Walk for Education Budget - Manglore, Swat
Manglawar: Demanding that their elected representatives do more for education, over 2,600 parents, students and civil society representatives participated in a walk organized by Alif Ailaan. Participants called on the new government to increase the budget for education, make sure that every child is in school and improve the quality of teaching.
“Education is our top priority and, as promised before the elections, we will work to ensure that all children of Swat are enrolled in school,” said Azizullah Khan, MNA, PTI. “The children of Swat have immense potential. It is now up to the government to unlock that potential to put Swat on the path to a better future,” he added.
Malak Ihsanullah Khan, District Vice President, PTI Swat, Mian Anwer Hilal, President, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Swat, Qasim Khan, Provincial Vice President,PML N, and Noor Muhammad Khan, President PPPP Manglawar, were also present at the event and were unanimous in their view that it is necessary to increase the education budget.
Currently, Swat has a literacy rate of 51 per cent, with more than 100,000 children of primary-school-going age out school, most of whom are girls.
“The 25 million Pakistani children who are currently out of school will soon join the adult population, unable to read or write properly and thereby deprived of economic opportunities. Before the elections, politicians promised to end Pakistan’s Education Emergency. The time has come to deliver on those promises,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, Team Leader, Alif Ailaan.
According to Alif Ailaan, immediate measures are required to increase the primary enrolment rate which is currently 54 per cent for girls and 61 per cent for boys.
Given the poor quality of education, there is also an urgent need to ensure that concrete steps are taken to improve learning outcomes. Only 50 per cent of fifth-grade students can read a story in Urdu while only 41 per cent can perform simple three-digit division.