100pc literacy rate cannot be achieved without support of civil society: Baligh

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Minister of State for Federal Education Engineer Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman on Monday said 100 percent literacy rate cannot be achieved without support of non government organisations (NGOs) and civil society working for education. Addressing here the National Convention of Parents titled “Parent Ittehad as Critical Mass to Demand Access to Quality Education” arranged by Rural Support Program Network (RSPN) and Alif Ailaan, he appreciated the participation of parents and communities from various parts of the country.
He said, approximately 24.02 million children are out of school between the age of 5 and 16 years adding, only 28 percent children enrolled in grade 1 were reached to grade 10.
The alarming figure, he said, comes at the level of primary education where 69 percent dropouts take place in the first 5 years of schooling.
There was some improvement in public school facilities, but a lot is still required as 44 percent of schools do not have electricity, 34 percent do not have drinkable water, 30 percenyt do not have boundary walls and 28 percent do not have bathroom facilities and so on so forth, the minister said.
However, there are several indicators’ that show some healthy trends too, he said and added, for instance the school retention has increased from 25 percent to 28 percent, and primary level enrolment has increased from 15.5 to 15.8 million.
Similarly, the number of out of school childrens have decreased from 25 million to 24 million, missing facilities at school have been improved and the government at all levels is making efforts to decrease this figure, he added.
Now in all our efforts to improve the state of education, “we see the role of parents, communities, civil society and media as vital” he stressed.
The minister said that these kinds of initiatives indeed were eye openers for the district, provincial and federal machineries to look rightly in to the issues.
“We were here to work for the betterment of the country and specially to improve the state of education of our children” he said.
In this era, where technology is touching zenith, competitions in every field of life were much stronger and the market economies are replacing every other model, “we have to work hard to educate our children for better future” he said. In this regard, he lauded ther role of rural support programmes that were mobilizing communities on the issues like education, and were enabling them through trainings on lobbying and advocacy.
The event was also attended by Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman, Rural Support Programme Network, Shandana Khan, CEO RSPN, Mosharraf Zaidi, Campaign Director, Alif Ailaan.