crime.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain maintained that provision of quality education and uniform system of education was need of the hour for competing with the developed nations of the world as with the present education system, we could not compete with the world.
Information Minister continued that special focus on mother-tongue was only way for progress and prosperity adding that as and when we would not give due importance to our mother-tongue, the dream of progress could not be materialized. Keeping in view the importance of mother-tongue, the present government has included all mother-tongues being spoken in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as compulsory subject from Class-I to higher secondary level, he said. He further said, as pushto was a complete language but the government also prepared alphabets and complete other necessities for other mother-tongues like Khowar, Hindko etc. for introducing it as compulsory subject from the next academic year.
Provincial Minister for Higher Education Qazi Mohammad Asad speaking on the occasion said that there was need to increase the amount of funds for implemention of Article 25-A which deals with the provision of free and compulsory education to children from age 5 to 16 years.
Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar Dr. M. Rasul Jan said that lot of work was remained that to be done in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa education sector since it was affected by floods, militancy and disasters. He hoped that PUTA will organize more and more functions to strengthen the cause of education in the province.
Arshad Saeed Khan, representative of UNESCO highlighted the shortfalls and gaps in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa education sector. He assured full support from UNESCO side to the cause of education in line with provincial government.
President PUTA Jamil Ahmed said that he was dismayed by the thin presence of bulk of members of provincial assembly absent from such debate concerning children’s future. We should come out from the onus of figures of 138 billion rupees and help millions of children out of basic right to education, he further said.