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ISLAMABAD, The National Commission for Haman Development (NCHD) chairperson, Razina Alam Khan, on Tuesday said a non-formal 32-month education programme and multi-grade teaching techniques would enable dropouts to continue their studies from sixth grade in the regular system.

Razina Alam Khan said her office had set up a national training institute in this regard to meet this challenge.

“Experts are imparting multi-grade and non-formal teaching techniques to the teachers/facilitators of Feeder Schools,” Razina Alam Khan said while giving a briefing to a meeting at her office.

NCHD, working under the ministry of education, has been mandated to eradicate illiteracy in the country.

“Currently Pakistan’s education statistics reflected a challenging situation as the literacy rate is around 60pc,” she claimed.

“This means that 57 million people cannot read and write. The number of out of school children is also more than 22.6 million,” said Razina Alam Khan, adding her department has set a target to achieve 90pc literacy rate and 100pc enrollment rate.

She said the unfinished agenda of achieving the Education for All by 2015 was now integral part of her department’s new agenda.

She also claimed that out-of-school children had witnessed a decrease from 24 million to 22.6 million. Similarly adjusted net enrollment rate had gone up from 72pc to 77pc during the last three years, she added.

“Pakistan human development index (HDI) has also witnessed improvement in UN ranking, but according to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report of UNESCO, Pakistan is among those six countries where one third children of school going age are out of school. The campaign for the enrollment of ou-of- school children and had enrolled 45, 800 to feeder schools this year,” she said.

Learning through accelerated courses was the only way today to cater to 22.6 million out-of-school children and 57 million illiterates, according to Razina Alam Khan, which was a challenging factor for all the stakeholders involved in education.

“The accelerated learning modules and condensed syllabus, being prepared by NCHD would provide the out-of-school children a second chance to take part in educational activities,” she said.

She informed the briefing that NCHD had imparted literacy skills to 3.84 million illiterates and 320, 000 children were acquiring education in 5, 949 feeder schools, where 6, 581 facilitators/teachers are delivering multi-grade teaching to the learners.

She stressed the need of further efforts of NCHD for the improvement of literacy rate in the country especially in the field of adult literacy and non-formal education.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2017