ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said that his party was committed to a literate Pakistan. In his message on the International Literacy Day, he said that Pakistan was home to world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children. He said an estimated 22.8 million children in Pakistan were not attending schools. Bilawal stressed for collective efforts and responsibilities to improve literacy rate in the country. The PPP chairman said that illiteracy was the fertile ground for disharmonious and intolerant societies and the nation should take notice that the number of out-of-school children was growing per cent-wise.

Bilawal said that every child had the basic right to education and nations who fail to provide this right ultimately suffer because nurturing a healthy and educated generation was the only guarantee for a peaceful, prosperous and strong country.

He said that PPP had always struggled for improvement in literacy and education as it had the distinction of establishing the largest number of educational institutions in Pakistan while academic activities suffered a lot during dictatorial regimes when ghost school buildings were introduced as a political bribe for free-wheeling political puppets in exchange for their support.

Bilawal pointed out that PPP’s Sindh government had earmarked more than a quarter of its provincial budget on education and the province was planning programmes to attract out-of-school children to attend schools.