Friday, December 05, 2003

86pc literacy in next 15 years

ISLAMABAD: 86pc literacy in next 15 years: official

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 2: Pakistan has taken a number of effective measures and initiatives for Education for All (EFA) planning, implementation, management and resource mobilization, said Education Secretary Shafqat Ezdi Shah here on Tuesday.

"We have launched Education Sector Reforms (ESR) focussing on EFA and technical and vocational education," he said while speaking at the opening of a two-day sub-regional experts meeting on planning of EFA at a local hotel.

The meeting will be followed by a ministerial meeting to be held on December 4 and 5. The education ministry and Unesco, Islamabad, are hosting the meetings, which will be attended by high-level representatives from Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and the host country, Pakistan.

The secretary said the ESR action plan had been integrated into interim-poverty reduction strategy paper (2001-04). He said a number of development projects and programmes had been launched both in public and private sector for promotion of the plan.

Pakistan was also providing incentives to deserving children in the form of stipends, free textbooks, free uniform, food and nutrition to enable them to continue their education, he said, adding that free and compulsory primary education act was being enforced in a phased manner.

He said literacy rate was targeted to be increased from 49 per cent to 86 per cent in the next 15 years. Around 81 million population of 10 plus age group would become literate during the plan period 2001-15. The inputs and programmes planned to be initiated, inter alia, include opening of literacy centres, opening of non-formal basic education schools, vocational and trade schools and community viewing centres.

The focus of adult literacy programme would be on imparting income-generating skills linking it to micro-credit.

Earlier, Unesco director Ingeborg Breines spoke about the objectives of the meeting and told the participants that the countries in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan were facing challenges in the implementation of the ESR and though progress had been made, still these countries had a long way to go.

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