Literacy Day Marked with Calls for Joint Efforts to Enroll OOSC

Alight Pakistan celebrated the International Literacy Day, which reminds us of the importance of education and learning as well as to devise programs that could be implemented for the pursuit of basic, higher and quality education for everyone. This years theme of the International Literacy Day was “Literacy Teaching and Learning in the Covid-19 Crisis and Beyond.”

September 8 has been proclaimed as the International Literacy Day by the UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.

In Punjab, Alight collaborated with Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Department and arranged a seminar with regard to International Literacy Day at the Children Library Complex where provincial Minister for L&NFBE Raja Rashid Hafeez was the chief guest.  “We are celebrating this day within the paradigms of peace and the desire to make a change in the educational landscape of Pakistan,” Raja Rashid Hafeez.

In Balochistan, Alight collaborated with Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Department and arranged a seminar with regard to International Literacy Day where Minister for Social Welfare Mir Asadullah Baloch was the chief guest at Boys Scouts, Quetta. He said that unless we educate our people we cannot compete with the world. He said the developed nations have made unprecedented progress due to knowledge and literacy. “We need to focus on the enrollment and retention of the out-of-school children,” he said, and added that the NGOs and the charities should also come and support the government in overcoming this challenge.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Alight Pakistan arranged a seminar with regard to the International Literacy Day celebrations with Director Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim being the chief guest. Addressing the seminar, Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim said that in enrolment of over 1.8 million out-of-school children (OOSC) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is the biggest challenge for the government and civil society, private sector and communities must forge unity in their ranks to supplement the education department efforts to address this daunting task.

“Enrolment and quality education is the governments priority and we are determined to achieve Target 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education is a tool and means to achieve other goals such as poverty eradication, decent work, economic growth, reduce inequalities, improve health outcomes or gender equality,” he added.

Similar events were arranged in Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Islamabad and other cities where the participants highlighted the importance of day along with the efforts aimed at the enrollment of the out-of-school children across Pakistan.

The participants of seminars suggested viable recommendations with regard to policy and implementation and urged both public and private sectors that there is an urgent need to fill the policy gaps and overcome the constraints hindering the progress to achieve enrollment of OOSC and ensure their retention in schools to improve education sector in the country.

The participants appreciated Alight’s role in enrolling 816,329 OOSC during the last couple of years across 55 districts of Pakistan through supporting federal and provincial government departments in formal and non-formal education. They expressed the hope that together we can take concrete steps towards quality education through supporting government’s priorities regarding out-of-school children and youth employability.

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