The Alif Ailaan Taleemi Karavan enters day two of its journey
August 27, 2013
Heading out from Faisalabad, the Alif Ailaan Taleemi Karavan made its first stop in Okara on the second day of its journey. Received by a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters on bikes, rickshaws and cars, the caravan was escorted from the Hazrat Karmawala Bypass to the Al Hamra Arts Council.
“The District Government and the Education Department will support the enrolment drive,” said Daifullah Dogar, DCO Okara. “This time we will ensure that no child is left out of school.”
The caravan made its next stop in Chiniot where more than 500 parents, students, teachers, civil society members and politicians gathered for a conference. The event kicked off with a stage drama presented by local school girls highlighting the importance of girls’ education.
A tableau was also staged to highlight the importance of education in everyday life. Everyone present at the event agreed on the need to support the enrolment drive and see how they could motivate parents whose children are out of school to get them enrolled.
“It is the duty of every parent to provide their child with an education,” said Ansar Kamal Sail, DMO Education. “We should start by identifying those people who do not send their children to school and then persuade them to enrol their children before it is too late.”
After the event in Chiniot, the caravan made its way to Faisalabad, which was its last stop for the day. An inter-city tour of the caravan was much welcomed by the residents who appreciated the message the campaign is trying to spread.
Alif Ailaan, a campaign that seeks to put education at the front and centre of public discourse in Pakistan, is working to increase enrolment in the Punjab. The mid-year enrolment drive announced by the provincial government is an important initiative by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and is an example of the kinds of measures needed to end Pakistan’s education emergency.
The Alif Ailaan Taleemi Karavan, a convoy of five decorated vehicles is driving to the districts of Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujranwala, Lahore, Okara, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Jhang, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur before returning to Islamabad. The Taleemi Karavan will stop in key towns and cities along the GT Road, where Alif Ailaan partners and network coordinators will engage with parents, children, teachers, lawyers, journalists, local politicians and community notables.
This year more than 2.7 million children in the Punjab will turn 5. Of these children, close to 1 million will never go to school. What’s worse, nearly half of all children who are currently enrolled will drop out within the next five years, failing even to complete primary school.
Currently net enrolment in the Punjab stands at 64 per cent. At this rate it will be 2041 before every child in the province is in school. Pakistan faces an education emergency. The time to end it is now.