Out-of-school children: Call for multi-pronged strategy to enhance enrolment

NCHD chief says non-formal education best option to increase literacy

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Staff Report

Islamabad

National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Chairperson Razina Khan has asked the government to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to enroll out-of-school children and increase the literacy rate in the country.

She said that the enrolment could not be achieved only through the formal education system and the non-formal education system was needed to be given equal importance to achieve the desired results.

Speaking at a meeting of Islamabad Forum on Non-formal Education here at the head office, the NCHD chairperson said that concerted and joint efforts were required to provide access for education to all out-of-school children especially those living in remote areas.

The Islamabad Forum on Non-formal Education is a joint venture of NCHD and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aimed at highlighting the importance of the non-formal education and devising strategies for strengthening the system.

“A lot has been invested in the formal education system and a number of improvements have been achieved but we still have 22.6 million out-of-school children,” she said.

“Many developing countries are practicing flexible approaches towards learning and multi-grade teaching through non-formal education which, being low cost, is the most effective as well. Pakistan should also adopt this approach to achieve the maximum enrolment rate,” she said.

Khan said that the NCHD has adopted a two-pronged approach to address the issue of illiteracy; 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 about 90 percent literacy rate in the country.

The National Training Institute (NTI) of the NCHD has successfully formulated a national plan of action under the Federal Ministry of Education & Technical Training to achieve the set-target in the country, she said.

The plan envisages that the provincial authorities will use the plans to transform policy decisions into action at the ground level, she told the meeting.

“The NCHD has established NTI to ensure quality education in its feeder schools and adult literacy programme along with other projects through capacity building of the professionals. The NTI will also prepare accelerated learning modules and condensed syllabus that will provide the out-of-school children a second chance to take part in educational activities,” she said.

Later during a meeting with a JICA delegation, she said that during the last three years as the NCHD chairperson, she has tried her best to improve the efficiency and potential of the institute. Khan briefed the delegation about the NCHD current filed programmes and projects.

Chiho Ohashi, Esaki Chie, Kayoko Enomoto, Shin Tanaka, and Morita Miki and others were presented a souvenir by the NCHD chairperson.

She thanked the delegation and appreciated the support extended by JICA to the NCHD and for non-formal schools established in Islamabad as a pilot project.