ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and Society for Access to Quality Education (SAQE) organised a consultation on ‘Education for All: Role of Media’ on Tuesday.

Highlighting the role of media in 21st Century where it is esteemed to be one of the founding pillars of modern state in reshaping the lives of the citizens, participants were welcomed on behalf of National Coordinator Zehra Arshad. The purpose of the meeting was to create a strong liaison between media and civil society to bridge the gaps for the progression and enactment of article 25-A after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Talking to the participants Javed Hasan Aly, a civil servant, said government educational institutions are getting collapsed with each passing day and the reasons are many. In America 90 per cent of the children go to public schools where as in Pakistan only those find their way to public schools who cannot afford private schools. This lack of trust of is the outcome of multiple factors, such as missing facilities in schools, student teacher ratio, etc.

He further added that in 1950, Pakistan and Malaysia were enjoying the same growth, which in case of Pakistan consistently deteriorated, and in case of Malaysia, accelerated due to their social preparedness. Countries such as China, Malaysia, South Korea invested adequately in human capital thus during the last 10 years they achieved milestones in terms of progress.

He emphasised the need for educating the girls who are worst effected in all provinces. With a cumulative 57.7 per cent of literacy and highest dropout rate in the world, Pakistan stands at second in terms of primary out of school children. Mushrooming of Maddaris which count to be around 13000 in Pakistan are just because they provide food, shelter and education.

This hunger stricken nation cannot afford to breed mindsets not to accept difference of opinion. He further highlighted that government so far could not provide education to all at no cost, which Maddariss are effectively providing.

Moreover the government has failed to allocate the promised 4 per cent of GDP to education. It has substantially failed to utilise the allocated budget, which is undermining the education sector.

Education Task Force report grimly highlighted that Pakistan is far behind in achieving MDGs and EFA due it its 7 million children out of school and those 3 million who will never find their way to school. There is a zero per cent chance that Pakistan would be able to achieve MDGs. To ensure education for all, Pakistan need to intake all the children into its schools and simultaneously raising the education budget from 2 percent  to 4 percent and then to 7 percent as pledged.  Another distinguished speaker Zaigham Khan referred to the research work of Amratiya San and Dr Mahboob Ul Haq, how Asian Tigers covered 100 years distance in 10 years. Traditional economists could not explain how Korea and Malaysia made progress during the past years. China’s progress was rapid than India due to their social preparedness that was provided in the form of health and education.