By: International The News CN, May 30, 2018

Islamabad : More than 40 per cent of Pakistani children are out of school and most of them are girls, National Commission for Human Development chairperson Razina Alam Khan said on Tuesday.

“Though there is a well organised formal system of education for primary grades, this is not sufficient to provide education to 57 million illiterates and 6.4 million children of 10 to 14 years of age. Non-formal education system is required to be placed along with formal system to achieve 90% literacy rate in the country,” she told the participants of Islamabad Forum on Non-formal Education, which was attended by representatives from Ministry of Human Rights, Japan International Cooperation Agency and NCHD officials.

The NCHD chairperson said the purpose of constituting that forum was to address the issues of Non-formal education in Pakistan and to work in collaboration to improve and support non-formal education.

She said the existing formal system was adding about one per cent literacy rate annually and through the existing pace Pakistan could only achieve 68% literacy rate by 2025.

“The government has taken a number of supportive steps to improve education but we will have to utilize and activate non-formal education system so that by the blend of both formal and non-formal education system we could complete the unfinished agenda,” she said.

Razina Alam said the NTI of NCHD had devised a National Plan of Action, in collaboration with all the stakeholders to achieve educational targets of Vision 2025.

She said the inter-provincial ministers had supported non-formal education concept.

The NTI of NCHD presented non-formal Education Policy at ICT level, need and way forward was discussed with all the participants of the forum.

The Ministry of Human Rights presented findings of a case study regarding Out of School Children in slums of Islamabad.

The report presents that 2174 children were found to be OOSC which is 70% of the selected sample, reason were poverty, lack of interest, lack of parental awareness, absence of B-form/birth registration and lack of school facilities.

The JICA and Ministry of Human Rights shared mainstreaming of OOSC at ICT Level, Mapping of existing interventions, enrollment and monitoring through NF-EMIS. JICA chief congratulated NCHD on establishment of National Training Institute.

The forum recommended that MIS system/Database of Out of school children may be strengthened. CADD to devise plan for Formal Education of children (5-16 years) and NCHD to devise Plan of Action for Out of school children for Non- Formal Education. Under the ICT Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2012, Education Advisory Councils may be activated to ensure that every child in the area is attending school.

Vocational trainings may be integrated with Non-Formal Education through NAVTEC. Parents Teachers Association may be re-activated.

The NCHD chairperson said the recommendations would be put forward to the government for consideration.