Schooling dropouts: AIOU, Punjab govt to educate one million within five years


Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has promised full support for Allama Iqbal Open University’s (AIOU) initiative to run an open schooling system to educate 1 million dropouts in the province within five years.

He conveyed this message during a meeting with AIOU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi on Wednesday. The university has already prepared a draft plan for the initiative. “Free education will be provided at the district level throughout the country as part of AIOU’s plan to help the government ensure quality education for all segments of society. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals for education by 2015 is also of utmost priority,” said Sangi.

According to an AIOU press release, the infrastructure required for primary to matriculation will be provided by local governments. The university will provide the teachers, curricula and examination and assessment facilities to run the schools professionally. AIOU will acquire the services of its tutors and students to run these schools, mostly during the evenings. Establishing schools in those regions where literacy rates are under 40 per cent will be prioritised, said Sangi.

Sarwar said infrastructure would also be provided to AIOU to establish a camp office at Toba Tek Singh, his hometown. A temporary office will be inaugurated on Friday, he added.

Pilot project

Sangi said a pilot Open Schooling System project would soon be launched in one district. Administrative work has already been completed and a task force constituted to finalise details, he said, adding that the system has already been approved.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2013.