Work on the right to education (article 25-a)
The right to education is considered a universal basic fundamental right of every human being. Every country is, thus, bounded by both national and international norms to ensure this basic right of their citizens.
After the insertion of Article 25-A through the 18th Amendment, education has been declared as the fundamental right of every child in the age group of 5-16 years in Pakistan.
Article 25 A: Right to education
“The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by Law”
AJK is a domestic state having its own legislative assembly and laws discuss and pass by the AJK assembly.
Steps by HDF
HDF voluntarily took initiative with Alif Ailaan for approval and implementation of the law at the AJK Level, and run an awareness campaign. HDF also involved politicians, civil society, Media and many other stakeholders in this campaign. HDF also take part in community mobilization. Politicians also realize that RTE is a need of time. For this purpose, we organized awareness programs with civil society, conducted parents meetings, teachers were sensitized Our volunteers has run this campaign in all 10 districts of AJK. Organized community sessions and meetings with the government as well as with the opposition.
Due to these efforts, we were successful to pass the right to education resolution in assembly with the joint consensus of all parties. Now the draft of the bill has been prepared and soon it will become law.
Media Campaign for Education
In this modern age when the world has become a global village through media there, people are also well known about current affairs. Most people have no time to attend parties or seminars and they get details by newspaper or TV because certain people give importance to TV shows and Radio prime time.
Live debates just concern a single issue for discussion to give detailed information and try to remove the conflicts in a friendly show environment so the audience can also take part in debates and government give respect to their opinions. Thus politicians have to talk openly in front of an audience as people are well aware of related topics.
The Activity of the Program
By keeping in mind about media role especially television and radio in society and its great impact on people, we conducted a “live TV show “and an interview on the radio program about quality education and article 25-A in AJK.
In these shows, the minister education itself participated and highlighted the issues and also their solutions. The shows were online run on prime times of radio and television.
There were different types of issues that were discussed like education budget, National Education Policy and especially the right to education.
This program was as a source to interact the political leadership with civil society organizations at a platform where the discussion should make a way to open the new horizons to better reforms in education.
These shows pave new paths for further exploring the loopholes in our education budget. It provides an insight into the bifurcation of the budget and setting our preferences in the educational domain. It further elaborates what actions need to be taken and what should be done to sustain those reforms.
Education awareness through Street Art
Art pictures are considered a silent message. Many peoples are not educated in the rural areas who have no reading skills.
To deliver a message of education and to educate their parents we used a street art method to aware the community. Through different portraits importance of acquiring education was highlighted.
District Muzaffarabad was selected for an art activity and 3 places were considered as marginalized places where education facilities and other issues like drop out, missing facilities were looked at as compared to other places. Manak Payyan, Chella Bandi and Tariq abad were such areas where the population ratio is high and issues are so much regarding education. Manak Payyan and Chella Bandi are such places where refugees are living and Tariqabad comes inland sliding area. Where mostly different problems are seen regarding land sliding.
A local artist was provided with the whole theme and design of the art activity and they started work. 3 activities were completed in these 3 places.
Visual art activity was itself the main call to action. Because the walls were painted such that the viewers can get the message of what should they need to do on a priority basis.
HDF Initially complete art activity in district Muzaffarabad and now planning to extend it to all districts of AJK.
Hundreds of civil society members get messages through an art activity.
Education Budget Debates
Pakistan’s educational challenge is complicated and is strongly linked to the way the financial budget is planned, managed and monitored. Major issues which are relevant in this content include inadequate engagement of legislature in the budget-making process, insufficient allocations compared with actual needs, untimely fiscal flow, corruption, huge administrative expenditure, lack of transparency etc.
To ensure high-quality education throughout the country, it is important that the annual budget of education is prepared and implemented in consultation with all the important stakeholders.
HDF has organized the budget training workshops in district Muzaffarabad and Hattian in 2013-4 in which Head teachers’ education department officials are aware of making the budget according to their responsibilities. The training was delivered with the help of education department budget officers. Headteachers from Primary, Middle and High were trained.
In this debate budget officers and teachers asked questions to each other, many teachers were blamed that their budget does not release in time etc.
Due to these sessions and face to face discussions both were cleared that what they have to do and how they have to do it.
Waledain Ki Awaz (Parents Union)
Raising education issues:
As the parents are the backbone of education setup and way of proper liaison between parent and teacher through the medium of children is very important. Usually, parents complain about teacher absenteeism and teachers complain about parents not keeping a check on their children. To bridge this gap and make the parents responsible for their children progress and to keep a check, it’s important that parents should be aware of quality education, and they must build interest in govt. institutes and to help the teachers, so this will be possible when a suitable platform is provided to the parents in form of a “Parents Union” to address the above-said issues.
Regarding this agenda, HDF formed committees with the name of Walden Ki Awaz (Parents Union) in Muzaffarabad District, in UC Langurpura, Mera Kalan, Chattr Klass, Therian, Muzaffarabad.
Objectives of Activity
- Making parents aware of their participation is important in education
- To make parents responsible for their child’s educational progress
- To bridge the gap between teachers and parents
- To maintain check and balance on teacher’s role in child’s educational progress
- Govt. of AJK
- Alif Ailaan