Literacy For All Program in Merged Districts
The prolonged conflict in Merged Districts, poverty and lack of opportunities had deprived a substantial number of children, especially girls, to continue education. These children, who have been to schools at some stage of their life, had dropped out of schools at different levels of their studies. Merged Districts have roughly 0.6 million of out-of-schoolchildren at the primary level. They did not see any ray of hope to ever resume their education.
The above mentioned situation prompted designing of an innovative program to enroll children between the age group of 9-16, and provide them education in a non-formal setting in the shortest possible time-frame of one year. There was no formal mechanism to provide education to these children, and ensure their mainstreaming. The Merged Districts Education Directorate, with the technical support of N-IRM, UNICEF Implementing Partner, developed a concise syllabus. The manual designing and development had kept in focus the age group and their learning abilities for being in education system for some time.
The children in age group of 9-16 were enrolled in the Accelerated Learning Program Centers which were established in close proximity of their homes. In 2012, one thousand (1,000) children were enrolled in 25 centers set-up in the conflict affected Mohmand and Bajaur Districts of Merged Areas. On completion of their one-year course in November 2012, the Education Directorate conducted the examination with 100% pass result. Out of these, 980 children were enrolled/mainstreamed into formal education system. In the ALP in Bajaur and Mohmand agencies, the second batch of 983 student received education in 25 centers. . These children have completed their education and, are eligible for admission in next grade in government schools.
In past, Directorate of Education Merged Areas started a large number of innovative Programs and successfully completed them. But due to lack of financial resources and commitment, DOE Merged Districts could not build upon the successful experience of these programs. So in order to keep continue and sustain the innovative idea of ALPs, DOE Merged Districts has reflected an ADP scheme under the title of Literacy for all in FATA in current ADP (2014—2015) at Serial No. 101 with the total cost of 180 M. Under this project 175 Alternate learning schools will be established in FATA through public-private and community partnership delivery model.
The main focus of the scheme is on Out of School Children between 9-16 years of age, not currently reached by a one-size-fits-all, centralized education management structure and delivery system. The objective of the proposed strategy is to facilitate children who will enroll in the ALSs to be mainstreamed into regular schooling system.
The project will supplement the on-going efforts, both at National and Merged Districts level, to promote literacy. It will give a boost to the current activities of Federal Program launched under National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Education for All (EFA), Non- Formal Basic Education (NFBE), UNESCO, UNICEF, Education Department Merged Districts.