The United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) and broadcasters on Saturday called for every child in Pakistan of school-going age to be enrolled in school.
An appeal has been made to governments, the private sector, national institutions, media, education professionals, communities, parents and other stakeholders to renew their commitment to ensuring that children have access to quality education.
The appeal was made a day ahead of the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting on March 4 (today).
This year’s theme, ‘Every Child in School,’ emphasises the need for all children, girls and boys, to have access to schooling and to receive quality education up to secondary school level. Broadcasters will produce special TV and radio programmes raising awareness among parents and caregivers on the importance of enrolling out-of-school children, especially girls.
“Ensuring access to free and quality education for all children is both a right in principle and a right in practice,” said Unicef Representative in Pakistan Dan Rohrmann.
“Investing in education is an investment in the future of Pakistan – an investment that both underpins the Government’s Framework for Economic Growth, and is a catalyst for human growth and development,” he added.
Nearly 25 million children in Pakistan are denied the right to an education – the second largest number of out-of-school children in any country.
Of these, seven million children are of primary school-age and 60% are girls.
“It is essential to make all efforts to secure sufficient education budgets and invest in a dynamic and vibrant education sector that fully exploits the opportunities of new technologies and, above all, the amazing potential of children in Pakistan,” said Rohrmann.
The International Children’s Day of Broadcasting is an international event where, on the first Sunday of March, thousands of broadcasters in more than 100 countries help children to be directly involved in radio and television programming, production and presentation.
As a result, children share experiences with their peers, and give voice to their hopes and dreams.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2012.