According to an estimate by UNICEF, around 22.8 million children between the age of 5 and 16, 44 percent of the total population of this age group, are not in schools, which is the second-highest number in the world.
The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and Mishal Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding to create awareness among the general public about out of school children through print, electronic and online mediums.
Through this collaboration, TCF and Mishal are very much committed to enhancing the quality of reporting on out-of-school children by building the capacity of journalists reporting on Education and Social Development related issues. Mishal and TCF will jointly develop a capacity-building initiative by engaging senior journalists on multiple forums across the country.
The organizations have joined hands to conduct training sessions with senior journalists in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta. The purpose is to design strategic media training that provides data-sets for journalists to report on the issue with evidence-based journalism.
This collaboration will complement the efforts of TCF to implement changes in the education system that are necessary to bring children into schools, and to achieve the unanimous goal of keeping children in schools. Mishal Pakistan will also a create a special category at the AGAHI Awards 2019, Pakistan’s most sought after journalism recognition to include “the Reporter of the Year Award, Reporting on Out of School Children.
Gaps in service provision at all education levels is a major constraint to education access. Socio-cultural demand-side barriers combined with economic factors and supply-related issues, such as availability of adequate and standardized school facilities, together hamper access and retention of certain marginalized groups, in particular, adolescent girls.
Isfandyar Inayat, General Manager, TCF said,
The economic development of a nation is closely related to the development of its human resources. Our partnership with Mishal Pakistan aims to spotlight Pakistan’s education crisis that is affecting the ability of our children to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge needed for effective participation and contribution to our national development. We are thankful to Mishal Pakistan for stepping up to help us in this cause.
Speaking on the occasion Amir Jahangir, CEO of Mishal Pakistan said, Education is the right of every child as envisioned in the Constitution of Pakistan Article 25-A which premises that the state shall provide free and compulsory education to children of age 5 to 16 years.
However, its provision falls well below an adequate standard. Through this initiative both the organizations want to bring public policy focus on the Right to Education by raising awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4 and SDG5).