In collaboration with UNESCO under Federal Ministry of Education & Technical Training and Planning Commission of Pakistan is going to devise a viable solution i.e. ‘National Plan of Action’ to achieve 90% literacy rate in the country. This NPA will envisage that the provincial authorities will use the plans to transform policy decisions into action at the ground level. This was observed by the chairperson NCHD, former Senator Razina Alam Khan in 47th Commission Meeting, held at NCHD head office Islamabad on Saturday.
Chairperson NCHD said that, keeping in view the grim situation of literacy in the country and commitment to international community in the shape of EFA and SDGs; it was the obligation of the government of Pakistan to provide a potential platform to address the issue on priority basis. The vision 2025 of Planning Commission of Pakistan set the target to achieve universal primary education and literacy rate of 90% by year 2025, she informed.
She viewed that among the challenges, the promotion of basic education and literacy has been hampered by lack of coherent and pragmatic planning at all levels. Moreover, there was no progress reviewing mechanism, deployed to provide timely feedback to both the implementers and the stakeholders, she added. NCHD had been assigned the task to undertake an exercise to formulate a National Plan of Action in line with vision 2025 & SDG 4, by Planning Commission of Pakistan, she further added.
She said, the National Plan of Action will focus on two areas, Adult Literacy(for age group 14 and above) and Primary Education both Formal Education(for age group 5-9) and Non-Formal education (for age group 10-14) to achieve 90% literacy rate in the country till 2025. This plan will outline the principles and guidelines for planning and setting targets to be achieved which will be based on deep analysis of literacy situation in all the four provinces, she informed. She said that, the preparation of plan will follow a participatory approach and ensure participation of all the stakeholders in the field of education and literacy. Coordination forums at provincial and national level will be constituted to establish ownership of the plan, to monitor and coordinate activities pertaining to NPA goals in the provinces, she briefed.
The Chairperson expressed her concern over the fact that 44% of the children between the ages of 5-16 are out of school, out of 26 million children who are enrolled; only 32% reach the matriculation level. While discussing the grim educational statistic in Pakistan, Chairperson NCHD said the primary net enrollment is 77% out of which 32% are dropouts. She said more girls are out of school, i.e. 49% compared to 40% of boys.
The Commission members were briefed about the status of education program its ongoing projects, follow-up and monitoring mechanism of NCHD projects, NCHD future plans i.e. establishment of 5000 Adult Literacy Centers in all the provinces for the age of 15 to 45yrs, Prison Literacy Program in 99 jails of Pakistan, activities of National Training Institute, Training of Feeder Teachers and establishment of 50 Non Formal Basic Education Schools.
“Education is absolutely beneficial for society on the whole, she stressed. It is a life-long process to each person that needs to be reinforced throughout life and PMLN government also committed to that”, she added. “However, we need education system that may eradicate illiteracy and may provide the common man an access not only to basic education but also to higher and technical education”, she emphasized. The skill development and empowerment of women is our main concern, she added. The psychiatric treatment of prisoners’ to make them confident and useful citizens is also our aim, she further added.
The members of the commission appreciated the efforts of NCHD for the promotion of literacy and for the skill development. The administrative issues of the employees, such as regularization, salaries streamlining and career development were also discussed.