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Dawn

Published Date: Sep 1, 2015

Incentives for out-of-school children demanded

The government should start giving incentives in the form of stipend, uniform, lunch, health care and school health programme to woo poor and disadvantaged children back to school.
This was said by Nasir Amin, in charge NEMIS here on Monday, while addressing a seminar on ‘Monitoring & Evaluation in Education Sector under Proposed Sustainable Development Goals’. The seminar was jointly organised by SDPI and the AlifAlian here at a local hotel.
After Nigeria, Pakistan has the highest dropout rate in the world where millions of children do not go to school, he said, adding but, unfortunately, neither the provincial nor the federal governments offer incentives under the National Plan of Action aimed at encouraging the children to enroll.
A few years back, the country has 6.7 million out-of-school children. However, recently, State Minister for Education and Professional Training Baligur Rehman said the number had gone down from 6.7 million to 6 million.
Nasir Amin stressed the need of implementing Article 25-A of the Constitution by all provincial and federal governments in a letter and spirit. The article ensures free education to all children aging between five and 16 years.
He said the government should increase education budget as low allocation was a main hurdle to improving the education.
While discussing the issue of opening of new schools, he said the government should directly purchase the land for new schools instead of depending upon the donated land.
Executive Director, SDPI, Dr. Abid Q. Suleri, explained that education needed to be looked at holistically. Nutrition is one of the main factor on which progress depends. If a child has been malnourished till the age of three, he will poorly develop his intellect that puts a constraint on his performance later in life.
Chief Executive, Children’s Global Network Pakistan, Mehnaz Aziz Akbar in her presentation said translating millennium development goals (MDG)s into sustainable development goals (SDGs) is a challenging task. “We need to involve general public to achieve the target,” she said.
Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1204177/incentives-for-out-of-school-children-demanded