ISLAMABAD, May 20 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Tuesday described education as a priority area of the government and said it would help the country fight tendencies of extremism and terrorism. Chairing a meeting to review plan of action for the Year 2010 as National Literacy Year at the Prime Minister House, Gilani said it was a great opportunity to mobilize the nation. He said illiterate population was a cause of extremism and intolerance in the society and special measures were needed to address this challenge.
The Prime Minister urged the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) to establish 200,000 Adult Literacy Centres each year till 2015, with increased net enrollment from 70% to 90% and also take effective measures to reduce drop-out in the primary education.
The Prime Minister said to achieve the EFA goals and UPE (Universal Primary Education) in Pakistan, strong political will was required.
He called for passage of resolutions in support of literacy by the federal and provincial assemblies as primary education was a fundamental right.
The Prime Minister called for establishment of National Literacy Fund and allocation of adequate budget for education and literacy as committed in the National Education Policy 2009.
He said education was one of the five “Es” in the Pakistan People’s Party manifesto and was a priority area of the government.
The Prime Minister declared literacy a national cause and said execution of the national literacy plan would help create a conducive environment for achieving EFA goals.
The Prime Minister has constituted a Steering Committee under the chairmanship of his Advisor on Education for the observance of National Literacy Year 2010 and to create mass awareness.
To achieve the Education for All (EFA) goals, one of the key pledges of the governments, organizations, agencies, groups and associations represented at the World Education Forum in Dakar was:
“Mobilize strong and international political commitment for education for all, develop national action plan and enhance significantly, investment in basic education”.
He also announced the formation of National Literacy Council to be chaired by the Prime Minister to review the implementation status of the plan of action.
The Prime Minister urged the Ministry of Education and the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) for effective utilization of electronic and print media for mass mobilization and to run effective awareness campaigns in all parts of the country.
The Prime Minister approved Rs.6 crore for the NCHD for the implementation of plan of action. He also advised the Chairperson of NCHD to ensure speedy implementation of the plan of action.
Earlier, Ms. Nafisa Shah, NCHD Chairperson, briefed the meeting about the plan of action for National Literacy Year 2010. The meeting was also attended by Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, Advisor to Prime Minister on Education, and other high officials.