Right to Free and Compulsory Education in Pakistan

Enforcement of Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan


Publication No: PD-243

Rs 3,000  

With the passage of 18 Constitutional Amendment and abolition of the concurrent list, education has become a provincial subject. Another important and positive change is the insertion of Article 25-A in the Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees the right to free and compulsory education to all children of age 5 to 16 years in Pakistan. This free and compulsory education is to be provided by the State, which, by definition, includes both Federal and Provincial Governments. After declaring education a provincial subject, will it be the exclusive responsibility of the provinces to ensure that Article 25A is implemented in letter and spirit, or the Federal Government will also be responsible to fully or partially support the provision of this Constitutional Right to all children in the country? This Article (25-A) also necessitates further legislation (by the provincial Assemblies) to facilitate the enforcement of free and compulsory education. This and some other associated questions need to be discussed and adequately answered now for a greater clarity for implementation. The Government of Pakistan has declared education in general and Education for All (EFA) in particular, its top priority. Pakistan is also a signatory to international commitments like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) signed by the world leaders in the year 2000, and the Dakar Framework of Action for Education For All (April 2000) by 2015, which includes free and compulsory primary education to all children. Realizing the fact that the implementation of Article 25-A will be a key challenge in the future as there are millions of out of school children, the capacity of the provinces and a possible supportive role of the Federal Government need to be discussed with all possible stakeholders. It is in this context that this Background paper has been specially commissioned to brainstorm on all these issues at this stage. This background paper has been jointly prepared by PILDAT and UNESCO.