Free education: Article 25A commission holds first meeting

Member says CM’s one-month deadline for law draft unlikely to be met.

Aroosa Shaukat August 02, 2012


The commission formed to come up with a proposed law for the implementation of Article 25-A of the Constitution, which makes free schooling a fundamental right, held its first meeting here in Lahore on Thursday.

The meeting focused on terms of reference and how the commission will work. “We deliberated on the rules under which the commission will work,” said Chaudhry Javed Ahmed, chairman of the provincial assembly’s standing committee on education and a member of the committee.

Ahmed said while the chief minister had tasked the commission with drawing up a draft of the law within a month, the deadline was unlikely to be met. “It is too short a time for us to bring about a law which is to address such an important issue,” he said.

Ahmed said that the commission would need time to come up with an implementation mechanism taking into consideration the limited resources available for the purpose.

The commission is expected to meet again at 10am on Saturday when the members will be briefed by representatives of various departments.

The 20-member commission is headed by former Lahore High Court chief justice Khalilur Rehman and includes Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz, representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the secretaries for Literacy and Non Formal Basic Education, School Education and Higher Education.

Ahmed said that the commission also included private sector representatives such as Mian Amir Mahmood, the chairman of the Punjab Group of Colleges.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.