Chief Justice questions state’s failure to provide ‘free’ and ‘compulsory’ education

The top judge commented that the state is f0rcing the people to opt for private schooling and then are also pressurizing them to cut down on fee. The lack of quality educational facilities in public institutions caught the Supreme Court’s attention. Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked the federal and provincial governments to come up with facts about why the state has failed to comply with the constitutional obligation in the education sector.

”Attorney General Anwar Mansoor, as well as advocate generals for the provincial governments, should appear before the court on Monday with complete data along with information regarding fulfilment of the obligation under Article 25-A of the Constitution” – said Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa while he was heading a three-judge bench.

Article 25-A deals with the right to education and obligates the state to provide ‘free’ and ‘compulsory’ education to all children of the age between five and 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by the law.

Article 25-A particularly deals with the citizen’s right to education and the responsibility of the state provide ‘compulsory’ and ‘free’ education to all children aged between 5 and 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by the law.

State is forcing people to opt for private education and pressurising private institutions not to charge much – commented Justice Khosa.

The bench took up a set of cases related to education and fee hike by private educational institutions. The bench also hinted that the matter would be heard on a day to day basis from next Monday.

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Justice Khosa said that he studied in a government college and then attended a government college. He then continued his education at prestigious Cambridge University and Lincoln’s Inn. Throughout his educational journey, he never felt any disadvantage.

“Earlier, we used to see government schools almost in every street or locality, but now no such educational institutions are in sight” – he said.

He added that due to lack of resources, Pakistan’s talent is being wasted only because the parents can’t afford to pay a high fee of private schools. He said it is evidence enough that the government is failing to fulfil its obligation of providing quality free education.

“Hapless people have no choice but to send their children to madrassahs” – he said.

Justice Khosa concluded that when the state is failing to fulfil its job, how can it successfully control the private education mafia.

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