LAHORE  -  The scope of non-formal basic education will be expanded to orphanages, social welfare centres and jails across the province, says Punjab Minister for Literacy Raja Rasheed Hafeez.

He was talking to The Nation on challenges and initiatives in literacy education department. Rasheed said, as per the new policy introduced in the literacy department, literacy institutions would be established in Sana’at-Zaars, orphan houses and shelter houses for women in coloration with the social welfare department. Non-formal education institutions have already been established at ‘Pak Maktab’ at Social Welfare Complex. “The first ever non-formal education policy has already been notified and a number of initiatives are being taken as per the policy,” he said.

“Literacy institutions will be set up at all prisons of Punjab so that inmates can get basic education. The project will be launched in collaboration with the home department and the prisons inspector general,” he said.

The minister vowed to establish a literacy institution in every district for transgender people with the help of the Social Welfare Department. “Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar laid stress on the need for such centres for the poor, gypsies and transgender people. We established three such cetres for transgender people and 15 for gypsies,” Raja Rasheed said.

“We are also working on strengthening linkages with academia and national and international donor agencies. So far, 220 literacy centres have been operational in five districts with the help of Unicef. At least 12,000 children shifted to formal education from the platform of non-formal education centres,” he added.