ISLAMABAD: National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Chairperson former Senator Razina Alam Khan said that policy makers need to adopt Non-Formal Education (NFE) approach to achieve educational targets of Vision 2025 of 90 percent literacy rate.
She stated this while addressing the senior management members’ meeting on Tuesday.
Despite considerable improvements in the formal system of education she pointed out that the aim to chase 90% literacy rate goal was illusive, adding that there was a large chunk of illiterates and left over pool of children in the country who were contributing to the prevailing low literacy rate.
Razina stressed that that E-9 developing countries besides having to cope with a population comprising majority of illiterate people, among other challenges face quality education deficit.
Illiteracy impedes developmental growth of a country and was a major reason of poverty in these countries, she added.
NFE has gained currency in India over last two decades in view of its importance in developing necessary knowledge, attitude and skills in the vast section of the population which could not make use of the formal system of education, she added.
These countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India who have adopted non-formal education approach had benefited in achieving their universal elementary education and literacy targets, she said.
Razina said that NCHD was established as a task assigned to support government departments in achieving educational targets by filling the implementation gaps.
NCHD had successfully designed its education programs and directed many projects of non-formal education that can be materialised to achieve educational targets of Vision 2025, she added.
“Currently, our formal education system was adding only 1% per annum in literacy rate. Through this pace and with 2.6% population growth rate we will be able to achieve only 68% literacy rate till 2025,” Razina said.
Briefing about NCHD’s interventions she said that, currently there were 5,567 feeder schools of NCHD across the country where 272,289 children were acquiring education.
There were 6,000 adult literacy centres where 150,000 women were attaining literacy as well as vocational skills and moreover, they were proving helping hand as they had started their children getting enrolled in schools, she opined.
“NCHD had 100 maderssa schools functional in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). The commission had constituted an advisory council on literacy and forum on non-formal education, which brought all stakeholders on a single table to work for the noble cause”, Razina maintained.
National Training Institute (NTI) of NCHD had devised a strategy named “National Plan of Action”, in collaboration with all the stakeholders to achieve educational targets of Vision 2025, she observed.
This institute had suggested that by the establishment of 34,000 non-formal schools more for the next five years can provide education to seven million left over children of between the age of nine to forteen she informed.
This institute would further develop manuals and modules to conduct trainings to build capacities of literacy and NFE workforce would be developed, she further said.
“The accelerated learning programmes and research studies to be utilised in improving non-formal education system would also be devised by the NTI experts”, she briefed.
Razina stressed that non-formal education approach is the only way to achieve educational targets of vision 2025 and urged all stakeholders and government to support NCHD for the national cause of eradication of illiteracy in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2018.