On the occasion of the International Day for Education, member organziations of the Education Champion Network (ECN) issued a joint statement stressing upon the need for greater public investment in education. The Education Champion Network is a coalition of Pakistan based non-governmental organizations that advocates for girls’ right to at least 12 years of free, quality and equitable education across the country. “The Government of Pakistan must reaffirm the paramount importance of quality education for the personal, social and professional development of children and young people, across Pakistan, to build a better and more equitable future, reduce socio-economic and gender inequalities, and promote peace and democracy,” read the joint statement.
Talking about the state of education in Pakistan, Qamar Naseem, National Coordinator, Blue Veins shared, “Nearly 23 million children aged 5-16 remain out of school — forty-four per cent of the total population in this age group. The country has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) at the primary level, with five million children aged 5-9 not attending school. After primary-school age, the number of OOSC doubles, with 11 million adolescents between the ages of 10-14 not receiving formal education.”
Zehra Arshad National Coordinator, Pakistan Coalititon for Education (PCE) said, “Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.”
“Every child has the right to an education and quality learning opportunities from early childhood to adolescence. And yet, a range of factors – including economic circumstances, low-quality teaching and schools, geographic location, gender, disability – prevent millions of Pakistani children from learning,” said Areebah Shahid, Executive Director Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA).