Out of school children undoubtedly constitute one of the most significant challenges to the education system of Pakistan. However, both the government as well as development partners, realise the gravity of the situation at hand. The World Bank’s (WB) assistance to the government in developing a new model of non-formal education is another intervention in the education system to fill in the service delivery gaps. The proposed plan that the WB is going to help Pakistan with is a ‘catching-up’ programme for those kids who do not attend schools. The scheme shows the commitment of both the state and its partners to educate out-of-school children.

The proposed model looks promising as it offers Accelerated Learning Programmes (ALPs) to out-of-school kids. These ALPs will enable such children to catch up with their peers in the formal school system. Even without formal education, this model stands to imbibe all necessary knowledge to kids in two or three years, which they otherwise acquire in a span of five years. The biggest advantage of adopting this new model of non-formal education is that it allows for more personalised learning to be developed for each person while providing basic education to all, giving a boost to the national literacy rate.

Nevertheless, this new strategy of non-formal education aiming to facilitate mainstreaming of out-of-school kids will be not an easy one. The previous efforts in this regard proved unsuccessful. Both the state and development partners need to take note of the failures of earlier endeavours so that the present plan does not suffer the same fate. The government can look at other countries that have systems to ensure that members of society who fall through the schooling network have basic education or certification at the very least. Such a model of non-formal education will prove effective in making every out-of-school child a productive and self-reliant member of society.