Awami National Party MPA Shagufta Malik has moved a resolution in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly demanding allocation of six percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) for girl’s education.
Shagufta, who is also a member of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) task force said the proposal was in compliance with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Free Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Act, 2017 and the international commitments made by Pakistan under the Universal Periodic Review in Human Rights Council (HRC) of United Nations (UN).
In budget 2019-2020, the KPK government must introduce equitable resource allocation measures to boost girls education, in a bid to bridge the prevalent gap between boys and girls enrolment at the secondary school level
“According to Pakistan Education Statistics 2016-17 by the Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM), an autonomous organization of Ministry of Education, in newly merged tribal districts 73 percent of school-going age girls are out of school, compared to just 43 percent of all boys,” the woman lawmaker stated in the resolution.
The MPA added that almost 49 percent girls were not in schools in comparison to 21 percent of boys in different districts of the province. Calling upon the commitment made in the Article 37 (b), Part II, Chapter 2, and Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 and” Article 25 A, Part-II, Chapter 1, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5 to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law,” making the government responsible to make necessary provisions, she added.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa civil society, NGO’s and education rights activists applauded the resolution and called for an overall increase in resource allocation for girls secondary education budget in the year 2019-2020. Blue Veins Programme Coordinator Qamar Naseem, lauded the resolution and said the budget was a true reflection of the government’s top-most priorities.
“Without the allocation of resources, especially financial, the government cannot realize the right to education. Pakistan cannot meet its minimum core obligations, such as securing free compulsory primary and secondary education for all, or the obligation to progressively realize certain aspects of the right to education, such as the progressive introduction of free secondary, vocational and higher education,” he added.