Alif Ailaan welcomes you to a Qaumi Taleemi Jirgah, where people who can improve the political discourse of education in Pakistan, will come together to actively discuss how a significant change can be brought about in the public education sector.
The share of private schooling has increased from 26% to around 40% over the last decade and of the children who do attend school, as many as two out of every five students attend a private school. These schools tend to raise school fees once or twice a year citing inflation as the reason.
Since September 8, 2015 parents of students enrolled in some of the elite private schools, across major cities in the country, started to protest against the dramatic spike in the school fees of a small number of elite private schools. The question that needs to be answered now is if government schools provided quality education, would private schools have this kind of power and would education have been commoditised in this way?
We anticipate a robust and meaningful discussion with representatives from across government, civil society and the private sector, who will be asked to share their expert opinions on the current prospect of these protests and their potential impact, and if government schools were providing quality education would private schools be able to manipulate parents in the first place.
Quality education should not be a luxury, but, as Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees, it should be given. We hope this discussion generates a broader debate on quality of education that can be instrumental in bringing about substantial policies to improve the existing education system at the provincial and national levels.