During past year, as many as 14 communities were able to make significant progress on two education rights including ‘right to free and compulsory education’ and ‘right to know your rights’.
The progress towards education was registered due to regular engagement and capacity building of communities, line departments and like-minded civil society organizations.
The existing Parents, Teachers, Students Management Committees (PTSMCs) were strengthened through capacity building around campaigning and awareness on education rights.
Among others, the major milestones achieved by PTSMCs include enrolment campaign and spotting missing facilities stand alone.
ActionAid in collaboration with its local partners organized an enrollment week campaign in its LRPs aiming to promote quality education and to increase enrollment in schools.
“I feel very excited to go to school. I want to become a teacher. I am happy to mention that besides me, 200 other non-going school children from my community are enrolled in schools during last six months, says 10 years old Samina from Kot Addu.
“More than 400 children are enrolled in 3 target union councils and more than 1000 children are enrolled in Tehsil Chaubara in response to education enrollment campaign”, says 16 years old Munawar Abbas from Layyah.
Recently, in connection with the advocacy campaign held by ActionAid, government announced Rs 1500 million for the construction of 75 school buildings in Cholistan.
Resultantly, Government of Punjab adopted those 75 schools and secured the right to education of 5500 children.
Since 2012, we have been using different strategies, innovative tactic such as rallies, press conferences, media forums, lobbying meetings, mock schools and TV programs to make our campaign more participatory and productive.
Similarly owing to consistent advocacy and lobbying efforts made by ActionAid and its local partner Azat Foundation, the provincial government of Balochistan has finally issued a notification to adopt 06 community schools as government schools in Nushki.
The challenges faced in realizing the right to free and compulsory education was mainly the non-availability of government budget for LRP areas.
Though district government has assured to provide some missing facilities in schools during the fiscal year 2015-2016, however, the LRP partners have decided to address budget allocation issue at the right time when government authorities sit together to make budget plans.
After passage of 18th constitutional amendment from national parliament of Pakistan, provincial governments were supposed to take over the educational responsibilities.
Moreover, the provincial governments were also responsible for developing provincial educational policy. Owing to lack of required skills and capacities, none of the four provinces managed to introduce educational reforms.
The high dropout ratio at primary level shows very limited opportunities of continuing education at secondary and higher level.
“I have a long way to go yet, I want to be a doctor. I am fortunate that I got an opportunity to continue my studies.
It would not have been possible for my family to afford sending me to the district headquarter (Umerkot) because it involved a huge transport fare, school uniform and other education related expenditure.
I am very thankful to Sami Foundation and ActionAid that they inspired me to dream for a better future”, says 14 years old Om Parkash from Umerkot, Sindh.
Above all, these committees were able to develop 09 school improvement plans. They mobilized the local communities to write letters to public authorities for provision of identified missing facilities in the schools.
The communities were made aware of their right to information with regard to provisions made under Article 25A of the constitution which entitles them to have access to information required for public interest.