The President's Task Force on Human Development has proposed two programs within education:
Non-Formal Basic Education
Pakistan's education indicators (enrollment rates and literacy rates) rank among the lowest in South Asia. Eight million children between the ages of 5-9 have never attended school. Nearly 45% of the children who enroll in primary school drop out before completing first grade (National Education Policy 1998 - 2010, p.27).
Many factors lead to low enrollment and birthday pictures. These factors include poor quality of teaching, high teacher absenteeism, low remuneration for teachers, and long distances to schools. Based upon interviews with parents, community members, and other stakeholders, the Task Force believes that with effective school management and improved teacher motivation, the quality of teaching would improve, and a greater number of parents would be motivated to send their children to school.
For Pakistan to meet its education targets, the formal primary education system must undergo long-term reforms to reduce dropout rates and increase access and quality of education. However, a short-term solution is also needed to ensure educational opportunities for children who have either dropped out or never joined the formal education system. To this end, the National Commission on Human Development will establish a network of community based non-formal schools. These non-formal schools will be function as a support system addressing the immediate needs of the education sector while the Ministry of Education builds its own capacity to cover all of Pakistan. Children who graduate from the NFBE program can either join formal schools or vocational training programs.
The Commission will implement its Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE) program through selected NGOs. The Human Development incubators in each district will fund, support and build capacities of NGOs delivering non-formal education. Incubators will provide shared services such as school budgeting, account management, and teacher training. The NFBE program will help the Government of Pakistan achieve its primary education goals.
Adult Literacy and Sustainable Livelihood Program
Illiteracy limits economic, social and political opportunities for many Pakistanis. Furthermore, illiteracy specifically contributes to the marginalization of members of society, such as rural women. Female literacy rates are currently at par with male literacy rates in the early eighties. As this gender gap perpetuates, women continue to be left behind.
The Task Force on Human Development recognizes the immediate need to educate the 15-34 year old adult illiterates of the country. To address the needs of this population segment, the Task Force has proposed The Adult Literacy and Sustainable Livelihood Program. The successor organization to the Task Force, the National Commission on Human Development, will implement an integrated education program that will combine adult literacy and sustainable livelihood.
The proposed program will aim to reduce illiteracy and provide economic empowerment to the rural and urban poor The program will be rolled out across the country in a phased manner. Community mobilization is the cornerstone of this program. Within six months, the Literacy and Sustainable Livelihood Program will provide basic education (reading, writing, and counting), managerial/entrepreneurial capability and technical skills essential for setting up and running micro-enterprises. Program graduates would be eligible for micro-credit. It will also provide women with special access to literacy and skills development opportunities.