Literacy Challenge

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Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a bulwark against poverty and a building block of development. It’s a platform for democratization and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Pakistan is a nation whose children have gone on to do the greatest things in the world. People from this country have shown that they can become world leaders given the right initial push and circumstances, by proving themselves in public policy in parliaments abroad, seeking proof of gravitational waves to devising groundbreaking therapies for critical diseases. Yet, the nation as a whole has nothing to show in the way of its combined intellectual growth, with over a third still illiterate and over 20 million children out of school. Over the years, the government has sought multiple ways to fix the literacy problem, conducting major recruiting programs, refocusing on education, and creating a new national curriculum. As promising these initiatives sound they have not effectively tackled the accessibility problem of education in Pakistan. Schools in Pakistan rely solely on the use of Urdu & English as the medium of instruction, whether in the public or private sector. According to a recent report, the use of these languages proves to be an obstacle to learning for children who grow up without exposure to these languages, the vernacular tongues can offer a solution though. Primary education in the mother tongue of the children should be provided in a multilingual country such as Pakistan, to make it easier for them to develop their concepts and foundations around core subjects. They can then be transitioned to unfamiliar universal languages, such as Urdu and English, in a phased manner. As long as the children are being schooled in a language which is foreign to them, they will not be able to learn effectively. Urdu and English were championed in Pakistan to promote unity and provide governance continuity while bridging their gap with the world at large, the country has found these to be handicaps instead, and the results are in front of us.

 

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