ISLAMABAD – The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) has established 120,263 adult literacy centres in 134 districts so far to increase literacy rate to 86 percent till the year 2015.
The programme also focuses on implementation of post literacy programme, by establishing 3,750 centres that included an enhanced level of Urdu/Sindhi language proficiency and teaching English to the neo-literates, as a pilot project, establishment of four Community Learning Centres (CLCs) as a pilot activity in Punjab and KPK Development of ICT-based Literacy Kit (first ICT-kit in Pakistan), pilot testing in two community Learning Centres.
Recognising the fact that adult literacy is the key to improve standard of living and quality of human resources, NCHD has been implementing the programme with the mission to increase literacy rate to 86 per cent by the year 2015.
The adult literacy centres in local communities provide basic literacy skills to the individuals (especially women) in the age group of 11-45, who were either never enrolled before or dropped out of school before acquiring literacy skills.
The syllabus and textbooks are designed for easy learning and functionality, thereby enhancing retention. Communities are mobilised to provide space as well as the teachers. Women are encouraged particularly to join these centres.
After the completion of six-month course, the learner is able to achieve the basic literacy equivalent to grade three, read simple text of Urdu, write a simple letter, manage figures up to four digits-able to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
The objectives of the programme consider Literacy as a key instrument to social, economic and political change of any society. “It leads to eradication of poverty, enhancement in quality employment, and democratic participation. In the past however, literacy has not received the commitment that it should be and its concerning to note that Pakistan lags far behind its ‘Education For All’ targets,” the official said.
The school enrolment ratio, high dropout rate and poor standards ensure that there are a large number of adults who need to be taught literacy skills. It is time that teaching adults is included in Education For All policy. Teaching adults would help in expanding school enrolment, as parents who are literate want their children to be educated.
As the leading organisation for Literacy in Pakistan, NCHD is striving to empower the people at the grassroots to become the agents of social change.