Literacy plays an immense role in the development and progression of a country. It strengthens the youth with knowledge of modern technology and makes room for new creations and innovations. In Pakistan, the literacy rate is low in comparison to neighbouring countries: China 80%, India 74%, Iran 85%. Currently, Pakistan has a 58% literacy rate. Female illiteracy is worse than that of men because of the overarching patriarchal culture and challenging conditions for females. Collectively, some of the factors responsible for hampering the literacy rate of Pakistan are poverty, overpopulation, low budget for education, inaccessibility of schools, teachers absenteeism, nepotism and favouritism in employment, ineffective government policies, etc.

Currently, Pakistan is recognised as the country with the second-highest number of out of school children with an estimated 22.8 million children between the ages of 5-16 not going to school, representing 44% of the total population. Between the age groups of 5-9, 5 million children are not enrolled in school or receiving any formal education. Schooling plays an important role in one’s lifestyle. It is the foremost duty of the government to ensure that basic knowledge and skills needed to be a good citizen are given to everyone. Factors like the curriculum, learning materials, instructions, teaching techniques and the earning capacity of students should be given primary importance in order to enhance the literacy rate. For the economic development of the country, literacy rates are a major indicator. On the other hand, illiteracy slows down socio-economic growth. To cope with illiteracy, the Government of Pakistan should make serious decisions for bettering the quality of education. Similarly, the government should earnestly make plans for alleviating poverty, because it worsens the literacy rate. Giving equal opportunities for employment to all and eliminating nepotism and favouritism in government services would also bring good results.

MTIAZ ESSA HALEPOTO,

Jamshoro.