QUETTA: The provincial government will help finance and set up 160 centres under the Alternative Learning Pathway (ALP) model to provide good quality alternative education to over 8,000 children and adolescents in Balochistan.

These centres will be set up by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and will be led by the department of secondary education.

The ALP centres will give out-of-school children (OOSC), between nine and 16 years of age, the opportunity to learn and be “mainstreamed” into a regular education system.

Japan’s support for alternative education in Balochistan is part of a recently signed agreement with Unicef according to which $3.5 million have been granted for establishing 400 ALP centres in three provinces. More than 15,000 children and adolescents across the country will benefit from these centres.

According to the secondary education sec­retary Noorul Haq Baloch, around one million children in the province are out of school and the real challenge is to give them access to quality education. He appreciated efforts made by Unicef and the JICA for giving these children the chance to “catch up and complete their basic education”.“The gover­nment of Balochistan is also trying to mainstream the ALP initiative and allocate a budget particularly for the ALP to help provide access to OOSC,” he said, adding they looked forward to strengthening Balo­ch­­istan’s formal education system with this coll­aboration and contribute to the province’s social and economic development.

“The JICA has consistently prioritised non-formal education (NFE) in its ongoing technical assistance to Pakistan since 2004. It has been implementing the Advance Quality Alternative Learning (AQAL) project which aims to strengthen NFE delivery systems in Balochistan and Sindh,” said Abid Gill, the deputy chief adviser of the AQAL, on Thursday.

“Now, we are trying to further strengthen our commitment to the NFE in collaboration with Unicef to ensure the right to education to OOSC,” he said, adding that JICA expected the Balochistan government to step forward and expand the NFE system as a strategy to ensure right to education to OOSC under article 25A.

Unicef’s Chief of Field Office David Lgulu said that this reflected the provincial government’s level of commitment and support of the Japanese government and Unicef in their efforts to provide quality education to the children of Balochistan. “Unicef’s support to the Balochistan education department is multidimensional with the ALP being the catalyst to accelerate enrolment of OOSC. Capitalising on the excellent results so far, Unicef will expand the outreach of this model,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018

Opinion

Climate & youth

Climate & youth

Disillusionment and anxiety are on the rise among youth as they confront the diminishing prospects of a better tomorrow.
Our exclusivity syndrome
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Our exclusivity syndrome

Pakistan needs at least a minimum level of inclusivity that can keep alive democratic values.
Shafqat Kakakhel
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Shafqat Kakakhel

COP26 has to achieve consensus on several issues.

Editorial

Carnage in Kandahar
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Carnage in Kandahar

Pakistan’s anti-extremism policy is in many ways half-baked and inconsistent.
17 Oct 2021

Sanctity of contracts

PAKISTAN is facing yet another international dispute before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment...
17 Oct 2021

New sports policy

THIS week, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee chief Haroon Malik was in Zurich to hold ...
Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...