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Constitutional Petition No. 37 of 2012 (Petition Regarding Miserable Condition of the Schools)

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Constitutional Petition No. 37 of 2012 (Petition Regarding Miserable Condition of the Schools)

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Constitutional Petition No. 37 of 2012

22 November 2013

Instrument(s) Cited:
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Article 25A: right of children aged 5 to 16 years to free education

Case Summary:

On its own motion, the Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution issued this decision on the basis of a letter received by the Chief Justice of Pakistan concerning “ghost schools” – schools that are registered to receive funds to pay staff, but no teachers or children are present – and girls being educated in a graveyard in Punjab.

Issue and resolution:
Right to education. The Court found that the constitutional right to education was not being met, and ordered the Provinces of Pakistan to establish Accreditation Boards that would ensure the removal of “ghost schools” and to re-establish control of schools that were being used by other people.

Court reasoning:
Article 25A of the Constitution guarantees free and compulsory education to all children aged between 5 and 16 years. This is a fundamental right, which is enforceable by the Supreme Court and High Courts in exercise of the jurisdiction vested in them under Article 199 and Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

However, this right was being violated due to “waste” and corruption, as there were children who needed to be educated but money designated for that purpose was not being used accordingly.

This decision addresses the issue of “ghost schools”, which are currently hindering around 5 million children, and reinforces children’s constitutional right to education as a fundamental right, which can be enforced in the superior courts of Pakistan.

Link to Full Judgment:  

This case summary is provided by the Child Rights International Network for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.