Pakistan: Sindh to adopt policy for out-of-school kids, adults

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The Sindh government has prepared a policy to provide opportunities of meaningful education to out of school children and adults and young persons who are not literate.

The Sindh Non-Formal Education (NFE) and Alternative Learning Pathways (ALP) Policy provides a framework for continued lifelong learning to children, youth and adults focused on the most disadvantaged groups with a strong gender focus.

The policy preparation process was initiated almost one year ago as in Government’s view of almost 51% of children being out of school and an adult literacy rate of 58% and their was a wide gaps between rural and urban areas and also males and females.

The Directorate of Literacy and NFE is the lead agency under the Sindh Education Department for development of the policy. The Sindh Capacity Development Project (SCDP) managed by Deloitte Pakistan as part of Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP), funded and supported by USAID has provided technical assistance in formulation of such policy.

The policy primarily targets children who have missed either primary or post primary schools or both and illiterate adults. A number of options are recommended to include out of school children in fast tracked primary and post primary courses where regular curricula is combined with provision of technical skills. For youth and adult literacy it calls for programs that are relevant and embedded in local needs of the participants.

The service delivery options are open for the non-government organizations through public private partnerships. On the quality side, the policy recommends standards based approach that not only provides participants with meaningful learning but also certifies their skill sets for further education and employment.

The policy is now in its final phase and a conference is being held in Karachi, to share the draft policy with stakeholders prior to its approval by the Sindh cabinet. Minister for Education and Literacy Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar will be the chief guest in the conference – Moving Towards a Policy on Non-formal Education and Alternative Learning Pathways for Sindh – hosted by the School Education secretary.

After the conference, the policy will be submitted for the approval of Cabinet together with appropriate funding commitment. SCDP is also supporting SED in developing an implementation framework, and it is expected that SED will initiate its implementation from January 2017.

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