Alliance to support education

Islamabad:March 02:For well-informed and synchronised action to support Right to Education (RTE) for all, especially girls, the Oxfam GB (OGB) in collaboration with Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and Institute for Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) has formed a national level strategic alliance. The alliance will primarily facilitate the process of taking stock and band together all ongoing and futuristic initiatives woven around RTE by both government and civil society organisations for more synergistic and vociferous impact. The coalition is a direct consequence of OGB and PCE’s ongoing joint strategic efforts to explore and strengthen coordination amongst partners, NGOs, INGOs, donor agencies, government and wider civil society to influence policy and practices in Pakistan in this regard. It is the offshoot of a series of strategic meetings, provincial and national consultations including international conference held last year which resulted in passing a joint declaration called “Islamabad Resolution” and the recent “Charter of Demand” for an urgent implementation of Article 25(A) by PCE General Body Convention (November 22-23, 2011) in collaboration with Oxfam. The National Alliance is not a registered body and is unlikely to be so as at this preliminary level, it is envisaged as a small working group created by a few national and international organizations which may have diverse backgrounds and strategic institutional priorities but are united on the broad evidence based understanding and preference that every child has a fundamental right to education and that it must be realized with a great deal of urgency particularly through capitalizing upon the impending election year. Undoubtedly, the insertion of Article 25 A is one of the tremendous accomplishments and opportunities for Pakistan, the real challenge is to materialize this constitutional amendment amidst all the historically complex and intricate situation of education in Pakistan. The implementation requires urgent actions for accelerating the awareness process on rights and responsibilities particularly for the promulgation of free and compulsory education immediately. This is in recognition that no single organisation can bring sustainable change at a scale where millions of poor and vulnerable women, men and children are denied of their fundamental rights. Hence, the need for such an alliance to work with a strong conviction in togetherness and converging efforts to become effective in bringing the required shift in power relations at all levels is well-defined. To take full advantage of RTE (Article 25A), the current demographics patterns of Pakistan make the role of the youth vital and vibrant. In this respect, In the backdrop of RTE (Article 25-A) a national level campaign titled, “It’s My Right, Make it Right” was rolled out by OGB’s Girls Education Program in collaboration with PCE during Global Action Week 2011 under the aegis of Senior Provincial Minister for Education and Literacy from Sindh. The youth and civil society led campaign focuses on improved gender-responsive financing and utilization for girls’ education supported by evidence based researches specifically involving budget-analysis and tracking exercises to lobby bridging commitment and implementation gaps in the education policy and practices. More than one thousand civil society groups are affiliated with this campaign targeting youth and elders to make informed decisions and claiming their constitutional rights.The news.

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