Education dept comes under fire on ghost centres issue
ISLAMABAD, Sept 13: Speakers at a seminar here on Wednesday criticised
the Punjab literacy department for existence of thousands of ghost literacy
centres in the province.
The seminar was organised by the National
Commission for Human Development (NCHD) in collaboration with Unesco and the
ministry of education.
One of the participants from Bahawalpur, Dr Aslam
Adeeb said he had conducted a survey and found thousands of fake literacy
centres. "I have the documentary evidence to prove it," he claimed.
said teachers were appointed but not given appointment letters and somebody else
took their salaries. He said the ground realities were different from the data
provided by the Punjab literacy department, which has failed to bring about any
tangible result. "It is not a model which should be replicated in other
provinces," he added.
Another participant, also from Bahawalpur, said
there was not a single functional literacy centre in Bahawalpur.
special secretary finance, Punjab, while responding to the criticism suggested a
third party evaluation of the literacy programme. He said targets of literacy
cannot be achieved without linking literacy with the economic factor.
said the poorest of the poor would not be ready to send their children to
schools unless their economic needs were met. He said punitive action cannot
force enrolment of children.
Minister of State for Education Anisa Zeb
Tahirkheli on the occasion asked provinces to ensure that sufficient monetary
resources were utilised for improvement of education sector.
there was no paucity of funds and the federal government was ready to provide
financial assistance to the provinces for improvement of education sector. She,
however, regretted that funds allocated for education were never completely
utilised and the provinces always surrendered them on one pretext or the
Chairperson of the Senate standing committee on education, science
and technology Razina Alam Khan said she had visited NCHD literacy centres
personally and found them functioning in top order.
Dr Mohammad Ajmal,
chief operating officer NCHD, said the government had made considerable progress
through rapid reforms in the education sector. He, however, said there was still
a need to increase the literacy rate through public-private partnership in
promoting quality and coverage of education.
Iqbalur Rehman, national
literacy programme coordinator, said the literacy programme was operational in
117 districts and so far 71,281 adult literacy centres had been established in
which 1,435,745 persons had become literate. He said the number of operational
literacy centres was 50,000.
About future plans, he said 250,000
additional literacy centres would be established till 2010.
Dr Saleem, a
representative of the ministry of education, underlined the need for
implementing existing laws to promote literacy for national
He said the literacy amendment act 1987, which provided that
a passport other than for Haj, or a licence should be issued only to a literate
person, needed to be enforced with sincerity. Dawn
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