Adult education in NWFP, Pakistan

by Sultan Muhammad

Education is the backbone in development of a nation, With Education, nation identifies it self in the nations of the world. Education give power and respect to small countries and enables them to control over its economy, with education one can conserve it resources in a better way. Education is the tool of success and dignity in this world. Educations help in character building and improve their moral responsibilities. Educations reduce crime and poverty from the society.
Education in Pakistan:
After 1857 freedom war, Muslims were isolated in the subcontinent and derail from the path of development and education. The doors of education were closed on them. Sir Syed Ahmad khan helps Muslims in those difficult times. He established a Muslim university after 1857 for the Muslim of the subcontinent. He put them back on the track.
Due to those reason Literacy rate was very low at the time of partition, in light of these circumstances in November 1947; first educational conference was held to improve the education system of Pakistan, although many fruitful suggestions were introduced in this conference and later on they were implemented but no attention was given to adult education at that time.
In 1972, the very first comprehensive education policy was introduced after independence of Pakistan under the title of educational policy 1972-80, federal Minister Hafiz Perzada first time gave Attention to education. In this policy literary centres were established to educate Eleven million illiterate people. Also to establish an Open University that will provide education through radio and television.
In 1979 general Zia-ul-Haq held a conference on education, in which educational experts were invited to analyse the education system of Pakistan and presented their precious suggestion to improve the quality of education of Pakistan and prepare a educational policy that suit Pakistan. This conference identifies some problems and put emphasis on the following points to increase the literacy in Pakistan.
· The establishment of Mosque and Mohalla schools to educate the people
· Establish a counsel for Adult Education to increase the literacy rate, attached to AIOU.
In 1992 Nawaz Sharif government announced a policy which had positive suggestions of all policies since 1947 and onward. It was the most comprehensive policy of Pakistan education history, although it was not executed at that time but later on some suggestions were implemented like the establishment of NTS system.
Adult Educationadult education was defined by experts,
1. “It is a process, through which the grownups of a common acquire modern ideas. Awareness of the present issue of the society and to some extent critical thinking is developed”
2. Bryson. Define adult education as “ all activities with an educational purpose carried on by people in the ordinary business life”
It means all those adults people who misfit in society due to lack of education, an educational programme will be planed for them, to educate them up to the level and requirement of the society. So they could be useful for the well being of the society.
Developed countries had already passed through this phase. Still they have adult education programme for those who left behind in the race of education or dropout for some reason from the school.
Education in NWFP
According 1998 census, NWFP population is around 18 million and the literacy rate of NWFP is 34.41%, men 51.39% and women 18.82 %. 2.35 million Children are enrolled in schools and 2.14 million are out of school due to different reason.
In the field of education NWFP is for behind with respect to other provinces, only Balochistan is lacking behind us. That why these two provinces required special attention, which they never get.
According to Population Census Organization 1998
Population of Age Group 15-24 Year
literates 15-24 years
Literacy rate
3.36 (million)
1.62 (million)
Male Population Age Group 15-24 Year
literate Male 15-24 years
Male Literacy Rate
1.71 (in million)
1.16 (in million)
Female Population Age Group 15-24 Year
Literate Females !5-24 years
Female Literacy Rate
1.6 (in million)
0.5 (in million)
According to Population and Housing Census Report 1998, NWFP is the second lowest province in Pakistan in literacy rate. But still no serious attention is given to improve adult education. Some half hearted plans are in progress but those are not enough to eradicate the problem
Adult education in NWFP:
According to 1972-80 education policy, first time few literacy centres were established in NWFP for the purpose of adult education, but it would not achieve its goals.
In 1979 general Zia-ul-Haq era, he put stress on education and on the recommendation of education conference government establish Mosque and Mohalla schools for adult education and actively used media for adult education. For this purpose Open University started educational courses on PTV and radio on daily bases. Media improved the education quality in adults in cities. For the first time in Pakistan and in NWFP Adult education made real progress.
In 1992 policy, government improved adult education and suggested the promotion of education of females through the combination of non-formal and distance education. Opening of distance educational colleges/institutes and establishing a second TV Channel for education purpose.
Public Sector Literacy Programmes
In public sector, first time literacy centres were established in 1972, the target was to literate Eleven million people across Pakistan. Allama Iqbal Open University was establish in 1974 as a language institute, later on it was given the status of university, it is the first open university in Asia. AIOU play a vital role in education in Pakistan. Later on it starts courses on PTV and radio to cure illiteracy problem in Pakistan.
IN 1979 general Zia-ul-Haq improved adult education and gave real attention to adult education. He established Mosque and Mohalla schools to eradicate illiteracy from Pakistan. With the establishment of these schools the literacy rate increased in adult to some extent.
Zia-ul-Haq increased the role of media in education; he opened new channels and started new courses with the help of Allama Iqbal Open Univesity on television and radio. Education courses were provided to People at their door step.
After 1992 Nawaz Sharif government gave attention to the education. They prepared a new education policy to improve overall education system of Pakistan; they brought major changes in education policy and take new initiatives for this purpose. Although the policy was not implemented at that time but later on it was implemented.
Government announced a policy which had the positive suggestion of all policies since 1947 and onward. Which was not executed for some reason at that time, but later on some suggestions were implemented like the establishment of NTS system. Some other programme which were implemented:
Eradication of illiteracy from selected areas of NWFP
This project was launched by Literacy Commission and it opened face to face literacy centre and TV literacy centre in Tehkal Bala, Peshawar. This project was implemented through NGOs and local community. 87% adult were made literate against the target.
Quran literacy project
This project was planed with the consideration of great respect of the people of NWFP towards Islam. It was understood that the people will have more attraction to religious type of education and in this way they will come in to the main stream of learning. This project was specially designed for the females because they have no access to education. Experts believe that with this type of education they would involve female in the education process and make them better persons of the society, with the help of Quran education they will easily learn Urdu as well. As a whole it was very difficult project to organise. Due to that it was not successful as it was thought initially. Time table was very difficult for teacher, with no incentives; in some areas people were still not ready to send their girls to schools.
Non Formal Basic Education Schools
In 1995 Prime Ministers Literacy Commission implemented a project called \”Establishment of 10000 Non-formal Basic Education Schools\” with the total sum of Rs.1263.375 million for a period of five year. This project was implemented on the national level.
This project was based on the idea of united state of America home school that will be run through local community with the help of NGOs. Thousand (7117) of schools were opened under this project. But in 1997 government reduced the budget due to which the student could not received books and teachers could not received salaries.
In the education policy 1998-2010 on further recommendations, the project was expanded on the condition of evaluation of existent schools. Recommendations were given for the opening of another 75000 NFBE community schools during the next three years.
Elementary education:
A Semi-Government Institution of NWFP for promotion of literacy through Community participation. Established in 2002, after the establishment of elementary education foundation, it establishes 36 EEF Model Community Schools for girls in backward districts, and started teacher training programme.
Currently 486 adult schools are running under the supervision of elementary education, funds are provided after the evaluation of the three month progress report. Target 86% adult literacy rate by the year 2015
Dasthkari Schools:
Dasthkari schools were opened all over Pakistan included NWFP to train women to earn livelihood, Pakistan bait-ul-mal also started courses for needed persons to help them to earn livelihood with dignity. Courses of sewing and cutting etc were started.
Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal:
Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal with the help of Allama Iqbal Open University started vocational training and workshops to train the people and improve their technical skills.
Role of NGOS in adult education in NWFP
NGOs stand for Non governmental organisation:, after the invasion of Afghanistan by Russia, a flood of refuges rush to NWFP, Pakistan. To help those refuges, international organisation came to Pakistan and set their offices. Some were taking care of there foods while some providing them shelter. Some organisation took responsibilities of their education. Schools were established in camps and teachers were trained to teach them. This new trend, effected Pakistani society too and the concept of local NGOs developed. With these international NGOs local community started their own NGOs to help their country in different sector. Education and skill development is one of them. Non governmental organisations played a vital role in adult education and skill development in NWFP. List of NGOs, which are involved in the education and skill development programme in NWFP:
1. Khyber Welfare Association
A Non-Governmental Organizations in NWFP was involved Literacy Projects (Pilot) of 1992.
1. Aahung (registered in 1995 – Health) Aahung
Working all over Pakistan, adult education and skill development is one of its components.
2. Association for Creation of Employment (est. registered 1997) (Economic Welfare, Micro Credit)
It mainly works on the skill development but also have adult education programme from time to time.
3. Caritas (est. 1965, registered 1980) (Education, Vocational Training)
Registered in 1980 work for education, vocational training in NWFP
4. De Laas Gul Welfare Program (est in 1976, registered in 1988) (Vocational Training)
Da Laas Gul organises vocational training
5. Health Education and Literacy Trust (est. 1987 registered in 1994) (Education and Health)
6. Khwendo Kor – Women and Children Development Program
khanendo kor major components are, working for education, skill development and micro credit programme of women of NWFP.
7. National Research and Development Foundation (est. and registered 1993)
8. Lasoona. “LASOONA – Society for Human and Natural Resource Development”
9. CMDO: Community Motivation and Development Organization
CMDO is Community Motivation and Development Organization which is deeply involved in education programme in NWFP. Some of the components of CMDO are:
Community Based Formal Education
Five community base Model school were opened in FATA
Infrastructure Improvement
Improve the infrastructure and rehabilitation of schools in backwards areas, to improve the education.
Non-Formal Education (Transitional Schools)
Schools were opened for working children above the age of 7.
Adult Literacy
20 adult literacy centres were established in FATA and in Kurram Agency and 1500 adult female were educated.
Youth Literacy and Vocation literacy/Trainings
Youth literacy and vocational training programme was started for young adults. 6 months literacy programme followed by 6-months practical/vocational training programme were organised for the ages between 13 -17. Training was provided to 1250 adults under this programme.

Resource centres
Library and computer labs were established in different parts to help the students.
Capacity Building – Teacher Training
Teacher training programme were arranged from time to time, to enhance the ability of teachers to educate adults in there villages.
10. National Commission for Human Development (NCHD)
NCHD is a Pakistan based NGO. It is working in many districts of NWFP
1. Kohat
2. Malakand
3. Abbotabad
4. Swabi
5. Laki Marwat
6. Batgram
7. Shangla
8. Swat
9. HaripurNWFP (3)
10. Mardan
11. Mansehra
12. Karak
NHCD have adult literacy Programme, in 58 Districts of Pakistan and it opened thousand of literacy centre all over Pakistan.
Adult Literacy Programme in 58 districts
Adult Literacy centres opened 5,391
Adult Literacy centres completed 3,874
83,549 non-literates made literate aged 15-39 years (80% women)
11. AKESP Aga Khan Education Services of Pakistan has a major share in private sector education. AKESP specially arranged education programme for women of Chitral and northern area.
In education budget, Less than one 1% was allocated for Adult literacy programme, which is nothing when comparing to problem we are facing in Pakistan, allocated funds were not used in proper way. Funds were spent on ghost schools and ghost teachers. Monitoring of the schools and resources were not up to the standard, due to these loop holes adult education lacks efficiency and effectiveness. The required targets were not achieved up to the expectations of the programme.
Problems and issues to Adult education:
Teacher’s problem
The biggest problem of adult education in NWFP is teacher involvement in the education process. Teacher motivation is required to achieve the goals and objectives. The best way for the motivation of teacher is to increase salaries and give extra befit to those teacher who show commitment to achieve adult literacy target and goals. It will motivate other teacher to follow so.
Political Instability
Political instability is another major problem, when ever new government take over control in Pakistan. It stops old education programmes, no matter how much they are important and effective, and how much many are spent on those projects. They will start their own programme so later on they could tell the people that it was their initiated programme
Lack of coordination is also a major problem in the line agencies, sister organisations are unaware what other organisation are doing. What are their programmes? And what are advantages and disadvantages of that programme?
Public Awareness is very necessary for adult education. The people should know, what are the benefits of education for them and for the society? What are the advantages and what are disadvantages of an illiterate person to society, an educated society would be more helpful. With the awareness in the public, the participation in the adult education will improve. It will also help to reduce the dropout rate from the school at different level of education.
Financial Problem
Financial support is other major problem to adult education of NWFP. Little financial support is available for adult education from federal government when compare to other provinces. In Punjab to improve the participation of adults especially female in classes Rs.20 were paid per class. Later on it was increase to Rs.30 per class
Keeping in view the above facts and figures; the adult education in NWFP is not enough to cure education problems. Some serious steps need to be taken to improve the education in NWFP. Extra benefit and increment should be given to those teachers, who involved in the process of adult education. Extra funds should be allocated for establishments of new adult centres. The existing schools should be used in evening shift for adult education.
Female education need special attention in the villages and towns, new girls schools should be established in their door step, so the parent could sent their girls with out hesitation to those schools. Like Punjab Rs.40 should be paid per day to girls in those areas were parents are not ready to send their daughters to schools. A realistic monitoring and evaluation system should be designed to achieve the target goals. A communication wing should be established among the educations departments. So that they will be aware of the progress and the areas where the sister organisations are working. Province should be divided in different zones and it should be allocated to them so every area take benefit from adult education Programme equally.
Afridi, Arbab K. Educational Administration & School Organization. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Peshawar: The Printman, 1998. 1-235.
Dr. Muhammad S. Education for All the Year 2000-Assessment PAKISTAN COUNTRY REPORT. Ministry of Education Islamabad. Islamabad, 1999. .
AEPAM Ministry of Education. .
SAGE Journal Online. .
Wikipedia Encyclopedia. .

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