Message by President of Pakistan on the occasion of International Literacy Day
Islamabad: September 8 every year is observed throughout the world as the “International Literacy Day”. It is an important occasion for us to drive home the need for increasing literacy, assess achievements and shortfalls in the field of basic education and renew our commitment to provide education to all.
The theme for the 2011 literacy year ‘Literacy and Peace’ is most appropriate in our context as Pakistan is faced with existential threat from military which can be met in the long run through education and literacy.
The declaration by the government of Pakistan of the year 2011 as the Literacy Year is therefore most welcome and demonstrates our commitment to spread education and literacy far and wide as a bulwark against forces of bigotry and militancy as well as a critical tool for social and human development.
Pakistan lags way behind among countries of the world in literacy and education. We have to traverse a great distance and invest more resources and time to catch up with the world in education.
I wish to commend the Parliaments for talking cognizance of this while adopting the 18th Constitutional Amendment and adopting a special provision that recognizes the right to education of children. Recognizing right to education Article 25-A states, “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law”.
I am confident that the National Commission for Human Development, the provincial education departments and all governmental and non-governmental organization concerned with education have planned suitable activities today to highlight the need for spreading education and increasing literacy and the steps taken to meet our national objectives.
On this occasion, I urge the educational planners to adopt a multi-pronged strategy for provision of basic education to all through both formal and non-formal basic education programmes. I also call upon the intergovernmental organizations, development partners, nongovernmental organizations, employers, trade unions and civil society organizations to help Pakistan attain the goals of Education for All’ as well as advance this year’s theme namely, “Literacy and Peace”.
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Haji Ahmed Malik
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