Every state acknowledges its citizens’ right to education. Nearly all countries, including Pakistan, are signatories to international human rights agreements, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that bound them to hold principal responsibilities for the direct provision of the right to education. Like other human rights, the right to education has certain levels of obligations. (1) The obligation to respect requires states to avoid measures that hinder or prevent the enjoyment of the right to education. (2) The obligation to protect requires states to take measures that prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right to education. (3) The obligation to fulfill means that states must take positive measures that enable and assist individuals and communities to enjoy the right to education. The constitution of Pakistan also guarantees these rights to its citizens. In the notable 18th Amendment, education along with other important sectors was shifted to the provincial domain. It suffered more contrary to general aspirations for more educational equity. In 2008, Pakistan emerged out of the militaristic totalitarianism of General Pervez Musharraf. Against the long period of unjustifiable rule, there had been a lot of disappointment and rage palpitating in people. The democratic regime reinstated, after almost a decade of oppression, faced many grave challenges. Primarily, in the educational sector where huge class disparities were created that mostly owed to administrative negligence, lack of resources, and pumped-up social trends that proved themselves detrimental later. During Musharraf’s period, indubitably, there had been great financing to education with dollars raining from America. But all those lump sum amounts were used in non-productive activities like upgradation of salaries scales and department funds. It raised a new trend, which we see even today, of professors publishing their research papers, hundreds per week. These papers barely seem to bear any logic which is why by international standards our research work ratio is on the decline despite these papers which bring government stipends to our professors. People were in high hopes that these standards and strictures will be changed, and new rules and procedures will be made that will suit the greater good of the public. It was the period when the military regimes across the world were being overthrown or facing retaliation movements like in Iraq etc. People, who had grown hopeless and indifferent towards the despotic rulers, developed some expectations regarding their basic rights which democratic governments claim to advocate for. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came to power on March 24, 2008. This party claimed to be the biggest vanguard and protector of liberal, human, and democratic rights of the people of Pakistan. To implement the most important agenda of its manifesto, the government introduced the famous and widely debated 18th Amendment in the constitution on April 2010. The 18th Amendment to Pakistan’s constitution has transformed the relationship between the federal and provincial governments by scrapping the “concurrent legislative list,”. The Act (2010) grants the provinces substantial budgetary and legislative autonomy in the fields of education, health, and other social services. The amendment affected the nation’s educational system deeply. In the section of the Constitution related to fundamental rights, a new Article 25A has been included. “Right to education—The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 5 to 16 in such way as may be determined by law,” it states. Thus, Constitution recognized that primary and secondary education is a formally enforceable right. However, the caveat remains in the wording, ‘as may be determined by law’, making it arbitrary for the provinces to allocate budgets that they deem right and reasonable to fund the implementation of our law in this fundamental social sector. It is disappointing that there is still no law on the subject. No attempt has been made to introduce the required legislation in any provincial assembly yet. Over the years, many governments have developed a variety of strategies and schemes to carry out the constitutional obligation to provide education and eliminate inequities. But there has not been much progress, and as a result, Pakistan’s education system is in shambles right now. Multiple educational progress indicators show that Pakistan’s education system has had numerous problems, including inadequate public spending, high school dropout rates, and more importantly, severe gender and regional disparities. The implementation of 18th amendment has been weak. Its blame falls equally on the governments and bureaucrats because politicians serve as ‘principals’ while bureaucrats are the regional agents who ensure the implementation and report to the executive authority. The most important string attached to its implementation is the local body governments which is a deadly nightmare for all political parties. They are not even confident over their own public vote bank and feel fear if the opposing party sweeps in their province. When there are two opposite-wing parties come to power, the higher government is strictly reluctant for delegation of authority to lower levels. An excellent example of this can be found in the main Punjab Province where less than 30 Deputy commissioners are supervising as many as 400,000 teachers. For effective management of 200,000 plus schools and a million plus teachers, we need to adopt a systematic approach and come out of our power hunger zone. Public universities are in a similar predicament. It has become a popular statement that it is better to leave higher education than go to a public university because the political hiring and zero accountability of professors and administration have compromised everything. All universities have been monopolized in a manner that there is a vent to financial resources but no improvements in infrastructure and quality of education. During this chain of events, the person who suffers is a common student who lacks financial capability that snips his intellectual prowess and reduces it to offcuts. We have eradicated book culture in a very systematic way. Today, a pizza deal of one thousand rupees is advertised as an affordable source of enjoyment whereas a book of five hundred rupees is called to be out-of-financial reach. The evolution of a society is never possible without book culture. Now, we are left with baseless lengthy political arguments that bear no logic. Knowledge, passion, and beliefs are the product of teachers and poets. In our ill-driven society, we have successfully made teachers and poets as the product of our republic. The elected governments are responsible for the delivery of performance. Pakistan’s polity does not hold politicians to a high standard of political accountability. It is not surprising that 20 million children are not in school, that education quality is low and that the difficulties in making “access to quality education” are not a visible priority for policymakers. Why should bureaucrats care about offering high-quality education if politicians don’t? However, this equilibrium can be changed. The reform would significantly affect how politicians are held accountable. The 18th Amendment’s significant impact on education is that the provinces will now have control over the curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy, centers of excellence, and standards of education. This is a significant improvement in schooling. This assertion is predicated on the notion that the provinces lack the capability and financial resources necessary to meet the enormous challenge in front of them. The federation should continue to control the curriculum’s content because the provinces could veer off the path and jeopardize the nation’s ideology. Critics question how the quality would be guaranteed and how standards would be upheld across the regions. What if all the provinces introduce regional languages in schools? Even before the adoption of the 18th Amendment, this right existed. The plurality of the federation’s languages is more likely to make it stronger than weaker. The refusal of the demand to include Bangla with Urdu as a national language played a significant role in the division of East Pakistan. Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were the first to adopt curricula in local languages and develop their own subject contents according to the standards that best address the needs and desires of locals. At this moment, the federal government needs to adopt a positive outlook and have faith in the provinces’ professionalism, morality, and patriotism. There are two types of federal structures in the world, hold-together and come-together, as has been suggested. The state must ponder again on its choice and reconsider its ways for a strong federation. Shallow policy thinking leads to dramatic consequences. Thomas Hobbes, an English political philosopher, believed that it was not sufficient to create a sovereign state that could threaten men with death. That state would have to dissuade them of the value of courage, and knowledge and persuade them that ‘the less they dare, the better it is both for the commonwealth and for themselves (as propagated by our current curricula). As much as the fear of death would have to be mobilized on behalf of reason, reason would have to be mobilized on the behalf of ignorance and fear of death (we have eradicated reason and logic making everything amoral and insubstantial). Such kind of policy choices ends up in civil wars, as shown in history. We need to have proper debates over the improvements in our education system and effective policy measures to fulfill the provision of the right to education to our citizens, otherwise, everyone will suffer. It is viewed still as the responsibility of our federal educational ministry, being the superior authority, to take up its duty of bringing all stakeholders on board and negotiating how to fix all these flaws. We already have a board of provincial education ministers to discuss the priorities and provincial successes in bringing up our poor children to school. This board proved its effectiveness during COVID. Working together on priorities can give us results. The writer is a student.