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Adult Literacy and Alternate Learning Pathways



Adult Literacy and Alternate Learning Pathways

Adult literacy has been one of the lowest priorities in the provincial education policy and plans. The BESP envisages a transition from a donor funded (or federally supported) project based approach to building provincial capacity to develop and managed the sector on a sustainable basis: a shift from current low priority and dependence on external partners to institutionalization. Another aberration from the traditional adult literacy programmes has been the increased focus on youth literacy.

11.1.1. Current Situation

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Balochistan has the lowest literacy rate in the country. According to PSLM 2010-11 the literacy rate of the province is 41% of the population of 10 years and above whereas the MICS data reflects figures only for young women i.e. 32.9%. The ESP suggests that gross existing literacy rate may be enhanced by 20% raising from 41% to 60%. Although the rate itself is a product of the efforts of the regular school systems as well as the specialized adult literacy programmes, the latter have been the most ignored area in the provincial education dynamics. The provincial government has never provided funds for the sector beyond the salaries of some of the staff of the Directorate of Literacy and ALP. The sector has largely been dependent on the largesse of the federal government and the international donor organizations.

No provincial policy framework exists on literacy and outreach of the provincial directorate (heavily dependent on federal funds) is limited to 12 districts only. NCHD has had a wider scope and support than the provincial directorate.

Presently the programmes launched by the Directorate of Literacy and NFBE mainly focuses on adult literacy by providing them basic literacy and the children of 10+ age (either dropped out from schools of never attended school) are provided primary level education through non-formal education programs. However, the graduates of these programmes seldom get opportunity to continue their education.

The ALP component of the provincial government remains completely dysfunctional. It has never gotten off ground. Capacity to undertake the task remains a huge question mark. Even for literacy the directorate does not have formations in the districts and has been dependent on officers of the social welfare directorate and the NCHD.

The introduction of article 25A in the constitution has enhanced the obligations of the government to provide free and compulsory education to all the children between age 5-16 years. It implies that each and every child of this age bracket should be engaged in education. The basic literacy and non-formal education will be the most effective way to cater the constitutional requirements.

11.1.2. Strategic Objective

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The primary concern at this point is the vacuum in terms of policy and capacity and therefore the main strategic objective is:

ā€œInstitutionalization of Youth/Adult literacy (YAL) and Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE) Programme in the Province to the mainstream of education system of the provinceā€.

11.1.3. Strategies:

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Four set of strategies have been identified

1.	Develop a policy framework for literacy and ALP sector at the provincial level
2.	Greater focus on adolescent and youth literacy.
3.	Improve on the current teaching learning material on literacy
4.	Capacity development to undertake literacy and ALP programmes

This will require strengthening of the Directorate for Literacy and ALP. Firstly funding for programmes will have to be provided in addition to the salary only budgetary provision of the provincial government for the sector. Secondly the directorate will need to shift its approach towards an output and outcome focused monitoring. Thirdly capacity of the sector will have to be enhanced through specialized trainings on a sustainable and systemic level. Finally there is a need for political and social ownership of adult literacy and ALP therefore options on advocacy and setting up a standards committee on education have been recommended.

1.

Development of literacy and ALP policy framework

Presently the Directorate of Literacy and ALP, has no policy frame work for introduction of a province wide programme. Therefore development of a framework is imperative. It will provide a road map for achieving the objective and targets of the BLALP.

2.

Greater focus on adolescent and youth literacy.

In order to meet the requirements of article 25A of the constitution and to improve the literacy rate in the province the greater focus on the education of adolescents and youth literacy will be greatly focused. Because this age group constitutes the most important part of human capital of the province.

3.

Improvement of teaching learning material on BE and literacy

The existing teaching and learning material of BE and ALP does not commensurate the requirements of the learners particularly in the provincial cultural and financial requirements. Therefore new material will be developed which caters the needs.

4.

Capacity development to undertake literacy and ALP programmes.

There does not exist any system to develop the teachers of basic Literacy and Alternate Learning Paths. Whenever some funds become available in the department undertakes a program it engages the literate persons from the concerned community who have no experience and training in teaching the adolescents and adults. Therefore they cannot meet the learning needs of their clientele. It results in very low educational outcomes. Therefore the education sector plan suggests that an effective capacity building program may be institutionalized.

5.

Expansion

Presently functions of basic literacy and Alternate Learning Paths are limited to a very small segment of the population. The existing low literacy rate coupled with high birth rate in the province demands that literacy and Alternate Learning Paths should be introduced throughout the province. Each district should have an establishment of Basic literacy and Alternate Learning Paths which should create its outreaches across the districts.

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Download Balochistan Education Sector Plan whole document