As the government departments and educational institutes observed International Literacy Day, a federal cabinet member at a ceremony here on Tuesday shared alarming facts about the sorry state of affairs of education.
“As many as 11,000 children in the federal capital are out of school and efforts are being made for their enrolment,” Minister of State Capital Administration and Development Division Usman Ibrahim said while speaking as a chief guest at an event organised to mark the International literacy day by Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) at Islamabad Model College for Girls F-7/2.
He stressed the need for developing a separate and dedicated department to deal with issues of street children.
The state minister reiterated that the government is striving hard to increase the literacy rate.
CADD, he said, had conducted a survey identifying 12,000 out of school children but only 1,000 of them have been inducted in schools.
Ibrahim said his ministry had taken steps to improve literacy rate in the capital including setting up a literacy cell to enroll out of school children.
Elaborating the initiatives, Ibrahim said that orders to recruit 150 teachers under literacy cell have been issued and the administration is also devising special curriculum for out of school children.
A cash prize worth Rs30,000 was awarded to Suhail Tariq, student of Islamabad Model College for boys F-8/3 for securing the highest marks, 98 per cent, in the Federal Board examinations. While Samiyah Aymen, a student of Islamabad Model School for Girls F-7/2 was also awarded with cash prize for securing second position in the exams.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Farzana Zaidi, Principle of the IMCG I-9/1 said that giving admissions to children was not enough “sustaining these students while providing them with the right kind of environment and education is also as important,” she stressed.
Around 400 students from the federal government schools participated in an awareness walk organised to highlight the importance of literacy.
The event was organised by National Commission for Human Development.
Minister of State for federal education and Professional Training, Muhammad Balighur Rehman also participated in the walk.
International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day was observed across the globe to raise awareness and concern for literacy issues. The theme for this year was “Literacy and Sustainable Societies”. According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills.
One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women.
About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2015.