Make matriculation/high school compulsory to vote

The next day, Pakistan, a sovereign state since 1947, will see only the second successive transition in democratic power

But I have a question: are all people informed enough to decide the fate? Are all voters equally aware of the choices they will make, and their repercussions? Of course, not

The only requirement is that you need to have a national identity card (NIC), effectively making anyone over 18 years of age eligible to decide the country’s destiny

But if we were to add the requirement of having a matriculation/high school certificate at the time of casting the vote

Critics would argue this is impractical, and would needlessly eliminate a huge portion of the population

The counter is that this need not be a requirement for the next elections

Make it a vision 2028 or 2033

Make it a long-term plan for the next 20 years, giving enough time for elected members to build schools in their constituencies, provide thousands of jobs to teachers, clerical staff, senior management and construction workers

Add to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) through more work for the construction, steel, and services industries

Moreover, a matriculation only requires 12 years of education

I am being generous when I say give them 20 years

Take the extra eight for construction, enrolment and awareness

Some would now say Pakistan doesn’t have the budget for such a programme

The country spends close to Rs700 billion on education, roughly 2% of GDP, on the sector each year

Still, the literacy rate in the country is no better than 58%

According to a report published a few years ago, largely due to the fact that education is not a widely reported topic, as many as 66% of children in Balochistan and 51% in Sindh are out of school, followed by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) with 47% and 34%, respectively

 These are estimated figures, and by no means capture the scenario

The literacy rate of 58% is an astronomically exaggerated figure even by the definition of the ability of a person to read and write a simple letter with understanding in any language

So where does the money go? If even Rs700 billion isn’t enough, I don’t know what will be

If its falls short, open accounts in banking institutions

You want to crowdfund a dam

How about you crowdfund education! Worried about getting teachers to go to far-flung areas? How about you use the same students who have recently passed or finished their education by offering them jobs as teachers in the same school

You have created jobs straightaway

Never mind Pakistan’s millennium development goals or the sustainable development goals

Forget those

The country hasn’t met them, and probably won’t

But you put the requirement of a high school or matriculation certificate to casting a vote, and all election candidates vying for a place in the elections will look to increase school enrolment and literacy levels in their constituencies

It may give current elected members a headstart, but increasing awareness through education means the voter can no longer be fooled by cosmetic measures

The voter is now a much more aware, much more educated, and a much more informed person before stepping into the ballot box

The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees education to every child aged five-16 years, and you know what, it is free and compulsory

But at the end of the day, Pakistan will never implement any step that would put it on the path of growth, prosperity and sustainable development

We will argue, fight, abuse and remain in misery

For this is our curse

We have lived it for 71 years, and we will continue to do so

We lack the will to sacrifice

Some are fortunate, but remain oblivious

Several are less fortunate, but unaware

A few of us are just outright corrupt

Date:24-Jul-2018 Reference:View Original Link