- Commission says Pakistan still has 6.4 million children, 57 million adults illiterate
- Razina Alam says low literacy rate can’t be addressed through formal education system
ISLAMABAD: National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Chairperson Razina Alam Khan has said that number of the out of school children has decreased from 26 million to 22.6 million while 6.4 million children and 57 million adults are still illiterate.
On Friday, she said that it was encouraging that a number of positive developments have been undertaken in a formal system of education and as a result number of the out of school children ratio has declined. Despite all these efforts, she said that millions of the children of age cohort 9-14 and adults were illiterate and was a major reason of low literacy rate which could not be addressed through formal education system.
“There is a dire need to adopt a proactive, vibrant and a dynamic approach to provide education to these unreached masses, through non-formal education,” she said. Razina Alam said that the non-formal education strategy was more suitable to access to this marginalised group and to achieve the targets of the Vision 2025 and SDGs in minimum possible time.
The commission adopted two pronged approach i.e. curbing the annual increase in the illiterate pool by ensuring that all children get enrolled and do not drop out before completing primary education. On the other hand, the commission deals with the back-log of adult illiterates by implementing functional literacy programme countrywide, she said.
Commenting on the enrollment drive, she said the commission remained busy in enrollment campaign during this quarter while a number of activities were carried out. The American Refugee Council (ARC) was an additional partner for the enrollment campaign in Punjab and Balochistan, she said. By the collaborative efforts, NCHD was able to conduct 100 percent baseline survey in selected 1150 locations of seven districts of Punjab, she said.
The American Refugee Council supported in monitoring of the enrollment campaign activities, she said. The chairperson said that the commission has constituted an advisory council for literacy and a forum on NFE, whose meetings were conducted on quarterly basis. The sixth meeting of the advisory council was held in the beginning of May and a meeting of the forum on non-formal education was arranged in the last week which remained very fruitful, she added.
She said that NCHD achieved its daunting tasks just because of untiring efforts of its employees and would like to congratulate them all on revision of their grades. It was an uphill and historic task as 2,641 employees were upgraded, she said. By the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders and adopting non-formal education system, Pakistan will be able to achieve the educational targets of the Vision 2025 and SDGs, she said.