There are about 22.6 million out-of-school girls or boys – which makes up around half (44%) of all children in Pakistan. Out of the children enrolled in school, the vast majority receives an education of poor quality. This is because 43% of the government schools lack the basic facilities including furniture, running water, bathrooms, electricity and boundary walls. Also, 21% of the government primary schools are operating with a single teacher while 14% of the schools have a single classroom.
In addition to this, according to a report by Pakistan Economic Survey (2017-2018), the literacy rate for entire Pakistan (including 10 years old and above) is 58% and statistics collected by Alif Ailaan suggest that there are currently 25.02 million out of school children between the ages of 5 and 16. What is worse is that the proportion of out-of-school children (OOSC) increases as the level of education rises so by the time that the children reach the higher-secondary level, almost 85% are not in school. Also, due to the cultural stigma attached to the education of girls, the literacy rate of females is 48% while that of males is 70%. According to the Human Development Reports, Pakistan is ranked 146th in Education (11 ranks below our neighboring country, India). Moreover, only 2.8% of the country’s GDP is spent on Education (The World Bank Statistics).
Therefore, there is a dire need of improving the education system in Pakistan and hence, Fatima Memorial System took the initiative of starting the NUR Outreach program in the year 1985 with the aim of acting as a catalyst of change in order to bring about socio-economic development of the underprivileged communities, via an integrated approach to education, healthcare and economic empowerment.
NUR Foundation is providing education to indigent communities (irrespective of age and gender) in the form of formal and informal schools in remote and backward areas of Lahore. Every year, 1850 students pass out from our school and colleges. Furthermore, NUR Foundation has also recently started an Adult Literacy Program in which 25 women are enrolled currently. The purpose of this program is to provide basic level of education to adult women who have never been enrolled in a school before.
In order for us to provide quality education to our children, we need to provide proper training to our teachers; construct a college building; arrange for other educational resources (like books, stationary, furniture, etc) and develop proper facilities (like computer labs and libraries). To cater to the needs of the children at our school and colleges, we rely on the donations of our generous donors.
According to Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “There are two powers in the world, one is the sword and the other is the pen.” And Malala Yousafzai said, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Therefore, we urge our esteemed donors to join hands with NUR foundation in the cause of providing quality education to underprivileged kids irrespective of gender.
Brigham Young was so right in asserting, “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” Hence, step up, step out and be a ray of hope for generations of children currently living in the dark pits of illiteracy.