Access to education with gender equality fundamental responsibility of state: NCHD

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ISLAMABAD, Mar 16 (APP): It is time to ensure that children have access to a quality education rooted in gender equality, for creating a ripple effect of opportunities on generations to come.
“To provide education is a fundamental responsibility of the state and every child is entitled to it as it is critical to our development as individuals and as society which helps to cover the way to a successful and productive future”, said a press release issued here.
This was stated by Chairperson National Commission for Human Rights, Senator Rozina Alam Khan while addressing the Organizational Review and Senior Management meeting here on Thursday.
She said unfortunately education could not get to priority by the past governments resulting 57 million illiterates in the country.
Senator Rozina Alam said the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has taken initiatives for building concrete educational foundation of the country and gave considerable attention to betterment of education.
In this connection it is encouraging to note that the decrease in Out Of School Children (OOSC) from 24 million to 22.6 million and adjusted net enrollment rate from 72 percent to 77 percent during the last three years along with increase of students in the public sector schools, she added.
Total gross enrollment of all sectors and levels of education increased from 44.4 million to 47.5 million, she further informed.
She added that Pakistan among other countries of the world has signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and its goal four relates to quality education with lifelong learning.
Various levels and dimensions of monitoring frameworks have been defined to better monitor the SDG-4 at national and global levels, she added.
The monitoring system that provides in-depth specifics of education system, provides greater opportunities to policy makers for their unique circumstance and development priorities, she further added.
As Pakistan was unable to achieve the Education for All agenda by 2015, the pounding significance and unfinished business of Education for All (EFA) would be integral part of new agenda and in this connection significant improvement has been witnessed, she informed.
Learning through accelerated courses is the only way today to cater for 22.6 million Out Of School Children (OOSC) and 57 million illiterates which is a challenging factor for all the stakeholders involved in education, she observed.
The Accelerated Learning modules and condensed syllabus would provide OOSC a second chance/opportunity to take part in educational activities, she viewed.
The Chairperson expressed her concern over the fact that 44 percent of the children between the age of 5-16 are out of school and out of 26 million children who are enrolled; only 32 percent reach the matriculation level.
While discussing the grim educational statistic in Pakistan, Chairperson NCHD said the primary net enrollment is 77 percent out of which 32 percent are dropouts.
She shared that more girls are out of school, i.e. 49 percent compared to 40 percent of boys. She said NCHD along with other stakeholders with the Vision 2025 under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would implement plans to increase primary school enrollment and completion rate to 100 percent along with 90 percent achievement of literacy rate, as the PML N’s manifesto also envisages “eradicating illiteracy on war footings”.
Participants were briefed about the status of NCHD ongoing projects and their evaluation by Core Committee, NCHD future plans including establishment of 2000 Adult Literacy Centers through Pakistan Human Development Fund (PHDF) and 3000 Functional Literacy Centers approved by Planning Commission in all the provinces for the age of 15 to 45 years.
They were also apprised with the details of Prison Literacy Programme in 99 jails of the country, establishment of National Training Institute, Training of Feeder Teachers and establishment of 50 Non-Formal Basic Education Schools in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The Chairperson NCHD stressed the need to devise ‘National Policy on Non-Formal Education and Adult Literacy’ and formation of Inter-provincial forum.
It will provide guidance to achieve the objectives of the Vision 2025 including 40 percent population literate and also to empower them through skill development programmes in coordination with the other agencies, she informed.