Civil Society for Access to Quality Education
COVID-19 crisis and a downward performing economy has weakened Pakistan’s already frail education sector. Education indicators dropped significantly as a result of the pandemic. A political impasse between the treasury and opposition benches has not helped in moving forward the pro-poor agenda. No major breakthrough has been seen since the change of government in 2018.
Under-funding and under-utilization of allocated education funds, increase in out-of-school children especially girls, lack of political will, paucity of credible data, a non-inclusive approach in policy planning and implementation, lack of transparency, and weak accountability are key issues plaguing the country’s education system.
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) is an initiative of the Society for Access to Quality education (SAQE). Since 2005, PCE has been building the capacities of marginalized communities and advocating their voices in policy processes. In light of the present challenges, PCE initiates a two-year intervention with the overall goal of “Ensuring effective and broad-based participation of civil society in policy processes to achieve inclusive, equitable, quality and free public education for all.”
The intervention aims to:
- Influence national and subnational policies and implementation frameworks for gender-responsive, equitable and quality education;
- Generate analysis and political discourse for across-the-board accountability vis-à-vis Article 25-A Right to Education (RTE) implementation and SDG 4 commitments; and
- Strengthen the Coalition’s capacity to become a robust advocacy platform for educational reforms through collaborative learning, national and international partnerships and knowledge generation.
To achieve these objectives, PCE will work with a range of stakeholders. PCE’s members and its citizen-led platform - Peoples’ Action Forum for Education (PAGE) - will engage local authorities and stakeholders at the district level to increase awareness and understanding of RTE, SDG-4, and gender-responsive education sector planning and budgeting. PAGE will also monitor the effective implementation of education plans to ensure accountability.
At the national and provincial levels, PCE will engage parliamentarians, policymakers, and relevant stakeholders to build consensus on issues related to education financing, implementation of gender-responsive and inclusive quality education, and the harmonization of Article 25-A with SDG4. Existing learning collaboratives at the national level will be strengthened and new collaborations will be formed for joint advocacy and lobbying to hold government accountable.
Joint campaigning under the “Vote for Education” will serve to make education a mainstream agenda for the 2023 general elections in Pakistan. As a member of the Local Education Group (LEG), the Coalition will represent citizens’ voices in the planning and implementation of education plans.
Engagement with other Education Out Loud grantees, as well as with regional/global networks will also contribute to enhancing PCE capacities, and advocacy and accountability work. Internally, PCE will continue to invest in developing its team, members, and strengthening its governance and internal mechanisms to effectively respond to change. The Coalition’s presence at policy platforms at local national, and global levels will be leveraged to ensure that voices of pro-poor and marginalized groups receive considerable representation to influence policies and implementation processes.
An earlier phase of the project was implemented in 2020-2021 with support from Education Out Loud.