Showing posts with label FRHD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FRHD. Show all posts

Monday, June 6, 2016

School students discuss issues with Ombudsman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Foundation for Research and Human development (FRHD), in collaboration with Action Aid, arranged a prospect for children’s councils comprising of young activist from government schools to meet and have one-on-one discussion with Provincial Ombudsman, Sindh, Asad Ashraf Malik. 

The meeting with Ombudsman was held at the Sindh Secretariat in Karachi with the primary objective of providing an opportunity to children for discussing education-related issues that negatively impede with their academics and integrate vulnerable children with education. 

The students discussed the issues bothering them face to face with the Mohtasib who promised to take immediate notice in order to rectify the problems. 

The three key problems that the students were able to highlight among others were the mismanagement and corruption of School Management Committee (SMC) fund in government schools, students being deprived of their right to free course books by the government and the high rate of student dropout at Class VIII because of their financial inability of affording the examination board fee for matriculation examination. 

The member students of Children’s Councils proposed recommendations those are directly link with the inclusion of vulnerable children in education system and quality education. It included ensuring implementation of Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2013, in its true letter and spirit, specifically Section 10, constituting committees, as provided under the Ombudsman’s Act, to monitor the working of government schools specially posting of teaching staff besides forming committees to ensure imparting formal and informal education to the Juvenile with the view to rehabilitate the Juveniles. 

They further sought providing access to and support quality professional learning for school staff, constituting committee for making recommendations to the Government of Sindh for legislation regarding the employment of Children Act in view of Act promulgated by the Federal Government in the year 1991 and increasing the SMC fund related to education and create a committee for monitoring the holistic dispersion and utilization of the fund. 

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Research and Human Development (FRHD), Nazra Jahan, acknowledged that education was the most essential ingredient for the development of a nation. 

“It is a universal fact that nations who have reached the heights of the development and prosperity have done it by using education and information as a tool to do it. The students, being the major stakeholder of education system, can serve as an asset to improvise the education tools. And implementation of Article 25-A is the guarantee to eradicate poverty from Pakistan,” the FRHD official reckoned. 

The Sindh Mohtasib arranged for a 20-minute presentation during which children were briefed about Children Complaint Office (CCO) and the precise way through which they can file complaints in line with the mandate of Ombudsmen.

Monday, May 25, 2015

FRHD bring to light issues of street children

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A consultative dialogue meeting with street children was organized by the Foundation for Research & Human Development (FRHD) at Beach Park, Clifton, Karachi, as a part of the Global Action Week: Education for All programme.

A group of 25 street children, representatives of civil society, school children and teachers participated in the event. The aim of meeting was to urge the state took serious measures to provide shelter, health and education them accordingly existing domestic laws. 

The literacy rates among children working and living on the streets is very low during the consultative dialogue street children group shared that poverty, corporal punishment and forced begging were some of the major reasons children working on the streets have dropped out of school. 

The majority of vulnerable children disclosed that they had left school because of their family's economic status. Incidences of corporal punishment, violent behavior of peers and others also played their part in expediting dropouts from schools. 

Upon inquiry, they stated that neither did they want to enroll in school nor would their families ever let them, given the fact that they believed earning on the streets trumped educating a child. The FRHD estimates 1.5 million children on the streets of Pakistan's major cities with poverty, unemployment and other economic issues and floods of 2010 and 2011 having contributed increasing number of street children in the country. 

“A study on street children revealed that 56.5% of the children interviewed in Multan, 82.2% in Karachi, 80.5% in Hyderabad and 83.3% in Sukkur were forced to move on to the streets after the 2010 and 2011 floods. According to UNODC, 72% of the working children do not have contact with their families and 10% have no knowledge of their families,” Nazra Jahan, Executive Director, FRHD, revealed. 

She reminded that the laws prevailing to address the issues, the Sindh Children Act 1955, make the state responsible for providing custody and protection to children whilst also punishing parents and guardians who will fully neglects and abuse children. 

“The Sindh Child Protection Authority Act 2011 entailed specific provisions for child protection in the province of Sindh under the authority formed. It shall have powers to coordinate, monitor, support and establish mechanisms for all child protection issues in the province. The Sindh Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act 2013 protected the right to education of every child aged 5 to 16 years,” Nazra Jahan added. 

The FRHD official felt that instead of overburdening in the sense of introducing legislation, the state should take measures to implement the existing laws for protecting the human rights, it’s a very essential obligation. 

The Programme officer Devcon, Shafiq Kandro, observed that the street children in Pakistan form a very young age group, some being no older than four years of age, and are engaged in menial jobs that do not require vocational training. 

“Moreover, these jobs offer no opportunities for advancement or improved lifestyles in the future. Many survive by prostituting themselves, stealing or smuggling and are vulnerable to a number of diseases including STDs and health ailments that are a direct result of their occupations and unsanitary conditions of workplaces,” she concluded.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

FRHD to highlight educational issues in Global Action Week

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Foundation for Research & Human Development (FRHD), as part of the Global Action Week (GAW), will organize a walk from the Scouts Headquarter to the Karachi Press Club on April 29 while a delegation, comprising of children, will meet the Sindh Education Minister, Nisar Ahmed Khoro, on April 30. 

Members of the civil society will be joining the children to convey a loud message to the policy makers, legislators and others implementing agencies about realization of the educational goals. 

Education is human rights, a public, good and a state responsibility.Pakistan remains obliged under various national and international commitments to provide quality education to children irrespective of their gender, class or religion. 

At the forefront of these declarations is the Dakar Framework of Action, signed by 163 other countries in April 2000 and the world’s leaders made a series of promises intended to guarantee education for all by 2015. 

The EFA goals consist of six broad objectives which include: provision of early childhood care and education, provision of primary and secondary education, improvement in adult and youth literacy rates, provision of vocational and technical education, eradicating gender discrimination and enhancing the overall quality of education. Pakistan’s progress towards achieving the goals have been slow to say the least. 

The education system of the country is emasculated by an inadequate number of teachers, insufficient infrastructure, lack of funds for the education sector and a constant threat of conflict, especially in FATA and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. According to the latest ASER 2014 report, approximately 61% of children aged 3-5 years in rural areas and 42% in urban areas are out of school. 

This is an alarming figure given the fact that most of the children who do enter school either drop out or do not progress further on thereby increasing the number of out of school children. There is a dire need for an intervention whereby the provincial governments formulate laws that will ensure that early childhood education is made mandatory and out of school children are brought back into school. 

A positive shift was seen in the budget of 2014-2015 wherein all provinces doubled the amount of funds given to their respective education departments; focusing more on infrastructural development, enrollment and retention of students. Yet more needs to be done, particularly concerning the implementation of Article 25-A of the Constitution. 

The year 2015 presents education activists with a crucial opportunity to demand the realization of the right to education for all, and to set the direction of education for another generation. This year, the world will agree new frameworks for education and for sustainable development more broadly that will help set the tone and the focus for government policy and action from now until 2030. 

As governments prepare to make this new set of promises, it is critical that civil society has a say in what is being promised, ensuring that these commitments respond to the rights, the needs and the priorities of citizens. For these reasons, the GCE members and allies will be campaigning throughout 2015 during Global Action Week (GAW).

Monday, April 13, 2015

FRHD aims to work rigorously for society

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Foundation for Research & Human Development (FRHD),group of social activists, parliamentarians and ex-government officials having been registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, would like to fill the research gaps in the field of human rights, child rights, women rights, labour rights, social and development rights of marginalized groups in society. Besides, it would like to develop moralized social groups by participative and self-initiated developmental programmes and schemes.
This was disclosed by Nazra Jehan, Executive Director, FRHD, in an interview who added that the core values and principles of the organization, on which it was found, were equality, equity, non-discrimination, dignity, respects, openness, transparency and good governance.
The vision of the FRHD is to have a society where writ of law would have prime consideration and justice would be delivered on the basis of equality and impartiality; where rights of individual are respected, protected, and promoted.
Its mission is to act to promote and protect human rights in order to empower people within the framework of recognized standards through advocacy, research, awareness-raising, outreach activities, human development and institutional capacity building.
The FRHD would be focussing on the areas of human rights, health, education, poverty alleviation and development, andclimate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
The strategies of the FRHD include mobilization of active agents either children or adults, men and women for achieving the desired vision, goals and objectives; formation of district or community level groups/committees, but the main emphasis would be on youth and women; conducting brief scientific and empirical researches by involving academics and others so that these can contribute in policy formulation.
It will also be working on capacity building of active community agents for developing young cadres of social workers;coordination and liaison with government departments;advocacy at district, provincial and national level for the basic rights of excluded people; construction and repair of basic (physical) infrastructure and facilities, and networking with like minded civil society groups for creating more pressure.
The main objectives of the FRHD include working for the welfare of disadvantage people especially poor, to endeavor to provide moral and financial help to the unprivileged class particularly orphans, widows, children, juveniles and disable persons, enabling them to support themselves financially & live a dignified life, to provide education and health facilities to the children and to highlight & address the issues and problems of women and children mainly women prisoners and juveniles.
It also has a plan to empower children by promoting and protecting their rights in conformity with the international standards, to conduct research on issues of public importance, to protect and promote rights, privileges and economic interest of the people, to constitute sub-committees at district level to strive for  promoting and protecting the rights of people, to conduct advocacy and lobbying for promotion and protection of the rights of people to educate masses on human rights and to build capacities of partners and stakeholders.

The FRHD will give special consideration to children because they were unheard and they did not have right to even claim for their basic rights.

The FRHD Children Board will work for the promotion of the rights of children in Pakistan. Its objectives would be to work for the enabling environment in which child rights are express and they have right to express and make associations.