The 18 the Constitutional Amendment made Right to Education a justiciable fundamental right with the following pledge; ‘The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.’ (Article 25-A of the Pakistani Constitution)
After a decade the performance on ground is abysmal in all federating units. There were amazing legislative leaps as the law for federal capital-Islamabad was passed in 2012. As of today the Executive has failed to frame the rules that are require to implement this Act. Another catch in operationalization of the law is that the government has to notify the areas where the state will provide ‘free and compulsory’ education. Islamabad has 50 Union Councils and even after 8-year not a single inch has been designated to bestow the fruits of constitution.
In 2013 Sindh enacted its law for free and compulsory education in the light of Article 25-A of the Constitution. This law was supposed to come in force at ‘once’ and its rules were notified in 2016. However there is very little tangible progress on the ground.
Balochistan passed its law in 2014 and with the exception of tribal areas was deemed to have been effective since June 2013. There is hardly any significant progress on the ground.
Khyber Pakhtunkhawa enacted its law for free and compulsory education in 2017. Here again neither the rules have been made nor any operationalization notification have been issued.
In the Constitution of Pakistan Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have a different legal status. There are conversations to import the spirit of the right to education in the constitutional arrangement of AJK and in the autonomy order of GB.
After advocacy and trainings by Awaz-CDS, some legislators in the Provincial Assembly of Punjab have taken-up the issue of rules and notification of areas. They have invoked various parliamentary tools as a wake-up call and push the government to do the needful.