Stagnant literacy rate?

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THE survey of Pakistan’s Social and Living Standard Measurement (PSLM) shows that literacy rate for years and above has remained stagnant at sixty percent . . . Sindh has shown declining trend in literacy rates while net enrolments at primary, middle and matric levels have either remained stagnant or shown decreasing trends.

Except Afghanistan, our literacy rate is lowest in the region with Sri Lanka touching above ninety six percent.

This clearly indicates that education remains the lowest priority despite regular lip service, party manifestos and commitments to international donors.

We are spending the lowest on education and the interest of authorities concerned may be gauged from the fact that there is always shortage of textbooks at start of every academic year much to the disappointments of students and their parents.

If we cannot timely provide books to students, what else better we can do in the education system.

While one appreciates Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood for working tirelessly on bringing uniform syllabus, the focus must also be given to improve quality of education and infrastructure at public sector schools. These schools in fact have no basic facilities for children.

Environment needs to be improved in schools if we really want to improve the literacy rate and compete with the world.

We have to bring major reforms in education sector to prepare our youth as per modern day requirements and take forward the country on path of development.

The purpose of education should be to produce responsible and fine human beings who excel in all spheres of nation building.

Hence, education ministries both at federal and provincial levels must wake up from deep slumber and work towards bringing a paradigm shift in the system of education. For this, concerned ministries must be supported by enhancing their education budget.

As Covid-19 situation improves and educational activities resume, a countrywide campaign must be launched for enrolment of out of school children especially focusing on districts that are ranked at the bottom in education indicators.