ISLAMABAD – Literacy Day was celebrated across the globe on Saturday with an aim devise programmes that can be implemented for the pursuit of basic, higher and better education for everyone.Through the efforts of National Commission of Human Development (NCHD), Literacy day was celebrated in Pakistan within the paradigms of peace and the desire to make a change. In order to achieve the objectives of this day, a literacy walk was organised by NCHD at Liaqat Gymnasium Sports Complex which included Chairperson NCHD and MNA Dr Nafisa Shah, chief guest for the event Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Zamurud Khan, MD Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal, Chaudhary Qamar Zaman, Federal Secretary Ministry of Education and Trainings and other eminent individuals related to the education sector of Pakistan as well as students from various institutes who participated in the walk by making use of colourful captions regarding this day and conducted this event in the most peaceful and civil manner by setting an example of how any important day needs to be celebrated like a literate, educated and productive citizen of the country. Local musical bands performed the songs on education and literacy along with the national songs. This was also accompanied by spreading the word through banners across Islamabad and all these efforts were culminated in the form of a seminar on Literacy Day through which the guests addressed the gathering attended by the students of federal board, sweet homes Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal, youth groups, civil society and relevant important officials of the country. The speakers said literacy rate of Pakistan is currently 58% which is increasing 0.5% every year and NCHD’s contribution in the annual increase is 2.8%. And the relevant government departments must make sure to take the literacy rate to 75% till 2015 which is also the target set in MDGs.Meanwhile, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) launched phase II on Saturday at National Press Club (Islamabad), on World Literacy Day to signify the urgency of this campaign and commemorate the show of support by Pakistani public towards this initiative. “Though Phase I garnered signatures from citizens from various occupations, ages and classes, phase II aims at getting one million signatures from only out of school children” shared ITA representative, Aisha Bilal at the event.Phase I was launched on March 6, 2012 by ITA and aimed to get one million signatures from children and parents asking the government to implement Article25-A, which makes education the fundamental right of every child aged 5-16. Though, the article was inserted into the 1973 Constitution after the 18th Amendment in 2010, education is far from being provided to every child in the country, free of cost.Chief guest Rubina Qaim Khani, Parliamentary Commission for Child Protection (MNA), lamented that though the event is held to celebrate World Literacy Day, Pakistan has little to celebrate in that regard. However she pledged her support and involvement in spreading literacy and education saying, “I will partake in promoting educational policies every step of the way, be it the current government or future ones”.She also noted that while providing education to every child is the government’s duty, given the dire state of the country, the everyman, businesses and civil society need to put their personal interests aside for the welfare and prosperity of the county, by promoting education in any way they can. In that vein, she shared that she will present a resolution in Parliament that will demand all university graduates serve one to two months educating children in rural areas.Union of Journalists, General Secretary Bilal Dar also spoke at the occasion and pointed out that it is imperative that in addition to free education for every child, the schooling should be of quality as well. “An educated youth can be a boon to a country, but an uneducated one is a burden and source of tension. Parents from various occupations are being effected by uneducated and illiterate children, and journalists are no exception “added Dar.Meanwhile, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Engineer Shaukat Ullah Khan has said that education budget is very low which is not good for next generations and it must be raised.Muslim International NGOs Forum (MIF) Pakistan had celebrated the world literacy day here at National Press Club (NPC) on Saturday. The event was entitled as “Role of International NGOs and Media in Promotion of Education in Pakistan.”Parliamentary Secretary Human Rights Rubina Saadat Qaim Khani, Vice Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University Dr. Nazir Ahmed Shami, Vice Chancellor Riphah International University Dr.Anees Ahmed, Chairman Muslim International NGOs Forum (MIF) Khubaib A. Wahidi and well-known educationist were also present on the occasion.The federal minister thanked MIF and NPC, and said that education system should be overhauled. It’s the responsibility of every Pakistani to keep an eye on the standards of education in institutions in their respected areas. He further added that schools and universities are there but there is no willingness.Rubina Saadat while addressed on the occasion said that role of media is very much important as it is the major pillar of the state. Collective efforts are required for the next generations so that every one would be literate and play their role for the development of the country. More over she added that the government had made comprehensive legislations, for better education system.Dr.Shami said that AIOU had invested more than 17 million rupees on education and now AIOU had offered computer science program in Umer Kot. More than 30 regions had been facilitated by AIOU to raise the standards of education. More over speakers added that 40 percent of the total population is illiterate. Accessibility to education is need of the hour for the society and civic society must be promoted so that they can contribute in the development of the country.At the end of the event MIF chairman presented the shields to the respective speakers and urged that we need coordinated efforts to organize and gather the children for education because they are the future of the country. He concluded.