LAHORE, Oct 3: The Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) has launched the second phase of its ‘One Million Signature Campaign’ to project the need of free and compulsory education for children in 5-16 year age group.

This time, the ITA, a public trust, is collecting thumb impressions of out-of-school children in the targeted age group to stress that they deserved free and compulsory education under Article 25-A of the 18th Amendment.

This was stated by ITA Programmes Director Dr Baela Raza Jamil while speaking at the concluding session of a three-day volunteers’ training workshop organised at Institute of Education and Research, Punjab University, on Wednesday.

The ITA is conducting surveys in rural parts of various districts in Pakistan since 2008. This year, the ITA will conduct survey in all 135 districts, including 36 districts in Punjab.

Dr Jamil stressed that the trained volunteers should use the ASER survey initiative to assess children’s learning abilities as well as facilities in public sector schools. She said the volunteers should also create awareness among parents about their children’s learning abilities.

In order to promote and encourage women to become part of the development sector of society, she said, the ITA had planned to engage almost 50 per cent women volunteers. She said these volunteers would have an advantage with regard to communicating with parents, particularly children’s mothers at home.

As many as 40 volunteers from 18 districts of central Punjab attended the workshop.

ASER Programme Manager Safyan Jabbar imparted training to the master volunteers, who would train other volunteers to conduct surveys in their respective home districts.

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