The importance of Education and of achieving full literacy rapidly in a country like Pakistan cannot be over-stressed. The need of educa-tion can hardly be denied by any one in any part of the world but in an under-developed country like Pakistan it is of supreme importance. Through Educa-tion alone can we develop a sense of purpose and direction in our life and develop a sense of realisation, of responsi-bility and of devotion among our people. It is only education which gives rise to a man and turns a backward arid an illiterate nation into a prosperous one.
Without education no man, no country can make any progress in any walk of life. The Universal literacy would defini-tely help the people to broaden their mental capability which is pre-requisite for healthy social atmosphere. It is the Education, which broadens our intellect and widens our outlook of life, because an educated person never let the things happen as they may. He tries to under-stand the causes of their happening and if he finds them injurious to him or to mankind he does his best to remove their causes with the help of his education.
But Education has unfortunately re-mained the most neglected sector of our National Life so far. The planners failed to show awareness of the fact that invest-ment in a country’s human resources is most productive and profitable in the long run. The present. Government however is paying its most urgent attention to this sector soon after coming into power has introduced vital reforms to construct an educational system that would prepare our youth to face the realities of a modern age.
Literacy Day is observed every year in so many Afro-Asian Countries. It has a two-old purpose: To eradicate illiteracy from the country in the shortest possible time through uni-versalization of elementary education and a massive adult education programme.
Equalizing access to education through provision of special facilities for women, under-privileged groups and mentally-retarded and physically handicapped children and adults in all areas in general and in the back-ward areas in particular
To highlight the importance of educa-tion in our National life. 1st October, 1972 was institutionalized as “Literacy Day”, and the week following has been observed as the Education Week through-out the country. Education is the most vital factor in the removal of class barriers and distinctions and the Government of Pakistan which is firmly committed to the removal of social barriers and evolving an egalitarian society is vitally interested in universalizing education.
Education is being made free and universal up to Class X for all children through-out the country. However, due to limited resources Free Education Programme will be achieved in two phases. In the first phase, from 1st October, 1972 education up to Class VIII has been made free for boys and girls in both Government and ~ In the 2nd phase, starting from 1st October. 1974. free education will be extended to Classes IX and X in all schools. Depending on the response and reciprocity, it is anticipated that primary education upto Class V will become Universal for boys by 1979 and for girls by 1984. in a further period of 3 years. it is anticipated that elementary education will become universal upto Class VIII, that is for boys by 1982 and for girls by 1987.
In the past, many bright students were unable to complete their education for financial reasons. The present government is determined not to allow finance to stand in the way of such talented students. For helping the students the Government has launched a massive programme of scholarships and loans. Some highlights of the Education Week will include in due course of time national. essay competition declamation contests and inter-collegiate and inter-school debates. Alt these tournaments would be organised on an inter-provincial basis and carry awards and prizes. These activities would constructively focus two main themes namely educational reforms and literacy for masses. There is also a programme to have an annual All Pakistan contests to select a “Student” of the year and the ‘Teacher’ of the year from primary to post-graduate level based on the assessments of the District Board’ Universities/Secondary Schools, etc. The Ministry of Education also proposes to institute a State Award for the most out- standing contribution made by rural and urban teams from all the provinces and it would be called the Quaid-i-Azam “Gold Cup” to he awarded every year from this year on.
Literacy Day is symbolic of Education Reforms and in time to come would emerge as a permanent institution on the national calendar.