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Islamabad

May 17, 2018

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‘Formal, non-formal education promises better literacy rate’

‘Formal, non-formal education promises better literacy rate’

Islamabad: While appreciating the National Commission for Human Development for its efforts to promote non-formal education in the country, federal education minister Balighur Rehman on Tuesday said the low literacy rate could be improved only through the promotion of formal and non-formal education.

"With the community’s association, the non-formal education and multi-grade teaching can bring miraculous results. As Article 25-A of the Constitution binds the federal government to provide access to education to 8-16 years old children, this challenge can only be met through community participation," he told the National Training Institute for Literacy and Non-Formal Education (NFE) inauguration ceremony here.

The minister said it was heartening to note that during last five years, more than six million children were enrolled in schools, the dropout rate came down, and adjusted net enrolment rate in primary education went up from 72% to 77%.

"Our goal of taking the literacy rate to 90 per cent is not far away unless we work very hard," he said. On the occasion, NCHD Chairperson Razina Alam Khan said quality and efficiency of a programme, which was considered to be crucial for success, required a well organised institutional backup with a team of experts," she said.

She regretted that a number of specialised organisations for curriculum, textbook development, capacity building and research exist in the country for the formal education system but no such mechanisms or institutions could be created for the sub sector of literacy and non-formal basic education in Pakistan.

About the NTI functionality and achievements, she said it was encouraging that the institute will be highly useful for eradicating illiteracy in Pakistan. The experts along with revising the old manuals had prepared new manuals on Multi-grade Teaching techniques, Functional Literacy Manual, Training Manual for Education Professionals and refined and reviewed booklets for skill development. NTI will also develop Accelerated Learning Resources for the curriculum of Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) approved by the National Curriculum Council formed by Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, she maintained. Preparation of National Plan of Action for Literacy and Non-formal Education (2018-25) is another landmark of this institute, which will be very helpful for the policy makers and planners working on education and literacy, she claimed. This NPA is going to be launched very soon adhering for100% enrolment & 90% literacy, she added.

Later, she told the 49th Commission Meeting that the NCHD was one of the institutions working at national level with coverage of 124 districts of Pakistan. "We are enhancing and improving literacy rate through a two-pronged strategy to provide access to education i.e. Adult Literacy Programme for the mothers and Universal Primary Education through its Feeder Schools in the remote areas for the unprivileged children, she informed.

"There are 5,949 formal feeder schools of NCHD functional all over the country with 355,000 enrolment along with 6,000 adult literacy centres with 6,000 teachers, she further informed. NCHD’s other important intervention is Madrasa Feeder Schools i.e. 100 Madrasa Feeder schools are functional in ICT, FATA, GB and AJ&K where 3,225 students are gaining education through this project," she said.

The NCHD chairperson said all stakeholders should work with full devotion to eradicate illiteracy in the country.

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