Islamabad - The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) will establish 540,000 literacy centres in 59 focused districts that have literacy rate less than 60 percent.

This intervention will add 10 percent literacy rate in the overall literacy level of Pakistan and help achieve 85 percent literacy rate by 2023 which seems farfetched idea without such fast track efforts.

The newly appointed NCHD Chairperson Razina Alam Khan, who assumed the charge of her office on Friday last, shared this with the media persons during a press briefing on Monday.

Sharing various achievements and upcoming initiatives of the Commission, she said under an Adult Literacy Program, the NCHD has planned to bring paradigm shift from in its literacy Program and wants to develop literacy program from basic literacy to functional literacy. The NCHD will make its literacy program more meaningful and relevant by linking it with skill development and income generation activities, she added.

The NCHD will support the government of Pakistan in the implementation of Education Emergency for which it will intervene in the key areas.

The key initiatives include ensuring universal primary education to all children of 05 to 09, provision of second chance learning for 10 to 16 years age group through accelerated learning approaches, adult literacy courses for 16 plus age groups and linking literacy with skill development, introducing vocational/ technical education institutions, Enrolment of 6.7 million out of school students of 05 to 09 years age, enrolment of 419,000 students of 10-16 age group in 35,000  new NFBE and community feeder schools, improving literacy rate to 75% by year 2018 from existing 60% through national youth literacy movement.

The NCHD has established averagely 15,000 feeder schools every year under the PC-I 2009-13 to provide schooling for the un-served population and trained 130,000 teachers on enrolment processes, recording and reporting, dropout prevention, and social mobilisation.

Regarding achievements of the Commission, Senator Razina Alam Khan said it enhanced intake rate, enrolment in first grade in 134 districts to more than 82 percent from 1,064,987 in the year 2002-03 to 2,300,000 and 2.2 million children were enrolled in the year 2011-12 in government schools through enrolment campaigns.

The NCHD, she said, has also established 164,190 adult literacy centres in 134 districts of Pakistan and more than 3.84 million adults became literate, out of them 95 percent were females.

The NCHD has implemented post literacy program, by establishing 3,750 centres, that included an enhanced level of Urdu/Sindhi language proficiency, and teaching English to neo literates, she shared.

Its literacy program has been recognised internationally by conferring the International Reading Association’s Literacy Award for 2006 by UNESCO, she added.

Regarding the low payments and delays in release of honorarium to feeder teachers she said, “Things have come to my notice and I will try my best to resolve the issues of community teachers. We are contemplating to raise the honorarium of the teachers and for this I will fight on every forum.” She also assured that the regularisation issues of employees will also be resolved.

It is important to mention that teachers of feeder schools have not been paid honorarium since January last. About 3,000 employees of NCHD are not happy with the regularisation policy.

The employees have challenged the policy in courts as after regularisation the benefits, which they were enjoying as contractual employees, were withdrawn and they were not given service structure and other benefits they were entitled to.