September 8 is celebrated as ‘World Literacy Day’ all around the world, proclaimed by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. This day stresses the importance of education, awareness and learning to an individual and society. Pakistan has the same old fashioned literacy definition adopted in 1981 which says “A person is literate if he/she can read a newspaper and write a simple letter”. On the other hand when we look at our neighboring countries they have a terrific approach to literacy.
Our unrealistic budget causes harm in the long run, for the last several decades literacy has had no importance in Pakistan while Sir Lanka has 100 percent literacy and India and Bangladesh are slightly behind them. The growth of a nation depends on its educated masses. Pakistan’s last budget of 3.203 trillion has only 47.8 billion allocated for education (which also is misused) while defense gets 545 billion! This is really alarming for a country like Pakistan where educational system has all type of problems, including difference in curriculum for rich and poor.
The government is not responsible for everything. We as individuals and society as a whole need to fulfill the oath we signed in our forms of Matriculation to educate at least one unprivileged child. If we keep that oath it will have a very positive impact on our society. We as a nation have to rise and eliminate illiteracy to help in walking along the other developed countries that are ahead of us.
Lahore, August 26.