Recommendations to Address Education Challenges in Pakistan

Concluding Observations by Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)  

Concluding Observations on 5th Periodic Report adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its seventy-second session (17 May-3 June 2016).

Section 62. In the light of its general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education and taking note of Sustainable Development Goal 4, the Committee recommends that the State party: 

(a) Ensure universal, free and compulsory primary education for all children in the country by adopting relevant laws and policies at the national, provincial and territorial levels;

(b) Prevent children from dropping out of school, including by facilitating access to schools and providing financial support to children from disadvantaged families, and emphasise the importance of education for girls by overcoming deeply rooted attitudes favouring boys and their well-being; 

(c) Raise awareness and encourage communities and parents in particular to enrol children, especially girls and children living in underrepresented provinces and rural areas, in school; 

(d) Prioritise the construction and reconstruction of school infrastructure, especially in schools affected by natural disasters or conflict, and allocate sufficient resources to provide basic necessities, including drinking water, toilets and heating; 

(e) Improve the quality of education and provide quality training and incentives for teachers, with a particular emphasis on rural areas, and ensure that curricula and teaching methods are monitored, in order to prevent unlawful teaching content or behaviour; 

(f) Take measures to protect schools, in particular secular and girls’ schools, and prevent possible attacks, including those targeted at teachers, and the occupation of schools by armed groups; 

(g) Prevent the privatisation of schools and establish mechanisms to monitor the compliance of private schools with minimum educational standards, curriculum requirements and qualifications for teachers; 

(h) Allocate sufficient financial resources for the development and expansion of early childhood care and education, on the basis of a comprehensive and holistic policy covering early childhood care and development.


Section 64. The Committee urges the State party to monitor registered and unregistered private madrasas, using adequate mechanisms, in order to prevent any possibility of abuse and exploitation. In particular, it urges the State party to ensure that the curricula of madrasas follow the overall State curriculum and do not teach religious or sectarian intolerance, are designed in the spirit of human rights and include subjects on children’s rights and international human rights instruments to which the State is a party. It also urges the State party to monitor non-State armed Groups and prohibit them from accessing educational facilities and to protect children from being exposed to recruitment and given military training by armed groups

General Recommendations

Parents and Community Engagement 

  • Launch public awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of education, targeting parents and communities, especially in rural and marginalized areas.
  • Involve parents in decision-making processes, encourage them to advocate for education reform, and foster community support for schools. Consider hiring home or online tutors for additional educational support.

Investing in Technology and Digital Learning Resources

  • Provide access to digital resources, ensure students have necessary technology, and utilize online tutors for personalized instruction and support.

Increasing Access to Quality Education in Underserved Areas

  • Establish more schools, provide transportation, offer scholarships and incentives, and use technology to reach children in remote areas.
  • Initiating programs to subsidize costs such as uniforms, meals and books for children attending school can alleviate financial barriers to education.

Addressing Disparities in Girls’ Education

  • Special attention must be paid to girls’ education, as they are particularly vulnerable and disparities they encounter in accessing schooling.
  • Schools should provide gender-sensitive facilities such as separate washrooms, safe spaces, and hygiene amenities.

Upgrade Infrastructure and Facilities in Schools

  • Invest in school infrastructure, particularly in rural and underserved areas, to ensure adequate facilities such as classrooms, toilets, and clean drinking water.
  • Additionally, consider hiring home and online tutors to provide individualized support to students, especially in areas lacking adequate educational resources.

Strengthen Social Protection System to Support Education

  • Introduce subsidy programs or cash transfers to alleviate economic burdens on families, enabling them to afford schooling expenses.

Establish Counseling and Support Services for Students

  • Establish counseling and support services within schools to address students’ socio-emotional needs and provide guidance on academic and career pathways.

Teacher Training and Professional Development of Stakeholders

  • Provide high-quality teacher training programs, both online and offline, and invest in regular workshops and training sessions on modern teaching methodologies, classroom management, and subject knowledge enhancement to keep teachers motivated and engaged.
  • Train mainstream teachers (pre-school to Grade 6) in both government and low-cost private schools in accelerated foundational literacy/ numeracy skills, to implement interventions at the beginning of each academic year with remedial support so that no child is left behind, especially girls and marginalised children.
  • Provide training and capacity-building initiatives for education stakeholders, including teachers, school administrators, and government officials, on human rights-based approaches to education.

Revise and Updating the Curriculum

  • Lighten the heavy curriculum baggage for children in ECE to Grade 2-3 focusing on foundational literacy, numeracy, storytelling, activity and play-based learning.
  • Incorporate new topics like digital literacy and critical thinking to align with modern needs, and design the curriculum to encourage creativity and innovation.

Offering Alternative Learning Pathways in Education

  • Introduce accelerated learning programs as a flexible pathway facilitating out-of-school children to either reintegrate into the mainstream education system or provide older children with vocational training equipping them with the essential skills for decent employment opportunities.

Enhancing Education Financing and Budget Allocation

  • Increasing government expenditure on education is necessary to address system challenges, prioritizing resource allocation to districts and divisions with the most urgent education needs can help reduce disparities in access to education.

Contingency plans to Support Education during Emergencies 

  • Develop contingency plans and strategies to ensure the continuity of education during emergencies and disasters, including provisions for temporary learning spaces and rapid rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure.

Strengthen Enforcement Mechanisms for Implementing Laws and Policies

  • Strengthen enforcement mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of education laws and policies at all levels, holding accountable those responsible for non-compliance.
  • National and Sub-national Human Rights Institutions conduct independent monitoring of education programs and policies, highlighting gaps and advocating for evidence-based reforms to improve education quality, access, and equity.
  • Make rules of business for the implementation of free and compulsory education provincial laws in compliance with Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan, 1973.
  • Strengthen parliamentary oversight mechanisms to monitor education spending, policy implementation, and progress towards achieving education-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Strengthening Civil Society’s Education Advocacy

  • Advocate for the rights of children to education, focusing on marginalized groups such as children with disabilities, refugees, and minorities, ensuring their access to quality education without discrimination.
  • Leverage media platforms to amplify awareness on pertinent education issues, advocating for legislative reforms and robust enforcement mechanisms to ensure equitable access to quality education for all
  • Monitor education systems and practices to identify barriers to access and discrimination, and report findings to relevant authorities for corrective action.

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