In 2017-18 budget speech, the Sindh government announced that it will increase the education budgetary allocation from Rs 163.1 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 202.2 billion. Despite this increase, the condition on the ground is shoddy with poor infrastructure and serious governance issues. PCE developed a plan to engage district administration, local government representatives, school management committees, head teachers, community members and other key stakeholders to identify the root causes of the deteriorating education situation in the province.
Education is essential for the development and growth of a society. It is a fundamental human right and is a crucial means of realizing other human rights. Education empowers, emboldens and provides opportunities to promote equity and quality of life. It plays a pivotal role in every individual's life by teaching them how to think, how to function as a productive citizen, developing skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights and be mindful of the obligations of the governments, duty bearers and right holders.
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) has been tracking education budget at the district level over the last three years. The tracking exercise entailed a series of district level consultations with local stakeholders that included legislators, major political parties, school administrators and local governments on education budgets to ensure equitable and inclusive access to quality education. Through these consultations it came to light that there is a communication and coordination gap between the School Management, community members and the district administration.
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ('the Committee') expressed its concerns on the issue of privatization of education in Pakistan as the state underwent its first ever review earlier this month. The review focused on the status of implementation of the rights guaranteed under the 14 substantive articles of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966, 'the Covenant').
For the last two years, September is the time when human rights campaigners have been convening as a global consortium to synergize their efforts to counter the privatization of education in their respective regions. This time, the campaigners headed to Kathmandu where these meetings enabled stakeholders from varied backgrounds working on issues with regards to right to education to raise sizeable concerns around the global growth of private actors in education provision. This event also aided to strengthen the coordination of joint global efforts to respond to these developments in an effective manner.