ISLAMABAD: Federal Minster for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mehmood main target in education sector is to enhance literacy in the country and bring 22.8 million out of school children (OOSC) in schools.
He said special wing will be constituted for this purpose in the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training which will enable the enrollment on top priority.
The minister for Federal Education at a briefing during his first visit of National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) said that during the last 70 years, education has been neglected by successive governments.
“That is why our literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world i.e. 58 per cent which is not tolerable. Present government’s top priority is to make people literate, so that we achieve a respectable status among the world nations”, he said.
The minister deplored that the aristocracy has established its own expensive educational institutions whereas the poor man has to depend on low quality education in the public sector. He said public sector institutions will be strengthened and improved as to provide better education facilities to the common man.
“We don’t want to make people unemployed but make the public sector employees work hard and give positive results. He said this government will not allow ad-hocism and we want a cohesive, targeted and uniform work in public sector organizations”, he stressed.
During maiden visit of the minister, the chairperson NCHD Razina Alam Khan briefed him about the working of the commission. She said that NCHD was running 5,949 feeder schools of Non-formal education all over the country in remote areas where 335,164 children of age 5 to 16 are acquiring education.
NCHD works with a back-log having Adult Literacy Program, since inception being a lead agency it had imparted literacy skills to 3.96 adults, she informed.
NCHD had recently established a National Training Institute of Non-formal Education which will address the learning needs by developing learning resources for non-formal education, develop capacity of the human resource for delivery mechanism and to conduct research studies which will be value addition for the project, she further informed.
Accessibility to education along with quality is the main issue of underdeveloped countries which can be only address through Non-formal Education, which is a cost effective and viable approach, she viewed.
NCHD claims that if 35,000 more non-formal schools are established for a period of 5 years, the educational needs of 6.4 million children can be addressed to bring them in the mainstream, she added.
She was of the view that earlier programs and policies related to education lack implementation and seriousness. Experts of NTI have formulated a National Plan of Action (2018-2023) under Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training including all the stakeholders i.e. government departments, international donors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve 100 per cent enrollment and literacy rate in the country.
This NPA includes annually breakup of all its programs which suggests a viable and effective implementation strategy along with a strong monitoring mechanism for measuring success rate of the project.
If this plan would be implemented in true spirit, we can address the learning need of 22.6 million OOSCs and 57 million illiterates, she observed.