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‘Without budget free education a mere slogan’

October 31, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: Speakers at a workshop on Wednesday said the constitution guaranteed free education for every child of five to 16 years of age, but without budgetary allocations it was a mere slogan.

The workshop on research, teaching and training for fundamental rights, was organised by ‘Centre for Civic Education Pakistan’, a research and training institution, at a local hotel.

According to Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act 2005, the education budget would not be less than 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), but this provision of the act it could not be implemented, he said.

Executive Director Centre for Civic Education Zafarullah Khan said that every citizen could bring about reform in the system by equipping himself with quality education, power of vote and right to information for transparent governance.

“The educational institutions should encourage research, teaching and training on fundamental rights through various academic activities,” he added.

Senior human rights activist Ashfaq Saleem Mirza emphasised the need for collective and concrete efforts aimed at encouraging teaching and research on fundamental rights. He said that the citizens should be aware of their constitutional rights and culture of human right values might be promoted at all levels.

While replying to a question, he said that government had to tell the values of active and responsible citizenship, rule of law and critical thinking to the youth.

Through “Islamabad Resolution”, participants suggested that civic education shall be made compulsory part of curriculum and educational activities and fundamental rights, given in 1973 constitution, shall be included in the text books.

The scholars, researchers and civil society activists were of the view that extra and co-curricular activities at the national campuses were necessary.

They also vowed to contribute to promotion of civic education and constitutional literacy among the students.