Why millions of children out of school?

IT is unfortunate but a hard fact that the country which takes pride for being a nuclear power is still ranked amongst those few countries where the figure of out of school children runs into millions. According to official figures, about twenty four million children are not attending schools at all, which should serve as an eye opener for the government as well as the whole society. This startling figure speaks volume of the criminal negligence meted out to the education sector by our successive governments.
On Monday, the government launched a nationwide enrolment campaign to bring the out of school children within the parameters of school boundaries in a bid to meet the universal primary enrolment targets in the next two years, though we fell back to meet the millennium development target which envisaged eighty percent primary enrolment by 2015. Enrolment drive, brainchild of present government is a welcome initiative and we expect, it will do the needful to make it successful by offering the poor parents special incentives including cash grants, like the ones offered by Punjab government, in order to encourage the parents send their little ones to the schools. Given the problems of extremism, terrorism, sectarianism and intolerance afflicting the very fabric of society, the government cannot afford any longer to ignore the education sector which is actually the true antidote to address all these evils. For this the Federal government in collaboration with Provinces should draw up a comprehensive reforms package to bring about positive changes in education sector by allocating sufficient resources. Quality of education and better facilities and infrastructure should be ensured at all public sector schools so that parents of all class do not feel hesitant to send their children to these schools. Everyone must know the fact that the country has no future sans education. Not providing education to our children is as big a crime as not providing them with food, clothes or shelter.

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