Minister for Education Engineer Balighur Rehman on Tuesday said that non-formal education (NFE) is need of the hour and the best way to achieve maximum literacy rate across the country in present circumstances.He expressed these views while addressing the opening ceremony of Pakistan’s first National Training Institute (NTI) for NFE established by National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) for the training of community school’s teachers.
The institute would help teachers in capacity building through training, development of teaching -learning materials, research and development, assessment, certification, accreditation and data base. Currently the training project has been initiated in a rented building with the cooperation of Unesco and JICA.
Sharing the successful stories of students who studied through non-formal education system, he lauded the role of position holders and gold medalists of these community schools in socio-economic development of the country. Highlighting the benefits of multi-grade and cross learning teaching system, the minister said that the system is successful in community schools although it has some problems.
He said that under the Constitution of Pakistan free education is the responsibility of every government but presently it is a major challenge among others. Therefore, he said that community school system is best solution to provide free access to education.
Baligh said that per student cost in formal education system is around three thousands per month while this cost in NCHD non-formal education centres is only Rs400.
Around six million children have been enrolled in schools for last five years while the number has also been decreased of those children who were leaving the schools, he added. After 18th Amendment the education process in community based schools was also hurt, he said and added now with the untiring efforts of NCHD it has again survived. He emphasized the need of Accelerated Learning Programmes (ALP) Centers, besides Adult Literacy Centers. He urged the NCHD members to pay focus on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in class rooms of community schools with an aim to check the attendance of teachers and to introduce students with modern technologies. By using modern techniques, the students of far flung areas would be able to connect with the NCHD Community Schools to get education, he remarked.
The minister commended the efforts of Chairperson NCHD and Former Senator Razina Alam Khan and her team for their efforts to boost up the community school system across the country. Earlier, in her welcoming address, Razina said that without training of the teachers of community schools the non-formal education system could not be succeeded.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2018.