Voice for Education Raised Across the Country
Islamabad: Voices for education were raised across the country with the Alif Ailaan campaign shifting up a gear in the run-up to the elections in Rawalpindi, Hafizabad and Toba Tek Singh.
An All-Parties Conference in Rawalpindi brought together representatives from all major political parties to sign the Alif Ailaan declaration to get children in school, keep them in school, and improve the quality of learning. Some 9.3 million children in the Punjab are out of school, while 751 schools operate out in the open without a proper building. Meanwhile, 19,621 schools have no electricity. Participants roundly condemned the situation. The Jamaat-e-Islamis’ Syed Arshad Farooq noted that issues related to education are not being addressed. All representatives vowed to make education a priority if they were elected.
In Hafizabad, politicians belonging to all major political parties joined civil society representatives to discuss their plans to improve the state of education in the district. Former MNA and PML-N candidate for NA-102 Saira Tarar said that while education for girls should be prioritized, it is equally important to work towards improving the standard of higher education for young women.
In Toba Tek Singh, 1,000 men, women and children participated in a walk for education. Students joined civil society representatives to demand that the next government increases the budget for education, and works to increase enrollment and improve the quality of teaching.