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    Literacy In Pakistan
     
 
At present about 55 milion pakiatanis above the age of ten cannot read and write or do simple calculations.The over all official literacy rate is reported to be a little more than 50% with two-thirds of the female population utterly illiterate.Pakistan indeed is at the lowest rung of the international literacy ladder.

No country can make rapid progress in this day and age if the bulk of its people remain deprived of the basic skills of reading and writing.
 
In 1981 a step in the right direction was taken with the setting up of the National Commission for Literacy and Mass Education. The Commission prepared the first national literacy plan. Although approved by governmental, it was not implemented.

Efforts were made to make out of school children literate but hardly any thing worthwhile was done to promote adult literacy. One of the reasons was the difficulties involved in running adult literacy programmes.The Commission has since been abolished. It was replaced by the EFA (Education for All) wing of the Ministry of Education. This comet too have been scrapped and its activities merged in the projects wing.

In 1990 the biggest ever international education conference was held in Jomtien, Thailand attended by more than one hundred education ministers and senior representatives of almost all the UN agencies including the World Bank and of course UNESCO. Pakistan too attended it and committed itself to the goals set for the next 10 years. Unlike China, India, Indonesia and many other countries. Pakistan failed to meet its commitments primarily because of lack of political will on the part of the government and indifference of the federal education ministry and provincial departments of education.


While the Government of Pakistan has finally recognized the urgency of promoting adult literacy, and a national plan has been prepared, an adequate institutional infrastructure has yet to be established at the central provincial and district levels (except for Punjab where a full fledged ministry for literacy has been established and NWFP where a literacy programme has been lanched by the Elementary Education Foundation). Adequate allocations for the implementation of the program are yet to be made. Most of the burden of this task has been placed on the districts where under the new system, Executive District Officers-EDOs (Literacy) have been appointed in some of the provinces. The operation of the literacy centers is to be entrusted to the NGOs but actually there are very few NGOs with experience in the field of adult literacy and their capacity too is generally quite inadequate. It is not realised that imparting of literacy in rural areas is a very difficult and a highly complex job. Many programs lauched by government and even by NGOs have met with only a partial success because of the lack of special efforts needed to run such litetracy centers.

This is where PACADE's role as a catalyst and specialist on adult literacy assumes significance. PACADE ahs been running Adult Female Litetracy Centers in villages near Lahore for the last 10 years. It has been able to evolve a methodology which can yield goods results.

     
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