THE biggest obstacle in the way of prosperity and economic growth is illiteracy and the real success of society lies only in programmes promoting education for all.
These views were expressed in a seminar entitled “Educated, Developed Punjab through Non-Formal Education and Our Responsibilities” held under the patronage of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) with the cooperation of Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education Department, Government of the Punjab and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) here at Children Library Complex on Wednesday.
Punjab Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman was the chief guest while Cheo Hashi, project coordinator, JICA, Bilal Aziz, programme officer, JICA and Local Government Secretary Khizer Hayat Gondal were guests of honor on the occasion.
The provincial education minister said that the government was implementing a comprehensive programme for providing modern educational facilities to the children and Daanish School project was a revolutionary step of Punjab government, which would not only minimize the divide between the rich and the poor but the children of the poor parents would also be able to acquire modern education and play their due role in national development and prosperity. He said 262,500 students under the age of 4 to 15 years were getting education under non-formal basic education schools.
He said private educational institutions were doing a valuable service in the field of education and the government was providing all-out cooperation to the private sector in this regard. He said Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) was providing grant and scholarships to the private educational institutions and students.
He said the government was implementing a comprehensive programme for providing modern educational facilities to the children. He said the government schools had been given the status of English medium schools last year while Punjab government had also launched a vigorous campaign for primary enrolment and hundreds of thousands of children had been given admission to schools as a result of this campaign whereas the government was giving emphasis on the teacher training and funds had been provided to the department concerned for this purpose.
Local Government Secretary Khizer Hayat Gondal said that Punjab government was working on enrolment of children in schools. He said the literacy department was also starting programmes to increase number of students in non-formal education programmes.
JICA Project Coordinator Cheo Hashi said that his agency was working on quality non-formal education. He said that steps should be taken to decrease the number of dropping out students from educational institutes. JICA Programme Officer Bilal Aziz said that literacy and non-formal education department had initiated efforts in a bid to increase literacy rate in the province.
Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS) Chairman and Health, Education and Current Affairs Editor of Jang Group Wasif Nagi said Islam has emphasized a lot on the importance of education and quoted the Ahadiths of Holy Prophet (PBUH) in this regard. He said that Holy Prophet (PBUH) has emphasized to realize that education is the most important element for individuals and society as well.