Govt committed to enrol every child to school by 2010
LAHORE – The Punjab government, according to maiden speech of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, is committed to enrolling every child to school by year 2010, said provincial Labour Minister Asharaf Khan Sohna.
He was addressing a function held to commemorate World Day Against Child Labour, jointly organised by the Punjab Government and the International Labour Organisation here on Thursday.
He said that the Punjab government would spare additional money for children to meet its target by the year 2010. The government has set its target according to the ILO standards and international conventions. In order to achieve these targets, the government would need support of philanthropists, society in general and the media and hoped that the government would not be short of such support.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Rodney Asberg of Pak-Swedish Teachers Association, co-host of the function, which has been running school for brick klin children for the last forty year, said that Pakistan has a sad distinction of being second in the world for highest number of out-of-school children. Education is the only right response, which is also ILO slogan for this year, for these children. Child labour perpetuates poverty across the generations and hits the psyche of child. Only education can change destiny of such children and their parents. The government has society has a moral obligation towards these children.
There is also an element of urgency because these children, falling between five to 23 years, do not have much time left. So, the decision has to be taken now rather than waiting for miracles and loosing precious time in fight against child labour.
Mr. Taseer Alizai of the ILO maintained that Pakistan has 3.3 million children involved in labour and only 29 per cent are in some kind of skilled labour. The rest 71 per cent unskilled labourers, who cannot improve their skill to become better off in life. The government efforts should concentrate on these unskilled children, who would otherwise be condemned to a life of poverty.
In his message for the day, the ILO Director General Juan Somavia said: “We must work for every child’s right to education so no child has to work for survival. The goal is quality education for children and decent work for adults. On this World Day Against Child Labour the focus is on Education – the right response to child labour. For too many children, particularly of poor families across the world, the right to education remains an abstract concept, far from reality.” He called for educational dimension in struggle against child labour, saying “let us pledge to work together for education for all children at least to the minimum age of employment.
’20pc pay raise not enough’
20 percent raise in salaries will not be enough as prices of commodities and other essential items have increase manifold.
Chairman Action Committee Wapda House Rasheed Ahmed and Central leaders of the Pagaam Union said this while addressing the participants of a demonstration held here outside Wapda House on Thursday to protest against price hike
Source: The Nation