islamabad-A week-long accelerated training programme was arranged here to provide quality education to out-of-school children, through an alternative learning system.

The programme was jointly organized by Allama Iqbal Open University and Japan International Cooperation Agency under the main title providing the right to education through ALP said a press release issued here on Sunday. The concluding session of the training was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr. Shahid Siddiqui, who reiterated the University’s commitment providing all possible support and strengthening drop-out girl’s education programme.

The programme was aimed at developing teaching and learning materials for out-of-school children, especially those who missed their early years of schooling or dropped out before completing the primary education cycle. It was also aimed at providing Right to Education through Accelerated Learning Programme.

The participants of the programme were briefed about customization and development of teaching and learning materials. The initiative to this effect was carried out under the formal agreement between the AIOU and JICA in collaboration with other stakeholders including Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and Capital Administration and Development Division.

The programme was developed to offer an alternative and accelerated Non-Formal Basic Education programmes for out-of-school children. The MOFEPT has already approved primary level equivalent ALP curriculum and the same is being used to develop the Teaching &Learning Materials, Textbooks, guides for teachers etc. This programme is conducted on a fast-track basis, offering primary education certificate in 32 months. It is equivalent to primary level education programme of formal education.

Subject specialists, curriculum development experts, and non-formal education experts from National Commission for Human Development National Curriculum Council, National Book Foundation, and AIOU are involved in customizing and developing the materials.

Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Shahid Siddiqui further said that the university is offering various educational programmes to over 1.3 million learners mostly from rural areas through its 44 regional campuses operating across Pakistan. He added that the AIOUs work with JICA to develop ALP materials will certainly enable the AIOU and other education providers to maximize their outreach to include the excluded. He appreciated the Bureau of University Extension of Special Programmes, particularly its head Dr. Tanzila Nabeel and her team for taking the University’s agenda forward. He also appreciated JICA for initiating such a useful programme. Abid Gill, Deputy Chief Advisor, Advancing Quality Alternative Learning project of JICA, expressed his deep satisfaction over the progress and thanked Dr. Shahid Siddiqui for his all-out support in materializing the collaborative partnership between JICA and AIOU that aims to serve the 22.6 million out-of-school children in Pakistan. The programme will not only provide a second chance to those who missed their first chance of education or dropped out of the education system but also provide them with continuing education options inside AIOU system and in other public and private formal school systems.