Literacy must for entering digital world: NCHD chief
Islamabad: Education is an utmost requirement of an individual as it has become the main ingredient of ones life. It is the fertiliser we need for our empowerment, development and enjoying the life in a digital world of today. Now literacy does not just mean reading and writing, in order to cope with the world of technology, we will have to navigate with the increasingly digitally-mediated societies.
This was observed by National Commission for Human Development chairperson Razina Alam Khan in the seminar held on the International Literacy Day on Friday. Razina Alam said the seminar was a platform to plan a course and explore effective literacy policies and programmes that could enforce the opportunities being provided by the digital world.
She said literacy was the best remedy for the issues of terrorism, inequality, gender disparities, poverty, social injustice, ethnic and linguistic disadvantages, and gaps between geographic areas could only be addressed through literacy.
“Providing free and compulsory primary education to every citizen is the responsibility of a state, she emphasized. In today’s world of technology the way of living, working, learning and socialising is changing for giving new opportunities to improve all areas of life, just reading and writing now will not fulfil the requirement of a literate society,” she said.
The NCHD chairperson said a literate society was only social, economical and political safety. “We the nation of 207 million, where one fourth or 22.6 million children of 5-16 age groups are still out of school and 42% of adult population are illiterate, hampers development and progress of the country she viewed. It is our obligation to provide education that meets the need of a digital world,” she said.
Razina Alam said the Vision 2025 of Planning Commission of Pakistan set the target to achieve universal primary education and literacy rate of 90% by year 2025. She regretted that due to the gap of literacy skills and inequalities, 44% of the children between the ages of five and 16 years were out of school.
“Out of 26 million children who are enrolled, only 32 per cent reach the matriculation level,” she said. The NCHD chairperson said the primary net enrolment was 77 per cent and of that, 32 per cent was dropout.
She added that more girls were out of school i.e. 49 per cent compared to 40 per cent of boys. She added that the NCHD had launched a number of innovative approaches to reach the marginalised groups.
“The NCHD in collaboration with the UNESCO introduced computer and mobile literacy in a pilot project which remained very successful. However, as today it is the requirement of all digital societies, we should share and analyze promising practices with regard to policies, programmes, monitoring and evaluation as well as financing that advances literacy in a digital world,” she stressed.
Yoshiisa Onoe, deputy chief representative of JICA, and Vibeke Jensen, country representative of the UNESCO, attended the seminar and appreciated the efforts of the NCHD for promoting literacy and non-formal education in the country.