8 March, 2013
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Politicians are responsible for education in Pakistan: Education Campaigns
Education campaigns express concern about Shazia Marri’s statement
Islamabad: The Alif Ailaan campaign to end Pakistan's education emergency, MKRF's Zara Sochiye campaign, and Pakistan Coalition for Education, are concerned about the contradictory and damaging statement allegedly made by Shazia Marri on the floor of the national assembly yesterday.
She is reported to have said that the politicians are being held responsible for the poor state of education sector in the country and that this is a conspiracy against democracy.
The real conspiracy against democracy is the scandalous state of education in Pakistan. Politicians are most certainly responsible for education in Pakistan. They are the source of both what is good and what is bad about education in the country. Politicians are peoples’ representatives they are responsible for the fulfillment of the people’s aspiration. They cannot abdicate responsibility by making such statements.
The most pertinent fact of the politicians’ responsibility is the national consensus that politicians have helped forge on the importance of education. The historic passage of the 18th Amendment, which includes Article 25-A, guaranteeing children between 5-16 years the right to an education, is a huge achievement of politicians and of politics. However, its implementation is still a question mark. Alif Ailaan, Zara Sochiye and the PCE all believe this first step must be followed by many more.
If Shazia Marri, other politicians and their parties really believe that education is not the responsibility of politicians, then it is a sad day for the children of Pakistan. As one of the largest national parties, PPP has expressed repeated commitments to education. We sincerely hope that Shazia Marri shares that commitment.
Notes to Editors
Full story “NA unites against ‘black sheep’ among anchorpersons”, available here.
Alif Ailaan is a campaign to end Pakistan's education emergency. We work with politicians, media, civil society and partners across the spectrum of Pakistani society. Our common purpose is to build national awareness of what causes our education system to fail most of Pakistan's children and a shared commitment to fixing it. Learn more about the Alif Ailaan campaign at our website, on Facebook and on Twitter at alifailaan.pk, facebook.com/alifailaan and twitter.com/alifailaan.
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE), a network of diverse civil society stakeholders, has been working for the evidence based policy advocacy in education sector of Pakistan since 2005. PCE believes that transformation of education in Pakistan requires collective approach that includes civil society, media, politicians and policy makers to work as a combined force by building national consensuses on education reforms in Pakistan, as per constitutions with focus on national and international commitments. (www.saqe.org)
Zara Sochiye (Just Think) is a formal drive initiated by MKRF/Jang Group/GEO Television Network that attempts to highlight issues that promote and/or represent imbalance and injustice in our society and have divided us for years. MKRF Zara Sochiye Education Initiative aims to make parents as voters and legislators to realize that education is the number 1 problem Pakistan faces today, and is also the number 1 solution to our problems. It aims to create an enabling environment for education reforms in Pakistan, and to make education politically relevant. (http://zs.org.pk/)