ISLAMABAD (Staff Report): Federal and provincial governments have agreed to develop National Action Plan to address Pakistan’s Out of School Children Crisis.

The decision was made in a high-level consultative meeting to address the issue of out of school children in Islamabad on Wednesday with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal in the chair.

The meeting was informed that with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 years out of school, Pakistan has one of the highest number of Out of School Children in the world.

However, the incumbent government is committed to resolving this critical issue. Since the current government has assumed charge, several steps have been taken to counter Pakistan’s OOSC challenge. The upcoming PSDP 2023-2024 will also institutionalize several key initiatives to achieve universal education in Pakistan.

A model Universal Enrollment Pilot Project in Islamabad Capital Territory will attempt to ensure that there are no OOSC in ICT. After piloting this in Islamabad, the learnings may be replicated to produce similar results in other areas across the country.  The Planning Ministry will also identify Pakistan’s districts with the highest concentrations of OOSC.

The Planning Minister directed Federal Directorate of Education to establish a birth certificate-based admission system in collaboration with NADRA.

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