By: Malaha Shahab - Intern SSDO
To those accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression! Today standing in the 21st century Pakistan being the third world underdevelopment country may have laws registered for the protection of children but has been exploiting them through class systems, corruption, and capitalism. Children being the future of Pakistan are yet classified into designated jobs and institutions inspired by forefathers and family traditions.
The rapid population growth is driving the country more towards suppression as the middle and lower class faces a lack of awareness and resources. For starters education in Pakistan is the most essential step that needs justice. At this point, Pakistan is at the second-highest number for out-of-school children in the world. Gender wise boys outnumber girls at every stage of education. The constitution obligates according to Article-25 A that,
“The state shall provide free and compulsory education to the age group of 5-16 years”.
The situation of education provision in Pakistan is yet facing downfall due to gaps in service which is highlighted constraint in access. Access and retention of some underprivileged populations, particularly teenage females, is hampered by socio-cultural demand-side restrictions mixed with economic considerations and supply-related difficulties (such as school facility availability). Putting in place a reliable data system and monitoring methods to track out-of-school children's retention and avoid dropout remains a struggle. Inadequate funding, insufficient enforcement of policy promises, and difficulties in fair implementation obstruct reaching the most disadvantaged at the system level. Although there has been a promising improvement in education expenditures, they still fall short of the 4 percent objective at 2.8 percent of total GDP. Case studies show that in 2004 only 40% of Pakistani children were enrolled in primary schools which are mostly the ones who belong to the middle and upper class. A big chunk of the lower community deliberately chose madrassas over schools, where the curriculum is almost contrary and promotes Islamic education. Secondary and higher-level education as graduation degrees is cuffed by corrupt systems. Admissions through sources and grades being sold are the new smart amongst teens.
Distribution of seats for medical is the major hurdle to surpass for students while they are being sold more often. Board systems rule over the judgment of capability in students when it’s been made all about the financial condition of every individual. Papers are leaked easily and the curriculum is the same for many years. Lack of awareness and illiteracy of parents adds up to the increasing child education issues in Pakistan. UNICEF supports the Government of Pakistan's efforts to minimize the number of OOSC at the pre-primary, primary, and lower secondary levels to expedite the development and guarantee the equitable extension of quality education.