THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, ISLAMABAD, 30th SEPTEMBER 2013: The unprecedented response by the people has encouraged the government officials to extend the campaign to enrol out-of-school children to October 15. The campaign witnessed a marked rise in school enrolment during the nationwide three-day campaign launched recently.
The campaign, launched by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on September 8, had set a target to enrol 0.5 million out-of-school children of age five to nine, but statistics showed that different formal and informal schools crossed the target by enrolling over 0.7 million children across the country. However, Sindh and Balochistan are yet to compile and submit their reports to the federal government.
According to statistics, 80,244 children were enrolled in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in three days and the campaign has been extended up to October 15 due the overwhelming response from masses.
An official of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) said that about 15,585 children were enrolled in the federal capital in three days and they have also extended the campaign.
“We have chalked out a strategy not only to re-enrol the drop-outs but also devised a policy for teachers to help them interact with parents directly for persuasion,” CADD Joint Secretary Rafique Tahir told The Express Tribune.
The Punjab is ahead with a target of over 3.58 million enrolment in 36 districts. Punjab education officials have informed the federal ministry that 3.43 million children have been enrolled in the province during the campaign and the remaining target of 1.47 million would be met in the coming days.
Community feeder schools working under the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) in far-flung areas of Punjab, Sindh, K-P and Balochistan have been tasked to enrol at least five children per school-with a total target of 27,527 students.
According to the statistics, the basic education community schools (BECSs) across Pakistan have enrolled 36,743 children.
Similarly, 7,183 children have been enrolled in different schools in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Federal Education Secretary Ahmad Bakhsh Lehri said that the available data showed that the 0.5 million target has been surpassed. “This does not include the estimated 0.2 million children who are supposed to be enrolled by Sindh and Balochistan schools,” he said.
When contacted, Sindh education secretary Nazir Hussain Jamali said that they would soon send their report to the ministry after compiling district-wise calculations of enrolled children. He said that the were left with enrolment only in Sukkur district and as soon as it was done, the final report would be sent to the federal ministry.