The government has launched an ambitious campaign in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), hoping to increase the total school enrolment past 80 per cent by 2015, officials said on Friday.
“We have launched a simultaneous campaign in all districts of G-B to ensure that no children are left out of school in the coming years,” said Ejaz Khan, a senior official at the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Gilgit. NCHD is an autonomous government body established in 2002 that works towards increasing literacy in the country.
Khan said that they have been trying various methods to achieve the goal. These methods include meetings with parents, teachers’ and religious leaders.
“There are scores of children in our society who are not enrolled. We are trying to get them to the schools,” he said, adding that the NCHD was satisfied with the progress they had made so far.
He said that poverty, illiteracy and cultural restrictions are some of the factors responsible for low enrolment in G-B.
When asked what measures NCHD has taken to ensure sustainability, the official said that they have been in close contact with the political government, education department, community elders and the bureaucracy to make them “own up to the programme that’s ultimate aims to improve the quality of life”.
Khan said they planned to enrol 25,000 students in G-B in government schools during 2011. “Our staff has chalked out an action plan to achieve the target in the stipulated time,” he said.
Shazia Kanwal, a manager in the NCHD Gilgit office, said that the number of out-of-school girls is much higher than boys but they were working to address the discrepancy.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2011.
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