Upper Dir women literacy rate stands at six percent
UPPER DIR: The state of female education in the district is abysmal with the total literacy rate of 21 percent, with female literacy rate at only 6 percent and the male rate is 36 percent.
This was revealed at a one-day consultation jointly organised by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) and Citizen Forum for child rights, Environment and Social Education (CFCES) on Child Rights in District Upper Dir. Upper Dir has no higher education institution while there are no schools in the far-flung areas such as Kohistan and Barawal.
Assistant District Officer of Literacy Hiji Qasim Jan said there were 879 primary schools, 223 for girls and 656 for boys in the district, but 13,377 children were not going to schools. He said the community could play a vital role in educating children. Centennial Model School Principal Yar Muhammad Khan said children were the most neglected section of society but society had not yet acknowledged their rights. He said this attitude forced children to engage in crimes.
Government Degree College Principal Qari Raheem Shahr said the next generation would also be illiterate if they were not given the right of education. Speaking on the occasion, SPARC Deputy National Coordinator Arshad Mahmood said there were 70 million children in Pakistan, out of which 23 million were not going to schools, while 25 million were under five years of age.
He said only 4,000 children were in jails in Pakistan, out of which 89 percent were under trial and the remaining convicted. “Most of them are in jail for minor cases, but what is regrettable is that a good number of them do not have a legal advisor,” he said. “Pakistan has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989. But children are still denied their rights. He said children had the right to survive, to development, protection and participation, which must be given to them.
He said the North West Frontier Province government had promulgated the NWFP Compulsory Primary Education Act in 1996 according to which education was compulsory for children under 10 years old , but it was not promulgated and still a large number of children were deprived of education.
He urged lawyers to help out the children in jails, saying a child named Ali Sher, aged 15, of Dir Upper, had been given with death sentence in 2001, which was against the law. He said the Employment of Children Act 1991 prohibited children from working from 7pm to 7am, but it was not being exercised and children were still working between these times. He asked the government to extend the 2002 Juvenile Justice System Ordinance to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA).