Provision of free education: Don’t give shortage of funds as an excuse, CJ tells education secretary

Published: April 13, 2012

The secretary told the court the government was drafting a law.

LAHORE: 

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Wednesday sought a reply from the education secretary by April 26 on a petition requesting implementation of the right to free education to children between five and 16, guaranteed in Article 25-A of the Constitution.

The secretary told the court that the government was drafting a law to ensure provision of free education.

At one point the chief justice inquired from the law officer why the government had failed to provide free education by June 2011 when it was the parliament that had added the article to the Constitution and given the 2011 deadline.

The CJ observed that the court would not accept excuses, like shortage of funds, for non-implementation.

The petition has been moved by the Judicial Activism Panel chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique.

Siddique said that the 18th Amendment had been passed in April 2010, making it the provincial governments’ responsibility to provide education.

The petitioner requested the court that the federal and Punjab governments be directed to implement Article 25-A of the Constitution in letter and spirit by introducing a uniform system of education and allowing all children of Punjab free-of-cost compulsory education.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2012.

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