By Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir
In April 2010, the Parliament promulgated the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act 2010 (herein ‘18th Amendment’) thereby devolving certain subjects from the center to the provinces, one of them being education. Among other alterations to the Constitution, the insertion of Article 25-A clearly delineated the responsibility of the State to provide “free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5 to 16 years.”
In light of this amendment, this article discusses the challenges faced by Pakistan in trying to fulfill its commitment of providing and promoting education throughout the country. The article looks domestic as well as international commitments Pakistan has engaged in trying to overcome the “education emergency” it is encountering. Despite these obligations Pakistan has been unable to make significant headway in safeguarding and promoting the fundamental right to education. The article suggests solutions for overcoming this challenge, including the formulation of a national action plan on education; an increased role of the state in monitoring the conditions of public schools; and the role the civil society can play in ensuring the enforcement of the existing legislation on education.