Zara Sochiye

What is Zara Sochiye?
Zara Sochiye (Just think) is a formal drive initiated by MKRF (in partnership with GEO TV Network, Jang Group Newspapers and other media groups) that attempts to highlight issues that promote and/or represent imbalance and injustice in our society and have divided us for years. As the name suggests Zara Sochiye includes all issues that have become so integrated into our society that we have stopped thinking about them. MKRF, therefore, aims to explore new dimensions of an existing problem and create a platform for creative thinking and discourse between diverse people and ideas. The aim of Zara Sochiye is to bring people together to a meaningful consensus in a civic, conscientious and ethical manner on issues which can benefit Pakistan.

Why is MKRF initiating a debate on education when there are so many other areas of concern present in society?
This is neither the first time nor the first issue that MKRF is bringing to the forefront. This particular initiative should be seen as part of our continued effort to shed light on issues that can reduce the imbalances and injustices in our society. We believe that meaningful education reforms in Pakistan are the only solution to all other issues Pakistan is facing. Resolving this single issue will make our people more responsive citizen, who is able to understand complex issues Pakistan is facing, while also making a better living for themselves and their families.  An educated Pakistan citizen is an empowered citizen and an empowered citizen is one who can effect meaningful change.
With the introduction of Article 25a in the 18th amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan on April 19, 2010, education has become a fundamental right of all children ages 5-16 years in Pakistan and the State is responsible for providing free and compulsory education to them. In light of this Article, the government and all other stakeholders (political and otherwise) should be persuaded to make education their foremost priority. It is for this reason that Zara Sochiye education reform campaign advocates that education should be on the top agenda items based on which the next general elections should be contested by political parties and candidates.  Zara Sochiye campaign would encourage parents as voters to seek priority and concern for the development and dissemination of quality education and education reform in the light of Article 25A, from their candidates and political parties.

Is ZS taking a position on this issue?
Education is the fundamental right of every child in Pakistan. Therefore, ZS advocates the pursuit of this noble goal, not just on grounds of corporate social responsibility but that also on civic and societal grounds. With more than 7 million children of school going age out of primary school, the collective onus is on society as a whole to ensure that the future of these children and others across the country is secured. The return to investment on education is clear for the world to see, through countless examples of individuals, communities and countries be that in past or present. We believe that one of the most important priority areas for the State to allocate taxpayer’s money should be in properly educating the children, including girls.

Who has MKRF worked with in order to produce this initiative?
Realizing the importance of educated citizens to have a progressive society and a functioning democracy, MKRF and ZS have been working on this education initiative internally for more than 3 years. During this period, the campaign was researched, structured, developed and designed in-house. The members of Zara Sochiye team have no association to any political organization, but rather, with a conscience of Geo Aur Geenay Do (‘Live and Let Live’).Once the initiative was finalized, many corporate sector leaders and NGOs showed support in terms of time, knowledge and money. 
The partners for this ZS campaign include Jang Group, GEO TV, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, ASER (Annual Status of Education Report), Aman Foundation, The Citizen’s Foundation, Department for International Development, Society for the Advancement of Education, McKinsey, Pearson, National Outreach Programme of LUMS and Campaign for Quality Education.

How can I help Zara Sochiye’s campaign on education?
It doesn’t matter who you are (student, worker, parent, politician, civil society member), you have a role to play in making sure this education initiative makes a difference. You can help in the following manner:

  • Spread awareness of the campaign either through social media or by actually telling people
  • Involve your friends, families and co-workers to propagate facts about the dismal state of education in Pakistan and to spread the message that sustainable, meaningful change is possible.
  • Contact your local political representative and demand for Pakistani children’s education rights.
  • In the next general elections, vote for the candidates who is committed to meaningful education reform in Pakistan.
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