Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, Engr Baligh ur Rehman formally launched the Curriculum for Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) here on Thursday. The Curriculum has been developed by Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA’s Advancing Quality Alternative Learning (AQAL) project. The curriculum under ALP offers primary education equivalent of upto class 5 to out-of-school children in less than 3 years’ time (32 months). The program particularly caters to those children who have crossed the primary school going age; those who have missed their early years of schooling due to poor socio-economic backgrounds, religious and ethnic compulsions, poor results, physical or mental challenges etc.

Speaking on the occasion, Minster congratulated the cross institutional committee tasked with this responsibility for bringing out the incredible work and thanked the project partner JICA for their invaluable contribution.  “It becomes difficult for overage children who have missed out on their early years of schooling to adjust in the conventional classroom environment; accelerated learning program provides them a convenient second opportunity to catch up on the lost time”, he  said. Minister informed participants that the program is among the three major initiatives taken by government to improve literacy situation of the country and reduce the number of out of school children; the other two being increase in the number of non-formal schools and launching of adult literacy programs.  “There is a need to create awareness on the significance of multi-grade teaching in the society”, he said. “I will also highlight the importance of ALP in the upcoming Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference to be held later in this month”, he added.

Chief Representative JICA, Mr. Tojo Yasuhiro congratulated the Ministry and AQAL project for achieving the landmark that paves way for out-of-school children to re-connect to education, build their lives and become productive members of society. He assured that JICA will continue to extend technical assistance to serve the cause of education in Pakistan.  Secretary Ministry of Federal Education, Mr. Haseeb Athar said that alterative learning as part of the non-formal education is essential in bridging the in-school and out-of-school gap that has contributed in increasing the number of adult illiterates. He encouraged all the public and private stakeholders to use the accelerated approach to attract out-of-school children and provide the right to education to all.

Officials of Ministry, representatives of UNESCO, UNICEF and other donor agencies were also present in the ceremony.