Shaheen Attiq-ur-Rahman

Following the high-level workshop in Abuja, the International Bench marks for Adult Literacy have been widely disseminated to prac titioners and policy-makers via international, regional and national networks. Pakistan provides just one example of how the benchmarks have been shared at the national level. A contribution by Shaheen Attiq-ur-Rahman, Vice chair of the Bunyad Foundation.

Pakistan: Writing the Wrongs

Literacy class in Bangladesh

Literacy class in Bangladesh, Source: Mahmud/MAP/ActionAid


October 2005

  • ASPBAE gave $ 2,000 for the dissemination of the benchmarks in Pakistan.

December 2005 

  • Writing the Wrongs, International Benchmarks for Adult Literacy, was launched by Imran Masood, Minister for Education, Govt. of Punjab. The launch was also attended by Abid Saeed, Punjab Sec retary for Literacy, by representatives of NGOs and PEW members. Rafique Jaffer read the main paper.
  • The benchmarks were translated into Urdu.
  • The benchmarks were launched in Peshawar, North West Frontier Province, with the support of Khawander Kor. Mushtaq Jadoon, Head of Literacy, Govt. of NWFP, chaired the session.

February 2006 

  • Dissemination of Writing the Wrongs to policy-makers in the Government of Pakistan's Planning Commission, including:
    • General Ashraf Qazi, Education Minister
    • Sajjad Hussain, Secretary for Education
    • Naveed Ahsan, Financial Advisor, Ministry of Finance
    • Lt. General Sabeeh Qamarul Zaman, Chief NEF-National Education Foundation
    • Talib Hussain Talib, Deputy Chief, Education Sector, Planning Commission
  • Writing the Wrongs launched in Islambad. Representatives of UNESCO, PACADE, IDSP, DG Special Education, PITE-Karachi and SESPEB-Quetta were amongst the participants.

April 2006 

  • Launched at the headquarters of APWA (All Pakistan Women's Association). The meeting was chaired by Mr Abdul Silario, DG Literacy, Govt of Sindh , Begum Laila Sarfraz, President of APWA, presided, NGOs were present.
  • Launched in Quetta, Balochistan Province, by the Governor's wife, Owais Ghani. Amongst the speakers were Senator Roshan Burucha and Rahilla Durrani MPA. 500 students of the Quetta Women's University also attended the launch.

In short the benchmarks were disseminated in all four provinces (North West Frontier Province, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan) and at the Federal level, both in English and Urdu (in summary). It was generally agreed that Writing the Wrongs is a most useful document for promoting adult education. This is the first time that serious focus has been given to improving the lives of the nearly 770 million illiterate. And for Pakistan, which has 6 % of the world’s illiterate, the need for the benchmarks is most urgent. The benchmarks should be translated in full and research undertaken in order to adapt them to the local context.

Adult Education and Development


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