Human survival and evolution rest upon two critical pillars viz. (1.) an environment which provides access to contemporary learning skills in a rapidly changing global setting, and (2.) a political framework for participation according to constitutional and legal entitlements without discrimination. Democracy cannot flourish without active citizen participation. Participation requires capacity for the cultivation and application. Unfortunately education has consistently failed to be a priority for Pakistani leaders. In the 72 years of Pakistan’s existence, Universal Primary Education (UPE) has remained an elusive goal. Fifty percent of Pakistan’s 180 million population is below 18 years of age, and only 56% of primary age group (5-9) are able to enroll in primary schools, 18% of middle age group (10-12) and 10% of matric age group (13-14), are accessing education facilities. The urban-rural, female-male and provincial variations make the education apartheid even more severe. Chronic lack of resources, shortage of facilities beyond primary level, lack of competent teachers/managers, terrorism and emergencies are severely jeopardizing possibilities for human development and participation in our country. The gross enrollment rate (including under/over-age children) at the primary level is only 86% (PSLM 2006-07) out of which 33% drop out while out of those who complete primary school and are eligible for middle level, only 18% enroll in the latter stream. Of those who make it to grade 10, only 30% successfully complete matriculation and 3% make it to the tertiary level. Options for non-formal and livelihoods education are very few compared to the enormous needs. Each successive stage of education is operating at sub-optimal levels reflecting chronic systemic problems and an exclusionary culture, not conducive to promotion of learning for the majority.
Moreover, in the present age, it’s very difficult for a poor person to fulfill the needs of their whole family. While struggling to do so, if a family member becomes ill, life becomes a living hell for the sole bread earner. It’s also very difficult for the poor to get treated from a qualified doctor, not to mention that, at certain times it’s close to impossible for them to get treated against the simplest of viral diseases like malaria or influenza leave aside the more complicated diseases like hepatitis C.
Keeping in view these issues faced by a major chunk of the community, THE SULTAN FOUNDATION has taken steps in these two major fields with the aim to provide quality education and health care to the ignored and deserving members of the society.
THE SULTAN FOUNDATION was registered as a charitable institution in 1983. The first project of the foundation was to set up a school to fill the education gap in the Mumtazabad area of Multan and since then it has continued to work for the betterment of the society.