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Uncertain future.


On 14th August, I was able to attend independence day celebrations at an NGO funded school in Lahore. The school was located in the outskirts of the city, within a small town called Babu Sabu. Surprisingly, till a great distance there were no other schools in the area. And the school constructed by the NGO some 5 years ago, had been the first one there. The children of this rural neighbourhood, mostly poor sons and daughters of shop workers and animal rearers etc, had been earlier deprived of education.


The children participated in the function with immense vigour and enthusiasm. Displayed their patriotism and love for their land with brilliant performances. They talked about their future aspirations of doing something big and making their country proud. I pray that each of those children get to fulfill their dreams even if the stacks are aligned against them.


Pakistan has a striking rate of 22.7 million out of school children which is the second highest number in the world. This situation is exacerbated by striking inequalities based on sex and socioeconomic status. In the school there were some kids who were trying to catch a glimpse of the function by peeking in through the gate. On being asked, I was told that these kids weren't enrolled in the school because their families needed their help in earning a living.


Our government's negligence in this regard is one of the primal reasons here. For 2019-2020, only 2.3% of the total budget was allocated towards education. Such negligence has rendered access to education quite restricted for the majority. Even when poor children do acquire access through government schools or civil society interventions, the quality of education they receive is quite mediocre. It is nowhere comparable to the quality education elite kids receive in elite schools. Their chances of higher education in high ranking institutes are also restricted. The NGO headed school will support the 250 enrolled children of Babu Sabu till class 8th. Where would the children go afterwards? Would they have a chance to study in colleges and universities and be able to fulfill their dreams? Their future remains uncertain like the future of most underprivileged children in this country.


More schools need to be built in areas other than the urban sphere and immediate attention needs to given to improving the quality and standards of government sector schools.



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11 Comments


This is a sad reality of our society with massive population growth,limited resources and increasing inflation ,sending kids to school is not a priority instead parents prioritize earning quick money which results in child labour and the slavery trade.Gender based discrimination is also widespread in our society that affects the education of young girls

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This is a very alarming issue that has been neglected for too long. We need to educate our kids if we are hoping for a better future for this country. These children deserve a greater share in the budget allocation than anyone else yet we continue to see them suffer. I worked with an NGO that was running a school for special children and it was heart breaking to see that children who need the most resources had close to none available.

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Yes they do. Why doesn't our government prioritizes education first and foremost. Why should the socioeconomic background of children restrict their access to quality education. Education is the fundamental right of every child whether poor or rich!

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Unfortunately, those students might not get an opportunity to study continue their studies due to financial restriction and lack of resources. I myself have seen a lot of students in my area who could not continue their education because they could not afford private colleges and the condition of government college is so bad that it is a waste of time to send any children to those colleges.

The government really needs to increase annul budget of education so that the schools and colleges can function properly.

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It's sad that the circumstances of birth of these children determine their future. Perhaps the notion that education can increase one's social mobility does not hold true for the most underprivileged sections of our society. Immediate action is needed in this regard.

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In other countries, the major work is done by the governments and then the rest of the work is done by NGOs. But here, NGOs do the major work while the government does the rest and sometimes is reluctant to do it. The whole system is corrupted to the core. even if we start improving the system today, it would take one's whole life to improve the conditions

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agreed

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You are lucky to spend some quality time with these children. Everything seems okay until we see the life of those who are marginalized in our society. Only then we realize that how far we are from a good state. I wish our leaders change their priorities and allocate some decent budget to the education!

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Right now our state's priorities lie elsewhere other than education, and even the policies that they have presented are more potentially disastrous rather than effective like the SNC.

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