Over 2 Million Children in Punjab are Out of School, New Stats

Lahore: Expressing concern about 2.2 million unschooled children in the province, the majority of whom are girls, experts have called for the enforcement of the Free and Compulsory Education Act in Punjab and the right of girls to secondary education. He expressed these views at a consultative meeting on the free and compulsory Primary Education Act and implementation of the Right to Secondary Education of Girls organized by the Awaaz Centre for Development Studies and the National Commission for Human Rights.

The session’s biggest focus was to emphasize the necessary measures to ensure primary education for children and reduce dropout rates for girls from secondary schools, to ensure economic and social stability through the educated population. Awaaz CDS Chief Executive Muhammad Zia Rehman, National Commission for Human Rights Commissioner Nadeem Ashraf, School Education Department Director Ghulam Farid, MPA Aswa Aftab, Ayesha Iqbal and other academicians and NGO members attended the consultation. In his opening remarks, Zia Rehman highlighted the importance of quality secondary education of girls and explained the grey areas in the way of girls’ education in Punjab.

He urged the Punjab government to immediately notify the pre-approved Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014. Authority (PEIMA). He warned that due to the rise in fuel prices, girls are dropping out of school especially after the summer holidays. The Commissioner of the National Commission for Human Rights spoke of the obstacles and challenges in implementing the Free and Compulsory Education Act and ensuring the basic right of girls to education to take the nation to stability.

MPA Ayesha Iqbal urged that Governor Bligh Rehman notifie the Education Act without delay. MPA Aswa Aftab stressed the importance of ensuring that every child is pursuing basic education and the country is moving towards achieving SDGs.

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